The opinion of the court was delivered by: MARSH
The plaintiffs brought an action against three police officers employed by the City of Pittsburgh and against the City of Pittsburgh. The plaintiffs, Cannon Redding, Kenneth Redding, a minor, by his parent and guardian, Annie Ruth McCoy, and Rick Ashby are citizens of Ohio; the Reddings are black; apparently Ashby is not.
Jurisdiction is invoked pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1983 and 1985 of the Civil Rights Act and its jurisdictional counterpart, 28 U.S.C. § 1343(3) and (4), as well as under 28 U.S.C. § 1331, federal questions, and § 1332, diversity of citizenship.
The City of Pittsburgh filed a motion to dismiss the action, inter alia, on the ground that the complaint fails to state a claim against defendant, City of Pittsburgh, upon which relief can be granted. Three grounds are specified:
(a) The City is not subject to suit under the Civil Rights Act of 1870 and 1871, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1983 and 1985
(b) The Complaint otherwise fails to state a claim under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981 and 1985.
(c) No independent cause of action against the City arises under the Constitutional Amendments cited in the Complaint.
In our opinion the motion should be denied.
It seems to be clearly established that the city, not being a "person," is not amenable to a Civil Rights Act suit brought under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1983 and 1985.
However, the complaint sets forth a diversity cause of action against the city on the theory that it could be held vicariously liable for the acts of its police officers. The complaint also sets forth federal causes of action brought against the city directly under the Constitutional Amendments cited in the complaint. On both grounds this court has federal jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C., § 1332, diversity of citizenship; § 1331, federal question;
provided that the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $10,000 which is alleged in the complaint and at this point must be taken as true.
Even if the plaintiffs fail to prove that their damages exceed $10,000, exclusive of interest and costs, this court has jurisdiction over the city as a pendant party to the federal action against the police officers under §§ 1983 and 1985.