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January 10, 1983


The opinion of the court was delivered by: GILES



 Plaintiff filed a complaint suing a host of correctional authorities *fn1" for a litany of alleged afflictions. *fn2" The complaint was followed by a Supplemental Complaint detailing approximately nineteen separate grievances. *fn3" Despite the greater detail provided by the Supplemental Complaint, this action must be dismissed for a variety of jurisdictional, substantive, and procedural reasons.


 The jurisdictional problems presented by the complaints can be divided into three categories: sovereign immunity, eleventh amendment immunity, and standing. I use the term "sovereign immunity" to describe the general inability to sue the United States. Eleventh Amendment immunity relates to the ability to bring in a state or its agencies as defendants. Standing relates to the ability of this plaintiff, the "Move Organization," to sue any party for the grievances listed in its complaint.


 The United States and its agencies may not be sued without consent. The complaint discloses no basis for consent, nor can I conceive of any. *fn4" Thus, the federal defendants -- the Bureau of Prisons, the Lewisburg Penitentiary, the Post Office, and the Treasury Department -- must be dismissed for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.

 B. Eleventh-Amendment Immunity

 The Eleventh Amendment has been interpreted to bar federal court suits against states for retroactive damages. Pennsylvania and its agencies have not consented to this suit, and no other exception to eleventh amendment immunity applies. Therefore, the damage claims against the state and its alter egos, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and its justice department, corrections bureau, parole board, and public welfare department, as well as the governor, attorney general and corrections commissioner in their official capacities, must be dismissed.

 C. Standing

 As part of the constitutional case-or-controversy requirement, see U.S. Const. art. III, § 2, a plaintiff must have standing to sue. See, e.g., Kirby v. United States, 675 F.2d 60, 64 (3d Cir. 1982). See generally, e.g., C. Wright, A. Miller & E. Cooper, Federal Practice and Procedure § 3531 (1975 & Supps. 1980 and 1982). The only plaintiff in this action is the "Move Organization." When an organization sues, its standing can be either "individual" or "representative." See, e.g., Havens Realty Corp. v. Coleman, 455 U.S. 363, 102 S. Ct. 1114, 1124, 71 L. Ed. 2d 214 (1982). In its individual capacity, an organization sues for harm to itself. In its representative capacity, the organization sues on behalf of its members. See, e.g., Hunt v. Washington State Apple Advertising Commission, 432 U.S. 333, 342-43, 53 L. Ed. 2d 383, 97 S. Ct. 2434 (1977); Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490, 511, 45 L. Ed. 2d 343, 95 S. Ct. 2197 (1975).

  On its own behalf, an organization, like an individual, must allege an injury in fact and show a personal stake in the case sufficient to warrant federal-court jurisdiction. See, e.g., Havens Realty Corp., 102 S. Ct. at 1124; Kirby, 675 F.2d at 64. The complaint and supplemental complaint list incidents occurring over a five-year period. Each incident alleges some sort of brutality or judicial injustice to individual Move members. *fn5" In general, however, a fair reading of the complaints discloses no allegation of distinct harm to Move itself. *fn6" The exception is the alleged unconstitutional destruction of the Move house at the hands of the City of Philadelphia. See Supplemental Complaint paras. 9-10. However, because, this incident is already the subject of pending litigation before me by Move and many of its members, I shall dismiss this aspect of the instant case as duplicative. See notes 8, 11, 14 and 16 infra and accompanying texts. As to all other aspects of the complaint, Move lacks individual standing.

 The question remains whether Move has standing as a representative of its members. One requirement for representational standing is that "neither the claim asserted nor relief requested requires the participation of individual members in the lawsuit." *fn7" With the exception of the incidents preceding and including the destruction of the Move house, which have been dismissed from this case as duplicative, *fn8" the complaints relate incidents where one or several Move members suffered harm. There is no statute, ordinance or other official action affecting all members. *fn9" It would require individual testimony to establish the constitutional violations set forth in the complaint, and the relief would have to be tailored individually to the harm suffered by any Move member whose rights may have been violated. See, e.g., Comment, supra, note 7, at 132. Thus, both the claims asserted and relief requested require participation in this lawsuit by individual members. *fn10" Since this prerequisite to associational standing is not satisfied, so this court lacks subject matter jurisdiction.


 Even assuming jurisdiction existed to hear this lawsuit, it would have to be dismissed as frivolous under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d) because the complaint does not entitle plaintiff to relief. This conclusion is most easily demonstrated by considering, in order, each substantive paragraph of the amended complaint.

 Paragraph two alleges that a child of a Move member was "trampled to death by cop Palermo and other maniac cops;" various Move members were brutalized by police, and no policeman charged with murder, all on March 28, 1976. Assuming all this to be true, the complaint states no cause of action against any named defendant. See note 1 supra (list of defendants). Furthermore, no citizen has a right to have murder charges brought. Finally, the incidents are beyond the period of the statute of limitations. *fn11"

 Paragraph three alleges that another baby died as the result of a beating of its mother outside a Philadelphia courtroom by Philadelphia sheriffs. This likewise fails to state a cause of action against any named defendant and is barred by time limitations.

 Paragraph four alleges that various female Move members miscarried due to beatings "by Phila. cops and sheriffs in the past ten years." This fails to state a claim against a named defendant. In addition, it is not specific enough to allow the court or named defendants to identify when plaintiff's rights allegedly were violated. See, e.g., Rotolo v. Borough of Charleroi, 532 F.2d 920, 923 (3d Cir. 1976) (plaintiff must plead "when, where, and how" its rights were violated). *fn12"

 Paragraph five complains about warrants "on Move people" issued by Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Lynne M. Abraham in May, 1977. Judge Abraham is not a defendant. If she were, she would be protected by absolute judicial immunity as well as the statute of limitations. *fn13"

 Paragraph six complains that ex-mayor Frank Rizzo, the water commissioner, the former city solicitor, Judge DiBona, the Postmaster General, Bell Telephone, and "the whole Phila. administration conspired to legally murder off this family" when the Move house was blockaded under court order. This is frivolous for many reasons. First, the allegations of conspiracy are not sufficiently specific. Second, most of the alleged responsible parties are not defendants. Third, the blockade terminated on August 8, 1978, see, e.g., Move Organization v. City of Philadelphia, 530 F. Supp. at 766, so the statute of limitations bars any action. Fourth, the pleading that these actions were "legal" seems to rule out the possibility that they were illegal and thus actionable. Furthermore, Move and its members are already engaged in a lawsuit over the entire range of events surrounding the Move blockade and shootout. *fn14"

 Paragraph seven complains about "blanket warrants on all Move members" issued by Judge DiBona on August 2, 1978. This paragraph fails as a claim for the same reasons as paragraph five of the complaint. See text accompanying note 13, supra.

 Paragraph eight alleges that as a "direct result of these blanket warrants," two Move members living in Richmond, Virginia, were arrested and jailed "for absolutely no reason at all" in the month preceding their scheduled trial. *fn15" In addition to its internal contradictions, this paragraph does not plead a claim to the extent that it refers to warranted arrests for purposes of a criminal trial which resulted in conviction. To the extent it complains about events surrounding the arrests in Richmond, it is not addressed to any named defendant. In any event, it is barred by limitations. See note 11 supra.

 Paragraphs nine and ten relate to the Move shootout and destruction of the Move house. These paragraphs must be dismissed for the reasons given in the discussion of paragraph six. See note 14 and accompanying text, supra.

 Paragraph eleven complains about an evidentiary ruling in a criminal trial. If the ruling resulted in a conviction, the conviction must first be overturned in state court before it can be raised in federal court. If there was no conviction, the ruling was harmless and cannot be the basis of a claim. Furthermore, in failing to say when this incident occurred, the claim is not sufficiently specific.

 Paragraph twelve complains that children of Move members were taken to a child-care center while their parents were jailed. The children allegedly were given processed food and dressed in diapers, to which they were unaccustomed. None of this alleges a constitutional violation. Furthermore, the complaint fails to state when this happened. Thus this paragraph is not sufficiently specific. *fn16"

 Paragraph thirteen states that police officers who beat a Move member were not charged with murder. As with paragraph two, see text preceding note 11 supra, failure to bring charges cannot state a claim. I note that these officers were tried for aggravated assault. See Commonwealth v. Geist, 5 Phila. 210 (Pa. C.P. 1981).

 Paragraph fourteen complains of the acquittal of those officers by Judge Kubacki. This fails to state a claim.

 Paragraph fifteen complains that the trial of certain Move members resulted in conviction for murder. Collateral estoppel bars challenging the essential facts surrounding this conviction.

 Paragraph sixteen states that Philadelphia District Attorney Rendell "is a definite element" of a conspiracy against Move. Adding the word "definite" to "conspiracy" does not make the complaint specific. The only factual allegation in the paragraph is that Mr. Rendell is "not acting on our appeals." This statement is meaningless since a court, not a party, acts on appeals.

 Paragraph seventeen complains about an interstate conspiracy among the Philadelphia District Attorney, a trial judge issuing an arrest warrant, and the governors of Pennsylvania and New York, to have a Move member arrested in New York. This act was within the official immunity of each alleged conspirator.

 Paragraph eighteen alleges that various prison officials sanctioned "the sadistic beating" of Move members in local prisons. The allusions to the alleged beatings, however, are too vague to tell when and where they occurred and who actually did the beating. Thus, this paragraph is not specific enough to state a claim. See text accompanying note 12 supra.

 Paragraph nineteen apparently complains that prison officials took blood samples from Move members for disease-prevention or other health purposes. This action is within the permissible discretion of prison authorities for the health and safety of inmates and does not constitute a constitutional violation.

 Paragraph twenty complains about the refusal of the state parole board to parole two Move convicts at the earliest possible time. There is no right to immediate parole upon serving the minimum sentence. Furthermore, the appropriate way to seek release is through a habeas corpus action by the prisoners, rather than a civil suit by the Move Organization.

 Paragraph twenty-one alleges that a Move member was "kidnapped off the streets of Rochester, N.Y. by federal . . . agents" as a result of the warrant mentioned in paragraph seven. Just as paragraph seven fails to state a claim, so does paragraph twenty-one.

 The final two paragraphs contain general language about a "blatant plot" and "diabolical conspiracy." This language is too vague on its own, and does not help repair the lack of specificity existing elsewhere in the complaint.

 Thus, every part of the Supplemental Complaint must be dismissed as "frivolous" within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 1915.


 Upon filing of a proper affidavit, a federal court may allow a "person" to proceed in forma pauperis. *fn17" See Fed. R. App. Pro. 24(a) and Form 4. A motion to proceed in forma pauperis and accompanying affidavits have been filed on behalf of the sole plaintiff Move Organization ("Move"). These papers present the court with the question of whether an organization is a "person" within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 1915, and if so, what constitutes a proper affidavit. *fn18"

 In the few cases touching on these questions, the federal courts take a variety of positions. *fn19" On one extreme is Chief Judge Bazelon's dissent in S.O.U.P. v. FTC, 146 U.S. App. D.C. 66, 449 F.2d 1142, 1143-45 (D.C. Cir. 1971). Chief Judge Bazelon took the positions that a corporation is a "person" within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 1915, and that the judge must determine indigence by examining only the organization's resources, rather than by piercing the corporate veil. He reasoned that the law governing construction of statutes requires "that the term 'person' should ordinarily be taken to 'include corporations . . . as well as individuals,'" *fn20" and that the legislative history of 28 U.S.C. § 1915 contained no indication that Congress meant otherwise. 449 F.2d at 1143-44. Furthermore, indigency should be determined on the basis of an affidavit from an organizational officer because the alternative (requiring affidavits from each member) would disregard the legally separate identity of the corporation, impose unnecessary administrative burdens on the court, and discourage useful litigation by certain corporations. Id. at 1144-45.

 On the other extreme is Honolulu Lumber Co. v. American Factors, Ltd., 265 F. Supp. 578, 580-81 (D. Hawaii 1966), aff'd on other grounds, 403 F.2d 49 (9th Cir. 1968). Chief Judge Pence observed that from its initial enactment in 1892 until amendment in 1959, the in forma pauperis act applied only to a "citizen," and that only natural persons are citizens. *fn21" "Citizen" was changed to "person" to allow in forma pauperis appearances by aliens. *fn22" Thus, it appeared, "that Congress never intended by this single word change in 1959 to extend this privilege to a whole new class of artificial persons." 265 F. Supp. at 580. Furthermore, assuming arguendo that a corporation could be a "person," Judge Pence held the affidavit of poverty insufficient because he viewed the stockholders of the closely-held corporations as the real beneficiaries of the lawsuit and there was "no reason why the true beneficiaries should be allowed to stand behind a corporate veil and thereby be excused from paying the legal costs of a suit which the corporation they controlled decided to institute." Id. at 581.

 Between these extremes are cases and commentary suggesting that artificial entities may be "persons" in appropriate circumstances. *fn23" These sources rely on policy reasons in looking at factors such as whether the entity is non-profit, whether it is formed for a public purpose, whether the organization's members may reap "substantial personal financial benefit" from the litigation, Harlem River Consumers, 71 F.R.D. at 96, and whether the litigation has a "public interest aspect." *fn24" It is unclear whether these authorities would look to identical or similar factors in evaluating the sufficiency of the affidavit.

 I reject this middle course, at least as a method of construction of "person." First, it confuses the definition of "person" with that of poverty. *fn25" Second, it is both vague and elaborate, thus confronting the courts with a threshold ruling which is unnecessarily burdensome to administer. Third, many of the factors are difficult to determine, *fn26" and it is unclear how to weigh them if they conflict. *fn27" Finally, although the policy analysis behind these factors may be a valid method of common-law rulemaking, it is inappropriate as a method of construing this statute. *fn28" It gives the word "person" a meaning which cannot reasonably be found in the intent of Congress. See note 20 supra and accompanying text.

 The better reasoned approaches are those of Judge Bazelon, dissenting in S.O.U.P., that "person" includes the entities listed in 1 U.S.C. § 1, and Judge Pence, in Honolulu Lumber, that Congress intended to include only natural persons. I must choose between these two contradictory holdings. Because all authorities agree that the sole purpose for extending in forma pauperis status to "persons" was to include indigent aliens, *fn29" the rule as stated in Honolulu Lumber is the better reading of the legislative history. Accordingly, I agree that an artificial entity cannot be a "person" within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). Thus the sole plaintiff, Move Organization, may not proceed in forma pauperis.

 Even if plaintiff were a "person," the filed affidavits are insufficient to support forma pauperis status. They do not list Move's resources, nor is there an indication that the affiant is authorized to speak for the Organization. *fn30" Therefore, plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis is denied.


 The filings in this case are signed only by a lay person "Pro Se for the Move Org." *fn31" This raises the question whether an organization must be represented by an attorney.

 In general, a party may plead and conduct its case in person or by counsel. See 28 U.S.C. § 1654. Because organizational personality is a legal fiction, appearance in propria persona is impossible. Thus, the courts have repeatedly held that corporations and other organizations must be represented by counsel. *fn32" The purpose of this rule is "the protection of the courts and the administration of justice. *fn33" The frivolous pleadings in this case, see notes 1 & 2 supra, show why the courts require such protection. I see no reason to create an exception for an organization attempting to prosecute a civil action in its own name. *fn34"


 AND NOW, this 10th day of January, 1983, it is hereby ORDERED that:

 1. The motion to proceed in forma pauperis is DENIED.

 2. The complaint is DISMISSED as frivolous and duplicative.

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