Markum, Howard Walton, Henry Tenaglio, Stephanie Morello, Annemarie Breen, Ellen Jones, Susan Silcox, Paul C. Armes, Walter G. Gies, John J. O'Brien, Patricia Walton, Kathy Long, Helen Gaydos, Donna Andracavage, Juan Guerra, Margaret Caponi, Mary Bryne, Linda Corbett, Thomas McIlhenny, and Patricia McNamara. The claims against the other defendants, John Stanton, Linda Hearn, John Connor, and Pasquale Varallo, are insufficient and their verdicts under § 1962(c) must be directed.
The plaintiff also seeks a RICO recovery under 18 U.S.C. § 1962(d) which declares it unlawful for any person to conspire to violate § 1962(c). 18 U.S.C. § 1962(d) (1982). From this court's reading of the law in this area, there are at least two legal concerns that encumber the plaintiff's right to a full recovery under its § 1962(d) theory. First, by its terms, the RICO conspiracy provision applies only to those defendants who conspire to further the activities of the enterprise through the commission of two racketeering acts. As a consequence, to fall within the scope of the conspiracy provision in this case, a defendant charged under § 1962(d) must be shown to have conspired intentionally, not just to trespass inside the Center's offices, but also to commit two acts of robbery or extortion.
Second, the Free Assembly Clause of the First Amendment places a heavy burden on the plaintiff's attempt to impose conspiracy liability. The Supreme Court has recognized that "the practice of persons sharing common views banding together to achieve a common end is deeply embedded in the American political process," and that "by collective effort individuals can make their views known, when, individually, their voices would be faint or lost." Citizens Against Rent Control/Coalition for Fair Housing v. City of Berkeley, 454 U.S. 290, 294, 70 L. Ed. 2d 492, 102 S. Ct. 434 (1981). Accordingly, liability imposed for one's involvement with others -- "guilt for association" -- conflicts sharply with the precepts of the First Amendment. See Claiborne Hardware Co., 458 U.S. at 925.
Clearly, a person may always be held civilly liable for the consequences of his unlawful, violent acts. But a "massive and prolonged effort to change the social, political, and economic structure . . . cannot be characterized as a violent conspiracy simply by reference to the ephemeral consequences of relatively few violent acts."
Id. at 933. For civil liability to arise by reason of association alone, "it is necessary to establish that the group itself possessed unlawful goals and that the individual held a specific intent to further those illegal aims." Id. at 920.
In the context of this action, the plaintiff has alleged robbery and extortion as the illegal aims. Consequently, the plaintiff bears the burden of proving that each defendant charged with conspiracy under 18 U.S.C. § 1962(d) had specifically intended to accomplish those illegal aims. The only defendants the jury could possibly find liable under this section are those twenty-five defendants who actually entered the Center and Ms. Walton and Corbett. Therefore, as to the remaining four defendants,
the plaintiff's § 1962(d) RICO count cannot comport with the dictates of the First Amendment as this court understands those dictates to be. With respect to those defendants, the verdict will be directed.
III. TRESPASS CLAIMS
The plaintiff's first pendent claim charges each of the thirty-one remaining defendants with common law trespass to land. Amended Complaint at para. 88. Under Pennsylvania law, "one who intentionally enters land in the possession of another without a privilege to do so is liable . . . to the possessor of the land as a trespasser . . . . " Kopka v. Bell Telephone Co., 371 Pa. 444, 91 A.2d 232, 235 (1952) (quoting Restatement (First) of Torts § 164 (1934)). Similarly, "one who authorizes or directs another to commit an act which constitutes a trespass to another's land is himself liable as a trespasser to the same extent as if the trespass were committed directly by himself. . . ." Id. Actions for trespass to land were created at common law to redress invasions of a person's right to the exclusive use and possession of his property. Hennigan v. Atlantic Refining Co., 282 F. Supp. 667, 669 (E.D. Pa. 1967) aff'd, 400 F.2d 857 (3d Cir. 1968), cert. denied, 395 U.S. 904, 89 S. Ct. 1739, 23 L. Ed. 2d 216 (1969). Essential to maintaining such an action is that the complainant in fact have the right to exclusive use and possession of the property at issue.
The plaintiff's trespass count is analytically complicated by the relocation of the Northeast Women's Center during the pendency of this lawsuit. Prior to June 16, 1986, the Center was located on the third floor
of a three-story office building at 9600 Roosevelt Boulevard in Northeast Philadelphia. Testimony during the plaintiff's case-in-chief revealed that the Center leased this office space from an uninterested third party. While at this location, the Center's offices were entered four times by a number of anti-abortion protesters. These entries occurred on December 8, 1984; August 10, 1985; October 19, 1985; and May 23, 1986. According to the testimony of the plaintiff's witnesses, these unauthorized entries, combined with the numerous other regular protest activities, prompted the Center's landlord to decline to renew the Center's lease. Consequently, the Center was forced to move.
On June 16, 1986, the Center moved into its present facility in an office building located off Comly Road in Northeast Philadelphia. This office building is situated in the southeast corner of a parcel of land approximately 350 feet long and 215 feet wide. Also within this parcel, to the west of the office building, is a branch office of Mellon Bank. The remainder of the parcel of land, constituting the substantial majority of the property, is devoted to parking spaces and "driveways" leading out onto Comly Road.
The Director of Community Relations for the Center, Kate Strausser, testified that the majority of the 350-by-215 foot parcel was purchased by Comly Road Associates from the Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development. This deed was introduced as "P-78". A smaller, 75-by-200 foot portion of this property -- the portion on which the office building housing the Northeast Women's Center now stands -- was purchased by and is currently owned by L.P. Partnership. This deed was introduced as "P-79". The Northeast Women's Center leases the middle portion of this office building through an agreement with L.P. Partnership. To guard against the unauthorized entry of protestors it had experienced at 9600 Roosevelt Boulevard, the Center equipped its new offices with an elaborate security system. As of this date, there have been no unauthorized entries at the Comly Road location.
In its claim for trespass, the plaintiff seeks both retroactive relief in the form of money damages and prospective relief in the form of a permanent injunction. The claim for retroactive relief includes damages for the repair or replacement of desterilized, destroyed, or otherwise damaged medical equipment, the expenses incurred in moving the Center to its new location, and the costs of the security systems and security guards. The claim for prospective relief seeks an injunction limiting the number of protesters, restricting them to a certain location, and limiting the manner of their demonstrations. Due to the number of defendants peripherally named in this count, the court has carefully scrutinized the facts of this case in light of the elements of common law trespass.
It is clear to the court that the plaintiff has the right to exclusive use and possession of that portion of the office building it leased at 9600 Roosevelt Boulevard and to that portion of the office building it is now leasing from L.P. Partnership at Comly Road. The plaintiff's right to recover under common law trespass for the defendants' unauthorized entry onto all other areas of 9600 Roosevelt Boulevard or all other areas of the 350-by-215 foot Comly Road parcel is far from clear. The plaintiff may be entirely correct that the defendants' presence immediately outside its offices constitutes a trespass. The plaintiff may also be correct that the First Amendment would not shield the defendants from liability under the free speech clause. See Pruneyard Shopping Center v. Robins, 447 U.S. 74, 81, 64 L. Ed. 2d 741, 100 S. Ct. 2035 (1980); Lloyd Corp. v. Tanner, 407 U.S. 551, 569, 33 L. Ed. 2d 131, 92 S. Ct. 2219 (1972). But the plaintiff cannot, however, assert these trespass claims with respect to property it does not possess. As to any such trespass, the Northeast Women's Center is not the real party in interest.
This reasoning is particularly critical with regard to the dimensions of the prospective injunctive relief the plaintiff seeks at its Comly Road location. By the plaintiff's own witness it was established that L.P. Partnership owns the office building and the property immediately surrounding the office building, and Comly Road Associates owns the remainder of the land. Neither L.P. Partnership nor Comly Road Associates is a plaintiff in this action. Thus, although the Northeast Women's Center is the proper party to raise claims for trespass to its own suite of offices, it cannot seek relief for the trespass to property it does not possess. Irrespective of whether the plaintiff can prove that neither L.P. Partnership nor Comly Road Associates consents to the defendants' continuing presence on their land, the plaintiff's recovery -- and, thus, it cause of action -- is limited to land it possesses.
In view of this determination, the court concludes that only claims of trespass to the Northeast Women's Center's suite of offices may go to the jury in this case. The jury is entitled to deliberate on claims that (1) a defendant personally trespassed on the Center's property, or that (2) a defendant directed another person to trespass on the Center's property. After reviewing the plaintiff's evidence in light of this ruling, the court will grant the following defendants' motions for directed verdicts on the trespass count: John Stanton, Linda Hearn, John Connor, Pasquale Varallo, Linda Corbett and Patricia Walton.
IV. INTENTIONAL INTERFERENCE WITH CONTRACTUAL RELATIONS CLAIMS
The plaintiff's final claim is the pendent count for intentional interference with contractual relations. The plaintiff alleges that the defendants have interfered with the existing employment contracts that it maintains with its employees. To succeed on this theory under Pennsylvania law, the plaintiff must prove that the defendants (1) intentionally and improperly interfered with the performance of a contract between the Center and an employee and (2) that such interference resulted in the employee's failure to perform the contract. Adler, Barish, Daniels, Levin & Creskoff v. Epstein, 482 Pa. 416, 393 A.2d 1175, 1183 (1978), appeal dismissed and cert. denied, 442 U.S. 907, 61 L. Ed. 2d 272, 99 S. Ct. 2817 (1979) (adopting Restatement (Second) of Torts § 766 (1979)).
A prima facie case for this tort has been stated with respect to the employment contracts the Center maintained with its previous administrator Mary Banecker and with its outgoing Director of Community Relations, Kate Strausser. The plaintiff asserts that, as a result of the defendants' activities, it was forced to outfit its facilities with a security system. For the reasons set forth in the preceding discussion of extortion, this claim will go to the jury only as against the twenty-five defendants who entered the Center and Ms. Walton and Corbett.