sale agreement with the Devereaux Foundation, requiring buyer to get School District's written consent to perform such tests). Glen Mills claims that the negotiations broke down over the School District's insistence on a solely visual environmental inspection, while the School District states that the impasse resulted from Glen Mills' insistence that the School District pay for the environmental testing. Howland Dep. at 110-12.
Glen Mills vacated the Thornbury School at the end of the last lease term in 1991 and thereafter had to find substitute classroom space where it could -- in basements, the school's library, the vocational training facility, and other rooms it claims were unsuitable for that use. Hepps Dep. at 49. Glen Mills then made plans to build new classroom space on its own land, but encountered delays and additional expense in the form of allegedly excessive, unwarranted and unprecedented demands for plans, reports, and documentation by the Township. In particular, the Township refused to issue a building permit because Glen Mills had not submitted a master plan of the campus, including all proposed future construction as well as a diagram of the existing sewer and water lines, electrical service, roads, and storm-water run-off systems for the entire 800-acre campus. Russell Dep. at 99-103; Morley Dep. at 74; Dep. of Daniel Lutz at 43-45. Township officials characterized this requirement as standard, but also testified that the only other projects for which such a plan had been required were developments involving multiple buildings, such as large housing developments. Morley Dep. at 77. The Township had not required a master plan from Glen Mills before approving the plans for a 22-lot staff housing development and a dormitory which were submitted less than a year before the plan for the academic building. Lutz Dep. at 37.
Glen Mills' interpretation of these events is that the School District refused to bargain with it in good faith for the sale of the school because the School District did not want Glen Mills' predominantly black and latino student population to grow. Glen Mills alleges that the same motivation prompted the Township to conspire with the School District to arrange a secret sale of the Thornbury School to the Township, to prevent the building from falling into Glen Mills' hands, and to further stymie Glen Mills' growth by interfering with the construction of new classroom space. These assertions are vehemently denied by the Township and the School District.
To succeed on a motion for summary judgment, the moving party must establish that no genuine issues of material fact remain in dispute and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 91 L. Ed. 2d 265, 106 S. Ct. 2548 (1986). Where there is a complete failure of proof concerning an essential element of the non-moving party's case, all other facts are rendered immaterial, and the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. Id. at 323. In deciding whether the standards for summary judgment have been met, the evidence must be viewed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Mellon Bank Corp. v. First Union Real Estate Equity and Mortgage Invest., 951 F.2d 1399, 1404 (3d Cir. 1991).
Initially, defendants challenge Glen Mill's standing to allege discriminatory treatment on the basis of race, arguing that Glen Mills, as a private organization, cannot assert a Fourteenth Amendment claim on behalf of its students, and that, as a corporation, Glen Mills cannot sue on its own behalf under the Fourteenth Amendment.
Glen Mills does not, at this stage, assert any claims on behalf of its students, but seeks redress for losses it claims to have suffered because of its association with black and latino students. Thus, it alleges the type of "demonstrable, particularized injury" needed to establish individual standing. Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490, 508, 45 L. Ed. 2d 343, 95 S. Ct. 2197 (1975). This claim is no less valid because brought under the Fourteenth Amendment and federal civil rights statutes. A corporation is a "person" entitled to the protections of the Fourteenth Amendment. Hudson Valley Freedom Theater, Inc. v. Heimbach, 671 F.2d 702, 706 n.4 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 459 U.S. 857, 74 L. Ed. 2d 110, 103 S. Ct. 127 (1982). A "person" need not be a member of a protected class to sue under the Fourteenth Amendment or federal civil rights statutes if its complaint is that it was treated differently because of its association with members of a protected class. Novotny v. Great American Savings and Loan Assoc., 584 F.2d 1235, 1244-45 (3d Cir. 1978), vacated on other grounds, 442 U.S. 366, 99 S. Ct. 2345, 60 L. Ed. 2d 957 (1979); Scott v. Greenville County, 716 F.2d 1409, 1415 (4th Cir. 1983); Hudson Valley Freedom Theater, 671 F.2d at 706.
With the exception of its claim for denial of substantive due process, the claims of Glen Mills rely on the contention that the defendants acted out of racial animus toward Glen Mills' students. I will address the question of racial motivation first, since it is dispositive of those claims for which it is at issue.
I. The Existence of Racial Animus
The claims arising under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for denial of equal protection, 42 U.S.C. § 1981
, and 42 U.S.C. § 1985(3)
require it to demonstrate the existence of a racially discriminatory intent on the part of the defendants. See Village of Arlington Heights v. Metropolitan Housing Development Corp, 429 U.S. 252, 265, 50 L. Ed. 2d 450, 97 S. Ct. 555 (1977) (Fourteenth Amendment); General Building Contractors Assoc., Inc. v. Pennsylvania, 458 U.S. 375, 73 L. Ed. 2d 835, 102 S. Ct. 3141, (1982) (42 U.S.C. § 1981); Griffin v. Breckenridge, 403 U.S. 88, 102-03, 29 L. Ed. 2d 338, 91 S. Ct. 1790 (1971) (42 U.S.C. § 1985(3)).
Because direct evidence of discriminatory intent is extremely rare, the Supreme Court has set out frameworks for evaluating indirect evidence of discrimination. Each of Glen Mills' claims falls under a different constitutional or statutory provision and requires application of a different framework.
When evaluating indirect evidence of discrimination in equal protection cases under § 1983
, the court must consider the entire context of the allegedly discriminatory actions, focussing on the factors enumerated by the Supreme Court in Village of Arlington Heights. Arlington Heights, 429 U.S. at 267. The court must consider whether the defendants' actions impacted more heavily on one race than another, the historical background of those actions, the sequence of events which led up to the challenged actions, any departures by the defendants from normal procedures or disregard for factors normally considered important, and statements made by decision-makers. Arlington Heights, 429 U.S. at 267-269.
In asserting a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1981, however, a plaintiff seeking to rely upon indirect evidence of discrimination must follow the three-step procedure articulated by the Supreme Court in McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792, 36 L. Ed. 2d 668, 93 S. Ct. 1817 (1973), and Texas Dept. of Community Affairs v. Burdine, 450 U.S. 248, 67 L. Ed. 2d 207, 101 S. Ct. 1089 (1981). Under this framework, a § 1981 plaintiff must first establish a prima facie case of discrimination by showing that 1) it is a member of, or associated with, a racial minority; 2) it attempted to contract, or sought "the benefit of [the] laws . . . enjoyed by white citizens"; 3) it was qualified to do so; and 4) the contract or benefit was still available after the plaintiff was turned away. See Chauhan v. M. Alfieri Co., Inc., 897 F.2d 123, 127 (3d Cir. 1990). Once the prima facie case is established, the defendant must respond with a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for its actions. Id. When the defendant has satisfied that requirement, the burden shifts back to the plaintiff to prove that the defendant's reason is a pretext for discrimination. St. Mary's Honor Center v. Hicks, U.S. , 125 L. Ed. 2d 407, 113 S. Ct. 2742, 2749 (1993); Chauhan, 897 F.2d at 127.
Prior to Hicks, this Circuit required a § 1981 plaintiff proceeding under the McDonnell Douglas and Burdine framework to demonstrate only that the defendant's proffered reasons for the alleged discriminatory act were pretextual, and not that the true motive was discrimination. Chauhan, 897 F.2d at 128-29. The Supreme Court, however, held in Hicks that a Title VII plaintiff proceeding under that framework must prove both pretext and discriminatory intent. Hicks, 113 S. Ct. at 2749. In Hicks, the Supreme Court agreed with the trial judge's decision that, while the plaintiff had established the existence of a campaign to terminate him, he had neither presented evidence nor raised an inference that the defendants' motivation was racial animus. Hicks, 113 S. Ct. at 2747-48. The Court went on to explain that, while it is permissible for the district judge to infer discriminatory intent from the facts of the prima facie case and the plaintiff's refutation of the defendant's explanation, that inference is not compelled. Id.
While neither the Supreme Court nor the Third Circuit has addressed the issue of whether the same burden should apply in § 1981 cases, both courts have previously acknowledged that the McDonnell Douglas and Burdine framework is used identically in Title VII and § 1981 cases. See Patterson v. McLean Credit Union, 491 U.S. 164, 186, 105 L. Ed. 2d 132, 109 S. Ct. 2363 (1989); Chauhan, 897 F.2d at 126. Since, according to the Supreme Court, Hicks was a clarification, not a modification, of Burdine, logic compels the application of the holding of Hicks to § 1981 cases. See Hicks, 113 S. Ct. at 2750-56 (Court's discussion of why its holding in Hicks comports with Burdine). I will therefore follow the lead of the Seventh Circuit and Judge Reed of this District in applying Hicks to § 1981 claims. See Pilditch v. Board of Education of the City of Chicago, 3 F.3d 1113, 1116 (7th Cir. 1993); Caldwell v. Frances Nurses Directory, 1993 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14355, No. 92-4834, 1993 WL 409163, at *5 (E.D. Pa. Oct. 8, 1993).
Yet a third framework applies to the use of indirect evidence to establish discriminatory intent under a conspiracy claim pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1985(3). The Supreme Court recently stated in Bray v. Alexandria Women's Health Clinic, U.S. , 113 S. Ct. 753, 122 L. Ed. 2d 34 (1993), that § 1985(3) requires proof that the defendants acted because of the plaintiff's membership in (or association with) the suspect class, not because of those class members' participation in an activity of which the defendants disapprove. Bray, 113 S. Ct. at 759.
As these frameworks and the claims they encompass are analytically distinct, I will address each of Glen Mills' claims of racially motivated treatment separately.
A. Proof of Racial Animus In Glen Mills' Equal Protection Claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983