and the destruction of their relationship with their
granddaughter." Pls.' Br. at III.B.4. As discussed in the
preceding section, these charges do not describe an illegal act.
In any event, Plaintiffs did receive information from Defendant,
and were aware of "what the TEAM was doing" as far as was
relevant to the treatment of their granddaughter. Plaintiff Kay
Gordon admits that she was entirely aware of the plans for
adoption by the foster parents. See Defs.' Ex. C. at 55-56,
Also, there is no deprivation of civil rights demonstrated by
the facts in this case. The requirements for establishing a cause
of action under 42 U.S.C. S 1985(3) are set forth in a line of
Supreme Court cases beginning with the decision in Griffin v.
Breckenridge, 403 U.S. 88, 91 S.Ct. 1790, 29 L.Ed.2d 338
(1971).*fn6 In Griffin, the Supreme Court clarified that the
reach of section 1985(3) is limited to private conspiracies
predicated on "racial, or perhaps otherwise class based,
invidiously discriminatory animus." Id. at 102, 91 S.Ct. 1790.
To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. S 1985(3), a plaintiff must
allege: (1) a conspiracy; (2) motivated by a racial or class
based discriminatory animus designed to deprive, directly or
indirectly, any person or class of persons to the equal
protection of the laws; (3) an act in furtherance of the
conspiracy; and (4) an injury to person or property or the
deprivation of any right or privilege of a citizen of the United
States. United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America
Local 610 v. Scott, 463 U.S. 825, 828-29, 103 S.Ct. 3352, 77
L.Ed.2d 1049 (1983); Griffin at 102-03, 91 S.Ct. 1790. This was
reaffirmed in Bray v. Alexandria Women's Health Clinic,
506 U.S. 263, 268, 113 S.Ct. 753, 122 L.Ed.2d 34 (1993), and has been
applied in the Third Circuit. See, e.g., Lake v. Arnold,
112 F.3d 682, 685-686 (3d Cir. 1997).
In the instant case, the alleged violation of Plaintiffs'
rights is not alleged to have been not motivated by racial or
otherwise class-based animus. Because the facts do not support
claims of conspiracy or of civil rights violations, Plaintiffs §
1985 allegations must fail.
C. Sixth Amendment Right To Counsel
Plaintiff's claim that they were denied a right to counsel as
guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment. Unsurprisingly, Plaintiffs
fail to substantiate this claim, as the Sixth Amendment's right
to effective assistance of counsel is unambiguously limited to
criminal prosecutions. U.S. CONST.AM. VI.
D. Statute of Limitations
In the alternative, Defendants raise a statute of limitations
defense, arguing that Plaintiffs' case was not commenced "within
two years of the date that they knew or . . . should have known
of the alleged injury and that said injury was allegedly caused
by Defendant[s]." Def. Lowell's Br. at 21. We find that the facts
support Defendants' argument, and that Plaintiffs failed to
satisfy the applicable statutes of limitations.
Neither § 1983 nor § 1985 contains a specific statute of
limitations; instead, courts look to state law for applicable
limitations periods. In § 1983 cases, courts apply the statute of
limitations applicable to personal injury actions in the state in
which they sit. See Wilson v. Garcia, 471 U.S. 261, 276-78, 105
S.Ct. 1938, 85 L.Ed.2d 254 (1985); Sameric Corp. of Delaware v.
City of Philadelphia, 142 F.3d 582, 599 (3d Cir. 1998). This is
true of all § 1983 claims, regardless of the type of violation
asserted. See Wilson, 471 U.S. at 272, 105 S.Ct. 1938; 287
Corporate Ctr. Assocs. v. Twp. of Bridgewater, 101 F.3d 320, 323
(3d Cir. 1996). For § 1985 actions, courts apply the analogous
state statute of limitations. See Swietlowich v.
County of Bucks, 610 F.2d 1157, 1162 (3rd Cir. 1979); see also
Hobson v. Wilson, 737 F.2d 1 (C.A.D.C. 1984); Newberger v. U.S.
Marshals Service, 751 F.2d 1162 (11th Cir. 1985); Hussey v.
Sullivan, 651 F.2d 74 (1st Cir. 1981).
The applicable statute of limitations in this case is two
years. In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for personal
injury under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 is two years. See 42 Pa.C.S.A. §
5524(2). Also, the analogous statute of limitations for the §
1985 claim is two years. See id. (statute of limitations
includes actions in negligence and personal injury, including
intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress).
Plaintiff Kay Gordon testified that in 1995 she was aware of
the adoption of V.K. See Def. Lowell's Ex. C at 60. Plaintiffs
hired legal counsel on this basis and petitioned to intervene in
the dependency action. Additionally, Plaintiffs received a letter
from Defendant Lowell in September 1995 clearly explaining that
the foster parents, and not the grandparents, were being
considered as adoptive resources. See Def. Lowell's Ex. D.
Clearly, Plaintiffs had knowledge of the alleged injuries in
1995, and could have filed the present case no later than two
Plaintiffs argue that they "received very little information .
. . prior to filing their Petition to Intervene in October 1995."
III.C. They claim it was after receiving Defendant Lowell's
November 1996 letter and the therapy with Ms. Mullis that
"certain facts began to emerge." However, they do not state what
facts emerged at that time that are at all relevant to their
claims, beyond averring that "even at that late date they had
only began [sic] to receive sufficient information to enable them
to see that their civil rights had been violated." Id. Not all
withheld information is relevant to the pursuit of a claim
against a party. Ms. Lowell's treatment notes of V.K. and
therapeutic decisions about V.K., beyond the information provided
to Plaintiffs, was superfluous, and irrelevant to the instant
case. Without identifying what information they received at that
point that enlightened them to civil rights or any other
violations, Plaintiffs fail to demonstrate to this court that the
statute of limitations should not begin to run until November
1996 or later.
Also, it is irrelevant that Plaintiffs did not know of BCCYS's
claimed role in the alleged conspiracy until November 1996. The
limitations period will begin to run even if Plaintiffs do not
know all of the facts necessary for their claim. Zeleznik v.
United States, 770 F.2d 20, 22-23 (3d Cir. 1985), cert. denied,
475 U.S. 1108, 106 S.Ct. 1513, 89 L.Ed.2d 913 (1986); see also
de de Botton v. Marple Twp., 689 F. Supp. 477, 480 (E.D.Pa. 1988)
("A section 1983 cause of action accrues when the plaintiff knew
or should have known of the injury upon which its action is
based."); Sameric v. City of Philadelphia, 142 F.3d 582, 599
(3d Cir. 1998); Lanning v. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transp.
Auth., 176 F.R.D. 132, 146 (E.D.Pa. 1997). They need only
sufficient notice to alert them of the need to begin
investigating. Zeleznik at 22-23. Moreover, the claim accrues
upon knowledge of the actual injury, not that the injury
constitutes a legal wrong. Id.
Plaintiffs' claimed damages stem from the choice to reject them
as custodians or adoptive parents for V.K.. Given that they had
knowledge of the alleged injury in 1995, their claim fails on
statute of limitations grounds. The Plaintiffs received reports
from Defendant following court hearings in 1995, they retained
counsel in 1995 to represent their interests at dependency and
termination hearings, and they knew that V.K.'s foster parents
intended to adopt her. See e.g., Defs.' Ex. C. Their actual
knowledge of the injury occurred as of 1995. However, Plaintiffs
did not file the instant case until November 20, 1998, more than
three years after the alleged injury and their knowledge thereof.
Under the applicable Pennsylvania statute of limitations, the
case is time-barred.
E. Pendent State Law Claims
Having dismissed Plaintiffs' federal action, we will not
consider Plaintiffs' pendent state law claims. 28 U.S.C.A. § 1367
(a) . . . [I]n any civil action of which the district
courts have original jurisdiction, the district
courts shall have supplemental jurisdiction over all
other claims that are so related to claims in the
action within such original jurisdiction that they
form part of the same case or controversy under
Article III of the United States Constitution. . . ..
(c) The district courts may decline to exercise
supplemental jurisdiction over a claim under
subsection (a) if . . . (3) the district court has
dismissed all claims over which it has original
jurisdiction. . . .
28 U.S.C. S 1367(a), (c).
Although we have the discretion to exercise supplemental
jurisdiction over the state law claims, we decline to do so based
on the consideration set forth in section 1367(c)(3), that we
have dismissed all claims over which we had original
jurisdiction. See Figueroa v. Buccaneer Hotel Inc.,
188 F.3d 172, 181 (3d Cir. 1999).
Indeed, the Third Circuit has recognized that, "where the claim
over which the district court has original jurisdiction is
dismissed before trial, the district court must decline to
decide the pendent state claims unless considerations of judicial
economy, convenience, and fairness to the parties provide an
affirmative justification for doing so." Borough of West Mifflin
v. Lancaster, 45 F.3d 780, 788 (3d Cir. 1995) (emphasis added).
Plaintiffs point to no fairness consideration in this case hat
would lead us to retain jurisdiction over the state law claims.
Moreover, because Pennsylvania state courts have not considered a
number of issues raised by Plaintiffs state law claims, including
those requiring statutory interpretation, it would be imprudent
of us to decide those issues in the absence of compelling
Our dismissal of Plaintiffs state law claims will not prejudice
them on statute of limitations grounds from bringing such claims
in state court. When it codified the law of supplemental
jurisdiction, Congress expressly provided:
The period of limitations for any claim asserted
under section (a), and for any other claim in the
same action that is voluntarily dismissed at the same
time as or after the dismissal of the claim under
subsection (a), shall be tolled while the claim is
pending and for a period of 30 days after it is
dismissed unless State law provides for a longer
28 U.S.C. S 1367(d); see also Hedges v. Musco,