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ERVIN v. LANIER

November 24, 1975

LORENZO EDWARD ERVIN, Jr., Plaintiff,
v.
BILLY RAY LANIER, individually and in his official capacity as Public Safety Officer, Agency for International Development, U.S. Department of State BYRON ENGLE, indy... capacity as Director, Office of Pub Safety, Agency for Intl Dev, US Department of State THOMAS HUGHES, indy... (former) Director of Intelligence & Res. Div. US Dept of State ONE UNKNOWN OFFICER, indy... as a Public Official of the US State Dept, assgd to US Consulate, Berlin Germany DR. JOHN A. HANNAH, indy as Adm'r of the Agency for Intl Develop. GEORGE E. REYNOLDS,... as Senior Consular Officer, US Mission, Berlin, Germany, U.S. Dept of State WM P. ROGERS... as (former) Secretary of State for U.S. PAN AMERICAN WORLD AIRWAYS, INC., and int'l air transport corp. JOHN N. MITCHELL,... (former) Atty Gen of U.S. JOHN EDGAR HOOVER, through his estate and its Executor, indy and... as (former) capacity as Dir FBI MELVIN R. LAIRD,... (former)officer... Secy of Def LT. GENERAL JOSEPH F. CARROLL, indy... (former) Dir Def Intllignece Agency US Dept of Defense STANLEY R. RESOR,... as (former) official capacity as Secy of Army, Dept of Army



The opinion of the court was delivered by: PLATT

OPINION and ORDER

 PLATT, D.J.

 Defendant, Pan American World Airways, Inc. ("Pan Am"), moves for an order pursuant to FRCP 12(b)(6) dismissing plaintiff's complaint as against said defendant insofar as it is based on alleged violations of Title 42, United States Code §§ 1983, 1985 or 1986 on the grounds that it is time-barred by the applicable Statute of Limitations, and insofar as it is based on alleged violations of various federal criminal statutes on such grounds and the further ground that it fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

 The Complaint

 In his complaint plaintiff seeks to recover $1,000,000 against each of the named defendants for an alleged conspiracy to violate his civil rights in connection with his arrest in the Republic of Germany by various law enforcement officials of the United States government between September 22 and September 24, 1969, and for neglecting to prevent the "illegal surveillance, force, interrogation and detention" of the plaintiff.

 Plaintiff commenced his action by filing a complaint in this Court on or about November 27, 1974.

 Jurisdiction is alleged to be obtained under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331(a) and 1343 and the Constitution of the United States, and also by reason of diversity of citizenship between the parties under 28 U.S.C. § 1332.

 The complaint alleges that plaintiff is a prisoner of the Federal Prison System at the U.S. Penitentiary, Marion, Illinois; that he was charged with the piracy of an Eastern Airlines jet, No. 955 en route from Atlanta, Georgia, to Miami, Florida, and the kidnapping of its pilot on February 25, 1969; that he was indicted by a grand jury in the Northern District of Georgia on March 10, 1969; was tried and subsequently found guilty by a jury in June of 1970, and sentenced to life imprisonment -- the jury declining to impose the death penalty.

 In amplification of this summary, the complaint further alleges that the Eastern Airlines jet which was hijacked on February 25, 1969 while en route from Atlanta, Georgia, to Miami, Florida, was diverted to the Republic of Cuba. After plaintiff's indictment on March 10, 1969, a warrant for his arrest was issued and a manhunt for plaintiff was begun. In April of 1969 plaintiff was issued a Cuban passport and placed aboard a flight to Czechoslovakia where he was to be given political asylum. In May of 1969, plaintiff went to the American Embassy in Prague to renounce his American citizenship where he was detained to face the pending charges in the United States. The complaint alleges that while under physical and mental coercion he was made to sign "voluntary repatriation" papers and while he was being escorted by the Embassy personnel to an automobile to take him to the airport, he struck one of the agents with his fist, grabbed the envelope with the airline ticket and the Cuban passport and escaped. Thereafter, plaintiff made his way to East Germany where he was found by United States agents on September 22, 1969 at a youth hostel in East Berlin. On September 23d he was taken to the United States Consulate where he was informed that he would be "returned to stand trial in the United States on charges of Air Piracy and Kidnapping".

 The complaint then alleges that, because he refused to cooperate by signing a statement saying that he was the wanted person and "voluntary repatriation papers," he was physically abused by various representatives of the United States government and after considerable "brutal treatment" and while "in a seriously weakened condition" he agreed to sign an incriminating statement, submit to interrogation and sign the repatriation forms.

 On September 24th, after having spent the night under house arrest, he was brought to the Consulate about noon and told that he was booked aboard a flight to the United States.

 With respect to the defendant, Pan Am, the complaint then alleges that the defendant Lanier (the International Relations Officer of the Office of Public Safety, U.S. Department of State, assigned to the U.S. Mission in Berlin, Germany), "told the plaintiff that he had to be searched again, that the Captain of the plane ordered it" and that he was then forced to remove all his clothes for a strip search. The plaintiff was also told that the Captain felt that the plaintiff should be given a mild tranquilizer to keep him from becoming "excited" during the flight and accordingly, plaintiff was injected with an unknown drug. Thereafter, plaintiff was taken to the airport where they were met by the Captain of the flight who advised them to "keep him in the back of the plane and away from the passengers and crew" and to keep him from getting off the plane "until we reach New York". The Captain is then further alleged to have asked plaintiff's escorts "whether they were armed, they replied 'yes', and he said that was 'good', but that he wanted 'no shooting' but, if necessary, to 'handcuff him' in the event of 'trouble'. The Captain is also alleged to have offered the escorts the service of a Pan Am Security Officer to accompany them or to meet them at the airport in New York, but the escorts advised that this was unnecessary.

 The complaint then alleges that plaintiff was put aboard the aircraft and that he slept during almost the entire trip to New York.

 Finally with respect to Pan Am, the complaint alleges that "the said defendants, Pan American World Airways, Inc., conspired in major aspects with the above named defendants to ...


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