The opinion of the court was delivered by: MOTLEY
This action arises out of a dispute between plaintiff and defendants' Underhill Park Association ("Underhill Defendants") an alleged association comprised of members Ron Gallo, Robert DeMeo, Marilyn Morgante, 'John Doe' and 'Jane Doe' and defendants' Richard Carroll, individually and as Building Inspector of the Village of Tuckahoe; Matthew A. Marino, Sheila R. Clarke and Jesse Nicotera, individually and as members of the Board of Trustee of the Village of Tuckahoe; and Philip A. White, individually and as Mayor of the Village of Tuckahoe ("Village Defendants"), regarding plaintiffs' premises at 56 Underhill Street in the Village of Tuckahoe, the upkeep of said property and plaintiff's rights concerning the rental of the premises to African American tenants.
Between March, 1991 and July, 1991, plaintiff rented his three family house at 56 Underhill Street, Tuckahoe, New York to three African-American families. He alleges that defendant DeMeo threatened, coerced, and intimidated him by stating to him that plaintiff "should not be renting to niggers because it decreases property value in the neighborhood." Complaint P 12. Thereafter, plaintiff contends that the individual Underhill defendants formed the unincorporated association, Underhill Park Taxpayer Association ("Association"), for the purpose of meeting, combining and conspiring to remove the African-American tenants from plaintiff's house and, hence, the neighborhood. About August, 1991, plaintiff claims that he was invited to attend a meeting of the Association in which each Underhill defendant was present. At the meeting, plaintiff alleges that he was informed of the unanimous opposition by the Association's members to plaintiff's renting to the African American tenants. Plaintiff alleges he was told to evict the African American tenants and was threatened with retaliatory measures if he did not. He states in his complaint that he refused to evict the tenants.
As a result of his refusal, plaintiff alleges that the Underhill defendants conspired to cause false complaints to be filed against him with the Village of Tuckahoe for violating Village codes, laws and regulations. As part of the conspiracy, plaintiff alleges that defendants acting together, jointly and severally, caused a complaint to be filed alleging that he was operating an illegal boarding house and painted or caused to be painted the word "NIGGER" on the front of plaintiff's premises at 56 Underhill Street, Tuckahoe, New York. Plaintiff alleges that defendants' acted with the desire and intention of forcing the eviction and removal of the African American tenants, actions which plaintiff claims are in violation of his right to be free from coercion, intimidation and interference with respect to the exercise of his rights protected by the Federal Fair Housing Act of 1968 and various Civil Rights Acts.
In addition, plaintiff alleges that the Village defendants, through the actions of their agents, employees, or assigns, acting under the color and authority of state law, had knowledge of and combined in the aforesaid conspiracy to force the removal of the African American tenants by harassing plaintiff. Between July 1991 and September 1991, plaintiff claims the Village defendants' or their assigns received complaints from residents of the Underhill Street area that plaintiff had rented his premises at 56 Underhill Street to African Americans. Around this time, defendants' agents or assigns allegedly met with representatives of the Association and were informed of the Association's discontent with the race of the new tenants. He claims that the Village defendants', particularly through defendant Carroll, caused or authorized the various complaints to be filed and, more specifically, the summonses to be issued by the Village of Tuckahoe alleging that plaintiff operated the illegal boarding house.
Plaintiff alleges that because the Village of Tuckahoe and its agents and assigns had knowledge of the Associations' actions and intentions, the Village defendants aided in the conspiracy and retaliatory measures of the Association by neglecting or failing to prevent said actions. Plaintiff argues that his cause of action against the Village defendants arises out of their having acted acting under color and authority of state law to deny him the right to contract and rent his premises free from racial consideration and to deny him equal protection of the laws. Plaintiff alleges that both the Underhill defendants and the Village defendants are, jointly and severally, guilty of depriving him of his civil rights, loss of income, mental anguish, pain and humiliation.
II. Procedural History and Present Status of the Case.
On November 23, 1993, plaintiff commenced an action against defendant, Underhill Park Taxpayer Association, naming as its members, Ron Gallo, Robert DeMeo, Marilyn Morgante, and others unknown to the plaintiff identified respectively as "John Doe" and "Jane Doe", charging them with violating the Civil Rights Acts, as amended, 42 United States Code Sections 1981, 1982, 1985 (3); Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended, 42 U.S.C. sec. 3601, et seq., ("Fair Housing Act").
On January 20, 1994, plaintiff submitted to the Clerk of the Court a request to enter a default judgment against the Underhill defendants for failure to plead, answer, appear, or make a motion with respect to plaintiff's summons and complaint which plaintiff, by affidavit, states was served on each individual defendant. See Declaration in Support of Default. On January 28, 1994, this court entered a default judgement against the Underhill defendants pursuant to Rule 55(a).
By Order, the court then scheduled and later held an inquest on the issue of damages on September 16, 1994.
On August 8, 1994 plaintiff commenced a similar action against Richard Carroll, individually and as Building Inspector of the Village of Tuckahoe, Matthew A. Marino, Sheila R. Clarke and Jess Nicotera, individually and as members of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Tuckahoe and Philip A. White, individually and as Mayor of the Village of Tuckahoe ("Village defendants") charging the defendants with violating the same statutes. On November 15, 1994, the Village defendants submitted a motion requesting a change of venue from this Court
to the Southern District of New York, White Plains Division, on the grounds that each of the named defendants were residents of the Village of Tuckahoe and were sued in their official capacities with the Village of Tuckahoe; that the premises, at 56 Underhill Street, was located in the Village of Tuckahoe; that each of the litigants resided and the cause of action arose in Westchester County, that Tuckahoe was 15 minutes from the White Plains Courthouse; and that the case was originally filed in the White Plains Division of the Southern District but was later transferred to this Court due to the filing of the related action, Puglisi v. Underhill Taxpayers Association, et al., at Foley Square.
This court denied defendants' motion and subsequent motions to transfer venue. Pursuant to the Village defendants' initial motion to transfer the case to the White Plains Division, plaintiff filed a cross-motion for sanctions against defendants for signing and filing the motion to transfer in violation of Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
and requested attorney's fees for having to defend the motion.
On September 29, 1994, the Underhill defendants filed a Motion to Vacate the Default Judgment entered against them, alleging that service was not proper. Finally, on November 23, 1994, this court granted the Underhill Defendants' motion to vacate the default judgement, denied plaintiff's counsel's motion for attorney's fees without prejudice to renewal at the end of the case, consolidated both cases, and set a date for the exchange of documents and for the production of a schedule for depositions of all witnesses.
On September 21, 1994, the Village defendants filed an answer to plaintiff's complaint denying all of plaintiff's allegations, except as to Matthew A. Marino, Sheila R. Clarke and Jesse Nicotera being members of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Tuckahoe, Philip A. White being Mayor of the Village of Tuckahoe, and Richard Carroll being the Building Inspector of the Village of Tuckahoe. Defendants raised several affirmative defenses, including that plaintiff lacked standing to bring the action and failed to set forth facts by which a claim could be made, alleging that defendants acted, with respect to the premises owned by plaintiff at 55 and 56 Underhill Avenue, in accordance with all applicable rules, regulations and mandates of the Constitution and the State of New York and in good faith and in reasonable performance of their official duties. Likewise, on December 2, 1994, the Underhill defendant's filed an answer to plaintiff's complaint denying all of plaintiff's allegations and raising the same affirmative defenses as the Village defendants as to lack of standing and failure to state facts upon which a claim could be made.
On May 15, and June 5, 1996, pursuant to FRCP Rule 12(b)
, the Underhill defendants' and the Village defendants' each filed separate motions to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, arguing that plaintiff's complaint failed to establish "standing to raise the claims under the Fair Housing Act, Sections 1981 and 1982 of the Civil Rights Act." Alternatively, in the event the court granted standing, the defendants' requested that the court grant their motions for summary judgement
due to plaintiff's failure to produce evidence sufficient to establish a genuine issue warranting a trial on such claims.
Plaintiff's memorandum of law in opposition to defendants' motion for summary judgment conceded that standing was required to bring a justiciable claim before the court but argued that the Supreme Court requires a plaintiff to show only that he "personally has suffered some actual or threatened injury as a result of the putatively illegal conduct of the defendant," citing Valley Forge Christian College v. Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Inc., 454 U.S. 464, 472, 70 L. Ed. 2d 700, 102 S. Ct. 752 (1982) in support of his position. Plaintiff cites this case to support his argument that due to his personal economic, emotional, and mental injury, he has satisfied the standing requirement which imports justiciability to the federal courts.
Following a hearing on defendants' motion for summary judgment on September 26, 1996, this court held that plaintiff did have standing to bring several of his Civil Rights and Fair Housing Act claims; however, the court, nevertheless, dismissed plaintiff's complaint, granted defendants' motion for summary judgment and informed the parties that this opinion on the motions would follow.
For the reasons discussed herein, this court finds and concludes that plaintiff meets the standing requirement for his §§ 1981, 1982, 1983, and 3617 claims but does not meet the standing requirements to bring his § 1985(3) claim. Moreover, although plaintiff satisfies the standing requirement for the above noted claims, defendants' motion for summary judgement is still granted due to plaintiff's failure to establish by sufficient evidence a material issue warranting trial.
In this case, plaintiff alleges in his complaint that the Village defendants have deprived him of his right to equal protection of the laws in violation of § 1983 and that both defendants have denied him his right to contract in violation of § 1981, his right to equal housing opportunity in violation of § 1982 and the Fair Housing Act, § 3601, et seq, his right to exercise rights protected by the Fair Housing Act, § 3601 et seq, and §§ 1981, 1982, in violation of Sec. 1985(3), and, lastly, his right to be free from coercion or intimidation in the exercise of rights protected by the Fair Housing Act, § 3601 et seq, in violation of § 3617. Plaintiff maintains that these statutes provide him with the legal rights and interests sufficient to withstand the prudential principles by which the court determines standing. Plaintiff claims that in as much as these statutes vest an interest and legal right in him, he is entitled to judicial relief for defendants' alleged actions that have encroached upon his rights.
Defendants' main contention is that plaintiff, a non-minority, does not have standing to bring these claims of racial discrimination against minorities because the statutes pursuant to which plaintiff asserts his claims do not vest such a right in him and therefore, defendants' maintain that plaintiff's complaint is essentially an attempt to assert these claims on behalf of his African American tenants which is prohibited by the statutes and the requirements of standing.
Article III of the Constitution restricts federal court jurisdiction to "cases and controversies." U.S.CONST. art.III § 2. The Supreme Court has ruled that unless a plaintiff or petitioner can demonstrate the requisite 'case or controversy' between himself, personally, and defendant's actions, plaintiff can not seek relief. Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490, 502, 45 L. Ed. 2d 343, 95 S. Ct. 2197 (1975). In order for plaintiff to bring a case in federal court, the complainant must establish standing, which satisfies the "cases and controversy" requirement, by alleging and showing "that she has sustained or is in immediate danger of sustaining a direct injury resulting from the action of which she has complained." Id. at 525; Ex Parte Levitt, 302 U.S. 633, 634, 82 L. Ed. 493, 58 S. Ct. 1 (1937). The injury must be "sufficiently real and immediate", Blum v. Yaretsky, 457 U.S. 991, 1000, 102 S. Ct. 2777, 2783, 73 L. Ed. 2d 534 (1982) (quoting O'Shea v. Littleton, 414 U.S. 488, 496, 94 S. Ct. 669, 676, 38 L. Ed. 2d 674 (1974), as opposed to merely "'conjectural' or hypothetical'", O'Shea, 414 U.S. at 494, 94 S. Ct. at 675. The standing question turns on whether plaintiff "has alleged such a personal stake in the outcome of the controversy as to warrant invocation of federal court jurisdiction and to justify exercise of the court's remedial powers on his behalf." Warth v. Seldon, 422 U.S. at 498. In United States v. SCRAP, 412 U.S. 669, 93 S. Ct. 2405, 37 L. Ed. 2d 254 (1975), an environmental group brought an action against the United States and the Interstate Commerce Commission, in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, seeking a preliminary injunction to restrain enforcement of the Commission's orders allowing railroads to collect a 2.5% surcharge. SCRAP was an unincorporated association formed for the purpose of enhancing the quality of the human environment for its members and all citizens. On the issue of whether these plaintiffs had standing to bring their cause of action, the Court reasoned that the party seeking relief must be among those injured, "for it is this requirement that gives a litigant a direct stake in the controversy and prevents the judicial process from becoming no more than a vehicle for the vindication of the value interests of concerned bystanders". Id at 687.
The Supreme Court has also ruled that injury sufficient to meet the standing requirement includes economic and non-economic injury. In Association of Data Processing Service v. Camp, 397 U.S. 150, 25 L. Ed. 2d 184, 90 S. Ct. 827 (1970), plaintiffs, sellers of data processing services to businesses, challenged a ruling by the Comptroller of the Currency of the United States to allow national banks to provide data processing services to other banks and its customers. The Court ruled that plaintiff successfully established that the challenged action had caused him injury in fact, economic or otherwise, in that plaintiffs may suffer some future loss of profits from the competition of the national banks. The Court, in highlighting, both economic and non-economic injury noted: "we mention these non economic values to emphasize that standing may stem from them as well as from the economic injury on which petitioners rely here." 25 L. Ed. 2d at 188; See also Mackey v. Nationwide Insurance Companies, 724 F.2d 419 (4th Cir. 1984) (court held that black insurance agent claiming loss of commission income due to insurers alleged redlining practices met the constitutional requirement of standing).
One further preliminary issue requiring discussion is the standard courts are to apply in determining motions to dismiss for lack of standing. In Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. at 501, the Supreme Court held;
For purposes of ruling on a motion to dismiss for want of standing, both the trial and reviewing courts must accept as true all material allegations of the complaint, and must construe the complaint in favor of the complaining party. At the same time, it is within the trial court's power to allow or to require the plaintiff to supply, by amendment to the complaint or by affidavits, further particularized allegations of fact deemed supportive of plaintiff's standing.
Id. "Although standing in no way depends on the merits of the plaintiff's contention that the particular conduct complained of is illegal," Id. at 355; See also Flast v. Cohen, 392 U.S. 83, 99, 88 S. Ct. 1942, 1952, 20 L. Ed. 2d 947 (1968), plaintiff must allege facts from which it may be reasonably inferred that he was or could have been injured in fact by the conduct, if the allegations were proved at trial. "Pleadings must be more than an ingenuous academic exercise in the conceivable [injury]...by the challenged agency action...It is equally clear that the allegations must be true and capable of proof at trial." United States v. SCRAP, 412 U.S. at 688-689.
The Second Circuit has extended the Supreme Court's ruling on the standard and procedure District Courts should follow in deciding a motion to dismiss for lack of standing. In Alliance of American Insurers v. Cuomo, 854 F.2d 591 (2d Cir. 1988), the court held that under certain circumstances, the District Court should afford plaintiffs an opportunity to take limited discovery and justify their claim of justiciability at a hearing and reasoned that failure to do so can be held an abuse of discretion. Id. at 596 (citing Kamen v. American Telephone & Telegraph Co., 791 F.2d 1006, 1011 (2d. Cir. 1986)); See Williamson v. Tucker, 645 F.2d 404, 414 (5th Cir. 1981) cert. denied, 454 U.S. 897, 102 S. Ct. 396, 70 L. Ed. 2d 212 (1981) (where the facts supporting jurisdiction are complicated, discovery and taking testimony is advisable before a court grants a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction); See also United States v SCRAP, 412 U.S. 669, 37 L. Ed. 2d 254, 93 S. Ct. 2405 (1973) (where plaintiff alleges a specific and perceptible harm which defendants dispute, the proper course is for defendant to move for summary judgment on the issue of justiciability and demonstrate to the court that no genuine issue of fact exists).
With these general considerations in mind, the court turns to this case to analyze the issues of standing in view of Article III restraints placed upon this court and the standard this court must apply in ruling on defendants' motion to dismiss for lack of standing. In this case, defendants' moved the court to dismiss plaintiff's claim for lack of standing on the grounds that plaintiff is a Caucasian male attempting to bring a racial discrimination action on behalf of his African American tenants. In the event standing is granted, defendants' have disputed most, if not all, of plaintiff's factual allegations and, pursuant to the law of this Circuit, properly moved this court to grant a motion for summary judgment which the court granted and is discussed in this opinion below.
This court held a hearing at which plaintiff was given an opportunity to establish standing before the court ruled on the pending motion. Plaintiff (in his Reply Memo Opposing the Motion for Summary Judgment and on the hearing) argued that he, himself, was injured by the racially discriminatory practices of the defendants' because they were aimed and executed against him. Plaintiff cited the alleged incident in which defendant DeMeo approached him in an intimidating manner and told him that he should not be renting to niggers, and alleged that defendants' engaged in actions that prevented him from renting to African Americans and from exercising his rights as a property owner and landlord.
This court finds that even if it did not consider the factual allegations offered at the hearing, there is no doubt that Plaintiff has met the Article III requirements for standing. Since standing does not turn on the merits of plaintiff's contention of illegal conduct and taking the allegations in the complaint as true, the court accepts as true for purposes of determining standing, the allegations of both complaints.
The court finds it reasonable to infer from the factual allegations that plaintiff suffered a personal injury from defendants' alleged actions. Based on the allegations and complaint, plaintiff has shown that he has a personal stake in the outcome of the controversy due to both his economic and non-economic injury. Hence, plaintiff has satisfied the constitutional requirement of standing.
III. Prudential Limitations on Standing
The Supreme Court has ruled that the constitutional requirement is only the minimum mandate that a plaintiff must meet to invoke the court's decisional and remedial powers. In a series of decisions, the Court has noted that the federal judiciary adheres to a set of prudential principles that bear on the question of standing. Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490, 95 S. Ct. 2197, 45 L. Ed. 2d 343 (1975); Gladstone Realtors v. Village of Bellwood, 441 U.S. 91, 99 S. Ct. 1601, 60 L. Ed. 2d 66 (1979); Village Forge College v. Americans United, 454 U.S. 464, 102 S. Ct. 752, 70 L. Ed. 2d 700 (1982). Even when a case falls within the constitutional boundaries of the 'case or controversy' requirement, a plaintiff may still lack standing under the prudential principles "by which the judiciary seeks to limit access to the federal courts to those litigants best suited to assert a particular claim," Gladstone, 441 U.S. at 99-100.
The Court has ruled that prudential principles prohibit plaintiff from asserting generalized grievances or abstract questions of wide public significance and limit plaintiff to asserting only his own legal interests or rights and not the legal rights or interests of third parties. In Warth, 422 U.S. 490, 45 L. Ed. 2d 343, 95 S. Ct. 2197, the Court reasoned that actual or threatened injury required by Article III may exist solely by statutes creating legal rights, the violation of which establishes standing. These statutes become critical, apart from Article III minimum requirements, because they "properly can be understood as granting persons in the plaintiff's position a right to judicial relief...and assumes critical importance with respect to the prudential rules of standing...." Id. at 490, 500. Plaintiff's complaint must fall within "the zone of interests to be protected or regulated by the statute or constitutional guarantee in question." Association of Data Processing, 397 U.S. at 153; See also Village Forge College, 454 U.S. at 475.
Because defendants' make a general attack on plaintiff's standing to bring the various claims without distinguishing between them and without asserting separate arguments for each, the court will discuss the general principles of each of plaintiff's Civil Rights and Fair Housing Act claims to determine whether plaintiff's complaint falls within the 'zone of interests' protected and regulated, thereby satisfying the Court's prudential considerations of standing.
The issue in the present case is whether Sec. 1981
vest rights in Plaintiff to bring this racial discrimination claim, the violation of which would impart standing to him thereby satisfying the additional limitations of the prudential principles applied by federal courts in standing questions. The Second Circuit has provided a foundation for discussing the general principles of § 1981 and § 1982. On § 1981, the Court notes;
"the statue has long been viewed as prohibiting certain forms of discrimination based on race, see, e.g., Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356, 369, 374, 6 S. Ct. 1064, 1070, 1073, 30 L. Ed. 220 (1886), and its reference to rights enjoyed by white citizens establishes the 'racial character of the rights being protected,' McDonald v. Santa Fe Trail Transp. Co., 427 U.S. 273, 293, 96 S. Ct. 2574, 2585, 49 L. Ed. 2d 493 (1976) (quoting Georgia v. Rachel, 384 U.S. 780, 791, 86 S. Ct. 1783, 1789, 16 L. Ed. 2d 925 (1966)).
Albert v. Carovano, 851 F.2d 561 (2d Cir. 1988). Moreover, the court, in DeMatteis v. Eastman Kodak Company, 511 F.2d 306 (2nd Cir. 1975), holds that sections 1981 and 1982 of Title 42 are both derived from section 1 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 reenacted after adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment. Therefore, words which are common to both those sections, therefore, must be construed consistently. Id. at 312.
Furthermore, in accordance with the understanding of the drafters of the civil rights statutes, courts have interpreted race to include 'white' and have asserted that standing under these statutes is not denied because the plaintiff is white In Clifton Terrace Associates v. United Technologies Corp, 728 F. Supp. 24 (D.D.C 1990), the court cites many supporting cases when it asserts that "as a threshold matter, the fact that plaintiff is a business owned and operated by white individuals does not bar it from bringing a civil rights action in federal court." Id. at 31; See McDonald v. Santa Fe Trail Transp. Co., 427 U.S. 273, 96 S. Ct. 2574, 49 L. Ed. 2d 493 (1976) (court held that white employee discriminated against has standing to bring civil action); See also Des Vergnes v. Seekonk Water Dist., 601 F.2d 9 (1st Cir. 1979), vacated on other grounds, 454 U.S. 807, 102 S. Ct. 81, 70 L. Ed. 2d 76 (1981).
Courts have extended the coverage of the statutes beyond state action to reach and include unofficial acts of private individuals that also violate the statutes. See Sullivan v. Little Hunting Park, 396 U.S. 229, 235, 90 S. Ct. 400, 24 L. Ed. 2d 386, 392 (1969). Lastly, in interpreting the requirements of standing for legal claims under these sections, the courts have reasoned that "prudential limitations on standing ordinarily require that an action under section 1981 or 1982 be brought by the direct victims of the alleged discrimination because they are best situated to assert the individual rights in question." Clifton Terrace Associates v. United Technologies Corporation, 289 U.S. App. D.C. 121, 929 F.2d 714, 721 (D.C. Cir. 1991); See Sterngass v. Bowman, 563 F. Supp. 456 (S.D.N.Y. 1983) (court ruled that in actions commenced under the civil rights statutes, plaintiffs may only sue for deprivation of their own constitutionally and federally protected rights and not the rights of others); See also Javits v. Stevens, 382 F. Supp. 131 (S.D.N.Y. 1974). Therefore, a plaintiff, generally, cannot commence an action based on the rights of others or on behalf of the rights of third parties.
Turning to this case, plaintiff accuses defendants', who are both private individuals and public officials, of violating his rights. He alleges that the discrimination was due to race, not his race but the race of his tenants and that the racial discrimination caused him harm as a result. Defendants staunchly argue that plaintiff, given the case law, does not satisfy standing because he is not a member of the class the statutes were meant to protect, that is those discriminated against because of their race and maintains that any attempt to separate the injury to the plaintiff and injury to the African American tenants fails because the alleged discriminatory activities were targeted against and motivated by racial animus against the tenants, the direct victims. Therefore, defendants argue that plaintiff is trying to bring these claims on behalf of the direct victims, his African American tenants.
Defendants' cite this courts opinion in Hotel St. George Associates v. Morgenstern, 819 F. Supp. 310 (S.D.N.Y., 1993), as the precedent case on this issue. In that case, a hotel association brought an action under §§ 1981 and 1982, on behalf of it's black and latino HIV and AIDS infected tenants against individual members of community organizations for civil rights violations arising from the organizations' efforts to limit the number of black and latino HIV and AIDS infected individuals who reside on the premises. "The plaintiff's complaint alleged that defendants' letters and communications with various city and civic organizations were a campaign of harassment and intimidation that was motivated by racial bias against the predominantly Black and Latino residents of the Hotel because defendants action allegedly resulted in a cap of 65 AIDS and HIV positive residents being set." Id. at 317. This Court held that the Association, itself, had not been discriminated against on the basis of race or sex within the terms of 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1981 and 1982. The harm to the Association, if any, occurred because plaintiff had rented to blacks and latinos with AIDS.
In this action, as defendants' point out, Plaintiff makes similar allegations in his complaint as those alleged by plaintiff in Hotel St. George, alleging that the Underhill defendants filed Village code violations and false complaints of fire and zoning violations against plaintiff. Plaintiff asserts that the Underhill defendants caused to be issued by the Village defendants a false summons claiming plaintiff operated an illegal boarding house. He maintains that the actions of the defendants were intended to force him, the landlord to evict the African Americans, thereby violating his rights. In his complaint, he implies that the false complaints and harassment did not begin until he rented his premises to the African American tenants.
Defendants would have the court rule, in the present case, that, in essence, like the Hotel St. George defendants, defendants' alleged actions were motivated by racial bias against plaintiff's tenants due to the tenants' race and that defendants' actions were ultimately intended to force the eviction of the African American tenants. Therefore, plaintiff should be barred from bringing this claim because the tenants were the direct victims of the alleged discriminatory practices. Any attempt by plaintiff, directly or indirectly, to base his claim on the rights of his tenants is insufficient for standing. Defendants point to Hotel St. George where this court held that "neither the federal statutes nor the New York statutes provide a cause of action for a property owner or provider of services against members of the community on behalf of residents or potential residents." 819 F. Supp. at 318.
However, there is a clear distinction between Hotel St. George and the case before the court which defendants' fail to realize. In Hotel St. George, there is no indication that the hotel was alleging injury on its own behalf but was clearly trying to bring the claim on behalf of its black and latino HIV and AIDS infected tenants, the direct victims of the alleged discriminatory actions. In the opinion, the court notes: "plaintiff in its complaint attempted to assert the rights of Black and Latino residents and potential residents," Id., which this court rejected. See also National Organization For Women v. Sperry Rand Corp., 457 F. Supp. 1338, 1347 (D.Conn. 1978) (citing Wisconsin NOW v. State of Wisconsin, 417 F. Supp. 978, 982 (W.D.Wis. 1978)) (court rejected white plaintiff's attempt to raise the rights of blacks because there was no allegation of injury to herself).
Plaintiff does not allege that he is a member of the class directly protected by the civil rights provisions but instead alleges that he suffered injuries that stemmed from discrimination against his African American tenants, who as African Americans, are members of a protected class. The issue before the court then is whether plaintiff has standing to sue under these statutes for indirect or derivative injury suffered by him, a non minority, as a result of discrimination aimed at African Americans. The Supreme Court has held that "in some circumstances, countervailing considerations may outweigh the concerns underlying the usual reluctance to exert judicial power when the plaintiff's claim to relief rests on the legal rights of third parties...In such instances, the Court has found, in effect, that the constitutional or statutory provision in question implies a right of action in the plaintiff." Warth, 422 U.S. at 500-501 (citing United States v. Raines, 362 U.S. 17, 22-23, 4 L. Ed. 2d 524, 80 S. Ct. 519 (1960); Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510, 69 L. Ed. 1070, 45 S. Ct. 571, 39 ALR 468 (1925); Sullivan v. Little Hunting Park Inc., 396 U.S. 229, 237, 24 L. Ed. 2d 386, 90 S. Ct. 400 (1969)).
An analysis of standing in the case before the court must begin with Sullivan, the seminal case on this issue. In that case, the Supreme Court upheld the standing of a white plaintiff to sue under § 1982 for injures deriving from discrimination against an African American man. Sullivan, the plaintiff, a white man, was a member of defendant's corporation which operated a community park and playground for the benefit of its members, residents in the neighboring area. If a member leased his home, he could assign his membership to the tenant subject to approval from the corporation board. Sullivan bought another home in the same area and leased his first house, along with its membership rights in the park corporation, to Freeman, an African American man. The corporation objected to the assignment because the tenant was black and when Sullivan protested, both were expelled from the membership. Sullivan and Freeman sued the corporation pursuant to §§ 1981, 1982.
The Court concluded that because Little Hunting Park was a residential area open to whites and based its selection criteria only on race, the denial of the black lessee's and white plaintiff landlord's agreement was a "device functionally comparable to a racially restrictive covenant." Id. at 392. Furthermore, the Court, in discussing only § 1982, held that plaintiff, Sullivan, had standing to sue for his own expulsion from the corporation:
We turn to Sullivan's expulsion for the advocacy of Freeman's cause. If that sanction, backed by a state court judgment, can be imposed, then Sullivan is punished for trying to vindicate the rights of minorities protected by § 1982. Such a sanction would give impetus to the perpetuation of racial restrictions on property. That is why we said in Barrows v. Jackson, 346 U.S. 249, 259, 73 S. Ct. 1031, 1036, 97 L. Ed. 1586 (1953), that the white owner is at times "the only effective adversary" of the unlawful restrictive covenant. Under the terms of our decision in Barrows, there can be no question but that Sullivan has standing to maintain this action.
396 U.S. at 237, 24 L. Ed. 2d 386 at , 90 S. Ct. at 404.
Although the actions and circumstances, in this case, surrounding Plaintiff's allegations do not amount to a racially restrictive covenant, one of the deciding factors in Sullivan, the court upholds plaintiff's standing under both § 1982 and § 1981 on the theory that the non-minority plaintiff here has been personally injured for attempting to vindicate the rights of his tenants as alleged in his complaints.
the Supreme Court held that 'Sullivan has standing to maintain this action.' 396 U.S. at 237, 90 S. Ct. At 404. Although the Court referred explicitly to s 1982 in setting out the rationale for its position, see 396 U.S. at 237, 90 S. Ct. 400, it did not limit its holding on the standing issue to that section of the Civil Rights Act. We need not rest upon the Supreme Court's disposition of the s 1981 claim in Sullivan v. Little Hunting Park, however, in holding as we do, that a white person who has suffered injury to some legally cognizable interest as a result of ...trying to vindicate the rights of (non-white) minorities...' has standing to sue for a violation of 42 U.S.C. s 1981. Consistency...requires that white persons be accorded standing to sue under both s 1981 and s 1982 in circumstances similar to those present in Sullivan.
511 F.2d at 312; See also Albert Carovano, 851 F.2d 561, 572 (2nd. Cir. 1988) (under certain circumstances, a non minority plaintiff may sue pursuant to § 1981 when someone retaliates against him because he did not engage in purposeful discrimination).
Additionally, other Circuit Courts have extended standing under § 1981. In the Fifth Circuit, the court granted standing to a white man bringing a claim pursuant to § 1981 because he had not been hired by defendant because his wife was black. Faraca v. Clements, 506 F.2d 956 (5th Cir. 1975); Goff v. Continental Oil Company, 678 F.2d 593, n.7 (5th Cir. 1982) (court held that white people can assert civil rights claims when someone harms them due to discrimination against blacks). The Sixth Circuit extended Sullivan to § 1981 in Winston v. Lear-Siegler Inc., 558 F.2d 1266 (6th Cir. 1977), a case in which a white employee was fired for protesting the racially discriminatory firing of a fellow black employee by holding that "although [plaintiff] was not fired because of his race, it was a racial situation in which he became involved that resulted in his discharge." Id. at 1268. Furthermore, the First Circuit in reviewing Sullivan, DeMatteis, Farraca and Winston, held that:
those cases stand for two propositions: to invoke § 1981 or § 1982 one need not be a member of the racial class protected by the statute and one need not even be able to identify any specific member of the class who suffered or may suffer discrimination...we conclude that, in order to effectuate the public policy embodied in § 1981, and in order to protect the legal rights of non-whites expressly created by § 1981, a person has an implied right of action against any other person who, with a racially discriminatory intent, interferes with his right to make contracts with non-whites. A fortiori a person has an implied right of action against any other person who, with a racially discriminatory intent, injures him because he made contracts with non-whites.
601 F.2d at 14 (original emphasis).
In the present case, Plaintiff alleges that he was invited to a meeting and was told of the Underhill defendants' disapproval of his African American tenants. When instructed to evict the tenants, plaintiff alleges that he refused and was thereby informed that he would suffer the repercussions of his decision. He asserts that the Underhill defendants together with the Village defendants engaged in numerous harassing activities in an attempt to force the tenants to leave the neighbor which were very costly and taxing on him financially and mentally. In accordance with the case law cited above, this court finds that Plaintiff has an implied right of action to bring this action challenging the alleged racially discriminatory actions of the defendants that resulted in injury to him.
The court notes however that some Circuit Courts have barred these claims by non minority plaintiffs when it is shown that these non minority plaintiffs are not the 'only effective advocates', citing the rationale of the Supreme Court in both Barrows and Sullivan. The United States Court of Appeals for the District Court of Columbia in Clifton Terrace Associates, Limited v. United Technologies Corporation, et al., 929 F.2d at 714, refused standing to an owner of a federally subsidized low-income housing complex bringing an action pursuant to §§ 1981 and 1982 against an elevator manufacturer who allegedly refused to provide services because of the race of his tenants. The court denied standing based on the fact that the tenants were the direct victims and were plainly identifiable; therefore, the court concluded that plaintiff did not need to be granted standing to vindicate the rights of its tenants when they themselves could have brought the action against defendant.
Likewise, in the Fourth Circuit, in Mackey v. Nationwide Insurance Companies, 724 F.2d 419 (4th Cir. 1984), the court, in denying plaintiff standing, reasoned that defendant insurance company would not be insulated from prosecution for its alleged racially discriminatory refusal to issue insurance to black neighborhoods, if plaintiff was denied standing to bring his §§ 1981, 1982 actions, alleging only that he lost an opportunity to sell property insurance to black friends and acquaintances due to defendant's actions. The court found that those blacks being denied insurance could bring the suit against defendants themselves. Id. at 420. Lastly, in interpreting Sullivan, the Ninth Circuit in Halet v. Wend Investment Co., 672 F.2d 1305 (9th Cir. 1982), refused to extend standing to a white man suing for racial discrimination under §§ 1981, 1982, 1983 and alleging that an apartment complex's policy of 'adults-only' violated his right to live with his family ...