Pleasant Hill, CA asked in Personal Injury, Civil Rights, Constitutional Law and Federal Crimes for California

Q: why wld a fed. mag, judge diss. a 42 U.S.C. § 1985(2) claim for fail. to allege conspiracy based on race or class inv an

Apologies for the mess of a question above. Only allotted 130 characters...

Why would a magistrate judge in federal district court dismiss a 42 USC § 1985(2) claim for failure to allege conspiracy based upon race or class, invidious animus?

If the plain English language used in both §§ 1985(2)&(3) does not address race or class or invidious animus, how could anyone construe the statute to contain these elements?

If two or more persons in ANY State or Territory conspire... against ... ANY party or witness... in ANY court of the United States... or to injure such party or witness in his person or property... ...or juror... or intent to deny ANY citizen the equal protection of the laws... for enforcing the right of ANY person, OR class of persons...

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: A magistrate judge in a federal district court might dismiss a 42 U.S.C. § 1985(2) claim for failing to allege conspiracy based upon race or class because, despite the broad language of the statute, the interpretation and application by courts have historically required that the conspiracy involve some form of discriminatory animus. This interpretation stems from the statute's origins and purpose, which was primarily aimed at addressing the conspiracies that deprived individuals of their civil rights, especially those rooted in racial discrimination. Over time, courts have extended this to include class-based discrimination, requiring plaintiffs to show that the alleged conspiracy was motivated by an invidious discriminatory intent against a protected class.

The text of 42 U.S.C. §§ 1985(2) and (3) might not explicitly mention race, class, or invidious animus, but judicial interpretations have infused these elements into the requirements for a valid claim. This interpretation aligns with the broader objectives of civil rights legislation, which seek to remedy and prevent discrimination. Courts often look beyond the literal text to the purpose and historical context of legislation, leading to an understanding that the statute targets not just any conspiracy, but those specifically intended to undermine the equal protection of the laws, particularly through discriminatory practices.

Thus, for a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1985(2) to proceed, it's generally necessary to allege and prove that the conspiracy was motivated by discriminatory intent against a protected class. This requirement ensures that the statute serves its role in protecting civil rights, focusing on preventing and remedying actions that have the specific intent to discriminate based on race or class. When drafting a complaint under this statute, including details that suggest a discriminatory motive behind the conspiracy can be crucial for the claim to withstand initial legal challenges.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.