I turn now to defendants' fifth argument, that the complaint is somehow deficient in that it alleges the sexual harassment of only one woman, and therefore, fails to plead that the alleged harassment of plaintiff was class-based, in other words, occurred because of her sex. This argument is not altogether unrelated to some of those raised by defendants regarding plaintiff's underlying constitutional claim. For the reasons set forth in my discussion of defendants' first argument, I find that plaintiff has stated a claim for relief under § 1985(3) which is unaffected, as a matter of law, on a motion under Rule 12(b)(6), by her failure to allege that other women at the ADTC facility were sexually or otherwise harassed by defendants.
Defendants' argument that an allegation of discriminatory treatment against plaintiff alone is not "class-based" within the meaning of Griffin, misconstrues the meaning of class-based and the nature of a 12(b)(6) motion. I find that what is meant by the term is that plaintiff must be a member of a discernable class within the remedial ambit of § 1985(3) and must allege that the invidiously discriminatory animus giving rise to the conspiracy is based upon plaintiff's membership in that class.
In other words, plaintiff must allege that she was the object of the alleged conspiracy because of her sex and that the conspiracy was to deprive her of her rights to equal treatment with members of the opposite sex. She is not required to allege that the racial animus or discriminatory treatment was class-wide in its application by defendants. As previously noted, plaintiff does allege that she was the object of discriminatory animus based on her membership in a class which is within the scope of § 1985(3). Consequently, the complaint may not be dismissed on this ground. Cf. Bleakley v. Jekyll Island -- State Park Authority, 536 F. Supp. at 240-41 and Woerner, 519 F. Supp. at 519-20 (discussing the requirements of an Equal Protection claim in the context of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 remedies). In the Huebschen case on which defendants rely so heavily, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, was reviewing a full factual record on appeal from a jury trial in which the parties were put to their proof. Huebschen v. Department of Health and Social Services, 716 F.2d 1167 (7th Cir. 1983). The case does not, therefore, support dismissal on a 12(b)(6) motion. Defendants also rely on Hauptmann v. Wilentz, 570 F. Supp. 351 (D.N.J. 1983), a recent opinion by Judge Lacey in a case involving § 1985(3) claims. In Hauptmann, Judge Lacey stated that "if the conspiracy only affects the plaintiff individually, the allegations will not satisfy the class-based animus requirement." Id. at 386. While on its face this statement supports defendants contentions, taken in context the statement is not relevant to this question. The court was there considering whether plaintiff's German heritage made him a member of a class protected by § 1985(3) and, if so, whether plaintiff had alleged facts to sustain a claim for relief on that ground. The court excluded "individual" discrimination from the § 1985(3) spectrum in its discussion of the alleged reasons for discriminatory animus and was not suggesting that plaintiff had to allege the similar treatment of other Germans in order to survive a motion to dismiss. A review of the cases cited by Judge Lacey support this conclusion. See Hauptmann, 570 F. Supp. at 386 (and cases cited therein). While I note once again that plaintiff must ultimately prove that defendants were motivated by class-based invidiously discriminatory animus rather than by some other personal vendetta or attraction, her allegations are sufficient on a motion to dismiss. Both plaintiff and defendants must, as in Huebschen, be put to their proof.
The final argument in this regard made by defendant Silverman is that plaintiff has failed to allege facts which substantiate a § 1985(3) conspiracy or defendant Silverman's involvement in the conspiracy as a matter of law. While plaintiff may ultimately fail to prove the conspiracy she alleges, I cannot say as a matter of law that she will not. She has alleged facts with sufficient specificity which, if proved, would permit a trier of fact to infer intent and agreement in furtherance of illegal goals as required under the law of conspiracy. The complaint here is rich in detail. See Hauptmann, 570 F. Supp. at 385. Since I find, as a matter of law, that plaintiff could prove a set of facts in support of her claim which would entitle her to relief, see Conley, 355 U.S. at 45-46, I will not dismiss her claims on this ground.
Since a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1986 is derivative in nature,
see Haputmann, 570 F. Supp. at 387, plaintiff's § 1986 claim remains viable in light of my holding that she has stated a claim for relief under §§ 1983 and 1985(3). Similarly, I conclude that plaintiff's pendent state law claims remain within the jurisdiction of this court.
One matter remains for my consideration at this time. Defendant Mintz has moved this court to strike paragraph 55 of the complaint as "scandalous matter" under Rule 12(f) of the Federal Rules. I have decided to deny this motion. Paragraph 55 states in relevant part:
On information and belief, just prior to that [administrative] hearing, defendants Farrell and Mintz attempted to suborn perjury from witnesses scheduled to attend the aforesaid DOC hearing. Their subornation was done in furtherance of defendants' conspiracy.
I start with the proposition that "motions to strike alleged redundant, immaterial, impertinent or scandalous matter are not favored. Matter will not be stricken from a pleading unless it is clear that it can have no possible bearing upon the subject matter of the litigation." 2A Moore's Federal Practice para. 12.21 at p. 2429 (1983) (footnotes omitted). Defendant argues that paragraph 55 is scandalous in that it "improperly and excessively impugn[s] his moral character" without factual basis. Scandalous pleading for purposes of Rule 12(f) must "reflect cruelly" upon the defendant's moral character, use "repulsive language" or "detract from the dignity of the court." Id. at p. 2426 (footnote omitted). I do not believe that paragraph 55 should be stricken under this standard. To be scandalous such "degrading charges [must] be irrelevant, or, if relevant, [must be] gone into in unnecessary detail . . . ." Id. at 2427. I find paragraph 55 to be neither unnecessarily derogatory nor irrelevant to charges alleged by plaintiff in this action.
In sum, I have concluded, first, that plaintiff's claims are timely under New Jersey's six year statute of limitations; second, that her claims are not barred by the equitable doctrine of laches; third, that she does not proceed under Title VII but instead states a claim for relief under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment; fourth that the complaint alleges a deprivation of plaintiff's rights by defendants acting "under color of state law" for purposes of 42 U.S.C. § 1983; fifth, that plaintiff is a member of a class protected by § 1985(3); and sixth, that she has properly alleged a conspiracy, motivated by class-based discriminatory animus, to deprive her of her rights to equal protection under that section. I have, therefore, concluded that plaintiff states a valid claim for relief under §§ 1983 and 1985(3) for violation of her constitutional rights which is not barred by the Supreme Court's holding in Novotny and which is not scandalous under a Rule 12(f) standard. All motions by all defendants currently before me are denied. An order in accordance with the above accompanies this opinion. [EDITOR'S NOTE: The following court-provided text does not appear at this cite in 578 F. Supp.]
This matter being opened to the Court by motions of defendants Farrell, Mintz, Witt and Silverman to discuss the complaint or portions thereof and by motion of defendant Mintz to strike paragraph 55 of the complaint and the court having considered the content of the written submissions of the parties as well as a review of the file and records of this case and orgal argument having been heard;
It is on this 19th day of January, 1984;
ORDERED that in accordance with opinion of this court filed simultaneously herewith, all motions by all defendants before this court are hereby denied.