Civil Rights – Due Process – Action for Civil Conspiracy Based on Section 1983
In an action for damages based on sections 1983 and 1985 of the Civil Rights Act, plaintiff alleged that a county health officer and his deputy, pursuant to a conspiracy, forcibly took plaintiff to a mental hospital and confined him there for a period of two months in willful violation of a state court order requiring plaintiff to be brought before the court for a sanity hearing. Plaintiff also alleged a false return of citation to the court by the officers and an intentional suppression of facts by the officers and the examining physician regarding plaintiff’s illegal detention. Plaintiff contended that these allegations stated a cause of action for civil conspiracy to obstruct the due course of justice in violation of section 1985 (2), to deny plaintiff equal protection of the laws in violation of section 1985 (3), and to deprive plaintiff under color of state law of rights, privileges, and immunities secured by the Constitution and laws in violation of section 1983. The district court dismissed the action for failure to state a cause of action. On appeal, held, reversed. Section 1983 will support a cause of action against all the members of a conspiracy for acts in furtherance of the conspiracy and which under color of state law deprive the plaintiff of due process of law. Hoffman v. Halden, (9th Cir. 1959) 268 F. (2d) 280.