Krynicky v. University of Pittsburgh

742 F.2d 94 (1984)

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Krynicky v. University of Pittsburgh

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
742 F.2d 94 (1984)

Facts

Two consolidated cases addressed the question of whether public universities act under color of state law for purposes of a claim brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, which allowed individuals to sue state officials for violating their rights if they acted under color of state law. Harry Krynicky (plaintiff) was an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh) (defendant), a state university. After being denied tenure, Krynicky filed an action under § 1983, alleging that Pittsburgh, acting under color of state law, violated his due-process rights and denied him tenure in retaliation for criticizing the administration. A district court granted Pittsburgh’s summary-judgment motion, finding that the officials had not acted under color of state law. In the second case, Rosemary Schier (plaintiff) worked at Temple University Hospital (Temple) (defendant), a state university hospital. Schier sued Temple under § 1983, alleging sexual discrimination and retaliation. The district court denied Temple’s motion for summary judgment on Schier’s § 1983 claim, finding that a symbiotic relationship existed between the state and Temple. The district court, recognizing the conflicting decisions, certified for interlocutory appeal the specific question addressed in both cases. Both Pittsburgh and Temple argued that the symbiotic-relationship test promulgated by the United States Supreme Court had been overruled or, at a minimum, significantly narrowed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Becker, J.)

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