The advertiser submitted an advertisement for publication to the a law school’s student paper, which asked people for material that would discredit certain individuals for use in a federal civil rights action. The editors rejected the advertisement for fear that it would lead to a defamation lawsuit. The advertiser filed a lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C.S. § 1983, which alleged that appellees had violated his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights when they failed to publish the advertisement. The district court granted appellees’ Fed. R. Civ. P. 12b(6) motion and dismissed the complaint because the advertiser’s wholly conclusory allegations failed to support any plausible inference of state action. On appeal, the court held that the advertiser’s complaint did not provide a plausible basis for inferring that the editors were state actors when they rejected the advertisement. In affirming the judgment, the court found that the university did not have control over the editorial decisions of the editors and that their decision to reject the advertisement could not be fairly attributable to the state.
Plaintiff student was enrolled in the law school run by defendant administrators. During his last term, he was informed that he did not have the required number of credits to graduate. Plaintiff then petitioned for a waiver of the graduation requirements, but never received a written response. On May 20, 1991, he received information over the phone that his petition was denied. Over the next several years, plaintiff was unable to resolve his graduation status. In late 1997, plaintiff filed suit, pro se, seeking injunctive relief and monetary damages under 42 U.S.C.S. §§ 1981 and 1983 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, tit. VII, 42 U.S.C.S. § 2000e et seq. In response, defendants filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). The court granted the motion and dismissed the action because the statute of limitations on plaintiffs’ claims began running on May 20, 1991, and plaintiff did not file his complaint until well after the three-year limitations period on all his claims had expired