New opinion — rest-stop operator not a state actor

PRBA Corp. v. HMS Host Toll Roads, Inc. — civil — affirmance — Smith

The Third Circuit today held that a private company that operates service plazas on state highways was not a state actor for purposes of a suit under 42 USC 1983. The company had been sued by Bare Exposure (“Atlantic City’s #1 All Nude Gentleman’s Club”) for removing its brochures from service-plaza common areas. The court affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment because the state was directly involved in neither the brochure removal nor the day-to-day operations of the service plazas.

Joining Smith were Fuentes and Nygaard. Arguing counsel were Michael Daily for the strip club and Catherine Bledsoe for the service-plaza operators.