United States District Court, D. Maine
RECOMMENDED DECISION ON MOTION TO DISMISS AND MOTION
H. Rich III, United States Magistrate Judge.
defendant, the Town of Lebanon, Maine, moves, pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), to dismiss the
complaint in this action for failure to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted. For the reasons that follow, I
conclude that the complaint fails to state a claim. However,
I recommend that, rather than dismissing it, the court grant
the plaintiff’s motion, posed in a single sentence at
the end of his memorandum of law in opposition to the motion
to dismiss, Objection of Plaintiff Paul Bernard, Jr. to the
Defendant Town of Lebanon’s Motion to Dismiss
Plaintiff’s Complaint (“Opposition”) (ECF
No. 5) at 11, for leave to amend his complaint “to
include a Due Process claim pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983.” Specifically, I recommend that the plaintiff be
afforded 10 days from the date of the court’s adoption
of this recommended decision, if applicable, to file an
amended complaint, following which the defendant’s
motion to dismiss should be denied but failing which the
complaint should be dismissed with prejudice.
Applicable Legal Standards
Supreme Court has stated:
While a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to
dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations, a
plaintiff’s obligation to provide the grounds of his
entitlement to relief requires more than labels and
conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a
cause of action will not do. Factual allegations must be
enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007) (citations and internal punctuation omitted). This
standard requires the pleading of “only enough facts to
state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Id. at 570. “A claim has facial plausibility
when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the
court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is
liable for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
ruling on a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a court
assumes the truth of all of the well-pleaded facts in the
complaint and draws all reasonable inferences in favor of the
plaintiff. Román-Oliveras v. Puerto Rico Elec.
Power Auth., 655 F.3d 43, 45 (1st Cir. 2011).
Ordinarily, in weighing a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, “a
court may not consider any documents that are outside of the
complaint, or not expressly incorporated therein, unless the
motion is converted into one for summary judgment.”
Alternative Energy, Inc. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine
Ins. Co., 267 F.3d 30, 33 (1st Cir. 2001). “There
is, however, a narrow exception for documents the
authenticity of which are not disputed by the parties; for
official public records; for documents central to
plaintiffs’ claim; or for documents sufficiently
referred to in the complaint.” Id. (citation
and internal quotation marks omitted).
complaint sets forth the following relevant factual
plaintiff, a student training in Massachusetts to become a
paramedic, had begun a field internship with Cataldo
Ambulance in that state. Complaint and Demand for Jury Trial
(“Complaint”) (ECF No. 1) at 1. Lebanon Rescue
Chief Raymond Parent instructed Mario Stefano, an employee of
the town, to inform Cataldo Ambulance that the plaintiff was
the subject of an ongoing fentanyl investigation, an
allegation that the Chief knew or should have known to be
untrue. Id. As a result, the plaintiff was suspended
by Cataldo Ambulance and dismissed from the paramedic
program. Id. The defendant town was served with a
timely notice of claim under the Maine Tort Claims Act.
Id. ¶ 6.
complaint alleges defamation, false light invasion of
privacy, and tortious interference with advantageous
educational and economic relationships, and seeks punitive
damages. Id. ¶¶ 17-36.