United States District Court, D. Maine
RECOMMENDED DECISION ON DEFENDANTS' PARTIAL
MOTION TO DISMISS
C. NIVISON, U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
action, Plaintiff alleges Defendants deprived him of certain
constitutional rights in connection with his arrest.
(Complaint ¶ IV, ECF No. 1.)
matter is before the Court on Defendants' Partial Motion
to Dismiss. (Motion to Dismiss, ECF No. 14.) Through their
motion, Defendants contend Plaintiff has failed to allege
sufficient facts to support all of his claims.
a review of the relevant pleadings and after consideration of
Defendants' arguments,  I recommend the Court grant in
part the motion.
following facts are derived from Plaintiff's complaint
and are accepted as true for purposes of evaluating the
pending motion to dismiss. McKee v. Cosby, 874 F.3d
54, 59 (1st Cir. 2017).
to Plaintiff, on February 15, 2014, while Plaintiff was
waiting for a taxi outside a business establishment,
Defendant Watkins, an officer with the Auburn Police
Department, grabbed Plaintiff, put him against a car, and
held him there. When Plaintiff asked why he was being
arrested, another officer, Defendant Lemos, used a taser on
Plaintiff, which caused Plaintiff to fall to the ground.
Plaintiff alleges that while he was on the ground, the
officers pressed Plaintiff's face into the pavement, and
held him on the ground. A third officer, Defendant Ham, then
instructed his police canine to attack Plaintiff, and the
canine bit Plaintiff in the leg. At the police station,
Plaintiff overhead an unidentified officer instruct the
booking officers to assign a high bail. (Complaint at 6 - 8.)
Ultimately, according to Plaintiff, all charges against
Plaintiff were dismissed. (Id. at 9.)
asserts Defendants violated his rights under the First
Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, and the Eighth
Amendment. He also alleges state law claims of
assault and battery, false arrest, abuse of process,
infliction of emotional distress, and negligence.
(Id. at 4 - 5.) Plaintiff further asserts that
Defendant Crowell, the Auburn Chief of Police, is liable for
the conduct of his subordinate officers. (Id. at 6.)
In the caption of his complaint, Plaintiff included the City
of Auburn as a defendant. (Id. at 1.)
Motion to Dismiss Standard
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a party may seek
dismissal of “a claim for relief in any pleading”
if that party believes that the pleading fails “to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” In its
assessment of the motion, a court must “assume the
truth of all well-plead facts and give the plaintiff the
benefit of all reasonable inferences therefrom.”
Blanco v. Bath Iron Works Corp., 802 F.Supp.2d 215,
221 (D. Me. 2011) (quoting Genzyme Corp. v. Fed. Ins.
Co., 622 F.3d 62, 68 (1st Cir. 2010)). To overcome the
motion, a plaintiff must establish that the allegations raise
a plausible basis for a fact finder to conclude that the
defendant is legally responsible for the claim at issue.
a pro se plaintiff's complaint is subject to “less
stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers,
” Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972),
this is “not to say that pro se plaintiffs are not
required to plead basic facts sufficient to state a claim,
Ferranti v. Moran, 618 F.2d 888, 890 (1st Cir.
1980). To allege a civil action in federal court, it is not
enough for a plaintiff merely to allege that a defendant
acted unlawfully; a plaintiff must affirmatively allege facts
that identify the manner by which the defendant subjected the
plaintiff to a harm for which the law affords a remedy.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
Failure to State a Claim
contend Plaintiff has failed to state an actionable claim
except for his claims against Defendants Ham, Lemos, and