United States District Court, D. Maine
ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
AND MOTION FOR JUDGMENT
E. WALKER U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
action, the Plaintiff, Bertrand Girard, alleges Biddeford
Police Officer Stephen Dodd sexually assaulted him during a
five-year period when Girard was a minor. Plaintiff also
alleges that Roger Beaupre, then the Chief of Police of the
Biddeford Police Department, knew or should have known of
Officer Dodd's misconduct and failed to take action to
prevent the abuse. Plaintiff filed this civil action against
Mr. Dodd, Mr. Beaupre, and the City of Biddeford.
Stephen Dodd - a self-represented litigant and the only
remaining defendant - now moves for summary judgment on the
claims against him by “join[ing] in certain sections of
the motion for summary judgment and statement of material
facts that has been filed on behalf of Roger Beaupre and the
City of Biddeford.” Mot. Summ. J. 1 (ECF No. 137,
#725). As Plaintiff did not file a response to Dodd's
motion for summary judgment, Dodd additionally filed a
“motion for judgment, ” requesting this Court
grant his motion for summary judgment due to Plaintiff's
failure to respond. (ECF No. 140, #731-32).
reasons discussed herein, Defendant Dodd's Motion for
Summary Judgment (ECF No. 137) is GRANTED.
party opposing a motion for summary judgment fails to file a
written objection (along with a memorandum of law) within 21
days from the date the motion was filed, that party will be
“deemed to have waived objection.” Me. Loc. R. 7(b);
see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e)(2), (3) (“If a
party fails to . . . properly address another party's
assertion of fact as required by Rule 56(c), the court may: .
. . consider the fact undisputed for purposes of the motion
[or] grant summary judgment if the motion and supporting
materials - including the facts considered undisputed - show
that the movant is entitled to it.”). Because Plaintiff
has failed to respond to Dodd's motion for summary
judgment, I “accept the moving party's facts as
stated.” Cabán Hernández v. Philip
Morris USA, Inc., 486 F.3d 1, 7 (1st Cir. 2007); see
also Me. Loc. R. 56(f) (“Facts contained in a
supporting or opposing statement of material facts, if
supported by record citations as required by this rule, shall
be deemed admitted unless properly controverted.”).
Defendant Dodd did not strictly comply with the District of
Maine Local Rules, see Me. Loc. R. 7(a)
(“Every motion shall incorporate a memorandum of law,
including citations and supporting authorities.”), Me.
Loc. R. 56(b) (“A motion for summary judgment shall be
supported by a separate, short, and concise statement of
material facts, each set forth in a separately numbered
paragraph(s), as to which the moving party contends there is
no genuine issue of material fact to be tried.”), Dodd
did endeavor to join Defendants Beaupre and the City of
Biddeford's Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 134),
which comply with the District of Maine Local
outlined in Defendants Beaupre and the City of
Biddeford's motion and accompanying documents, in the
late 1970s, when Plaintiff was approximately fifteen years
old, he met Stephen Dodd who, at the time, was a member of
the Biddeford Police Department. Defs.' Statement of
Material Facts (“SMF”) ¶¶ 131, 139 (ECF
No. 135, #516-17); Girard Dep. 138:2-9 (ECF No. 135-1, #555).
Plaintiff and Dodd developed a close relationship (Plaintiff
allegedly considered Dodd to be “like a big brother or
father figure”) and soon thereafter, Plaintiff moved in
with Dodd. SMF ¶¶ 141, 143; Girard Dep. 194:9-10.
Plaintiff asserts Dodd began to sexually abuse him shortly
after Plaintiff moved in and continued to abuse him until
Plaintiff reached his early thirties. SMF ¶¶ 146,
147-50; Girard Dep. 194:15-195:6.
his life, Plaintiff has received mental health treatment from
at least five counselors. SMF ¶ 61; Girard Dep.
151:8-24. The record indicates Plaintiff revealed his history
with Dodd to at least four of these counselors. SMF
¶¶ 62-63; Girard Dep. 152:11- 13, 155:4-16,
158:25-159:8, 159:12-15, 160:10-13. In addition to addressing
his history with Dodd, these counselors also provided support
relating to Plaintiff's drug and alcohol use. SMF ¶
61; Girard Dep. 152:16.
young age, Plaintiff has held a variety of jobs, SMF
¶¶ 65-69, 71, 73, 76; Girard Dep. 36:16-44:13, and
for the past twenty years, Plaintiff has owned and operated
his own business. SMF ¶ 77; Girard Dep. 42:17-20,
53:11-14. Plaintiff has also rented numerous properties and
has owned and lived in a home with his wife for the past 12
years. SMF ¶¶ 52, 55-56; Girard Dep. 8:17-10:7.
record indicates Plaintiff had various interactions with the
legal system over the years - ranging from receiving legal
custody of four of his children by court order, retaining an
attorney to assist him with child support issues, to filing
personal injury lawsuits. SMF ¶¶ 16, 26-28, 42, 44;
Girard Dep. 111:17-22, 118:17-23, 119:21-24, 130:7-25. In
2000, Plaintiff approached an attorney regarding “what
Steve Dodd did to [him], ” but ultimately decided
against filing a lawsuit at that time. SMF ¶ 48-49;
Girard Dep. 167:13-21, 168:12-13.
commenced this civil action on January 28, 2016, asserting a
federal civil rights claim and a state law assault claim
against Dodd based on the sexual abuse inflicted by Dodd
between 1977 and 1982 (when Plaintiff turned eighteen).
Compl. (ECF No. 1-1). On April 1, 2019, Dodd filed a motion
for summary judgment. Mot. Summ. J. (ECF No. 137). Dodd's
motion consists entirely of his argument that the statute of
limitations for each claim asserted by Plaintiff has expired
and that the applicable statute of limitations has not been
tolled. Mot. Summ. J. 1-2 (ECF No. 137, #725-26).
Plaintiff's failure to respond to the motion for summary
judgment, I will not automatically grant Dodd's motion
for summary judgment. NEPSK, Inc. v. Town of
Houlton, 283 F.3d 1, 7-8 (1st Cir. 2002); Leonard v.
Young, No. CV-09-192-B-W, 2010 WL 785990, at *1 (D. Me.
Mar. 2, 2010) (“The failure of the non-moving party to
respond does not automatically entitle the movant to summary
judgment.”). I must only grant Dodd's motion if it
is “appropriate” or, in other words, if his
submission shows that there is no genuine ...