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Mattier v. Banik

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

February 6, 2015

BRANDEN E. MATTIER, Plaintiff,
v.
MASSACHUSETTS STATE POLICE JOHN F. BANIK, FEDERAL EXPRESS and STEPHEN GREENE, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

NATHANIEL M. GORTON, District Judge.

This case arises from the arrest of plaintiff Branden Mattier ("Mattier") for his attempt to defraud The One Fund, a charitable organization formed to compensate victims of the April, 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. Mattier was subsequently convicted of the crime.

Plaintiff alleges that defendants Massachusetts State Police ("State Police"), state police officer John Banik ("Officer Banik"), Federal Express ("FedEx") and FedEx employee Stephen Greene ("Greene"), in their coordinated arrest of plaintiff for his attempted fraud, collectively and individually conspired to violate plaintiff's constitutional and civil rights recognized under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, 42 U.S.C § 1985(3) and 18 U.S.C. § 241.

Pending before the Court are motions to dismiss filed by defendants FedEx and the State Police. For the reasons that follow, both motions will be allowed.

I. Background

After an investigation revealed that Mattier was attempting to defraud The One Fund Boston, the State Police planned and carried out a procedure for his arrest. In July, 2013, at the direction of the State Police, FedEx courier Stephen Greene delivered, and plaintiff signed for, a document that indicated that a check in the amount of $2, 194, 000 from the One Fund Boston would be delivered to the plaintiff on the following day.

The next day, Officer Banik, posing as a FedEx delivery driver, delivered the purported check. Upon signing for the package, plaintiff was arrested for fraud and for attempting to defraud the One Fund Boston. He was subsequently tried and convicted after a four-day jury trial in the Massachusetts Superior Court for Suffolk County. In June, 2014 he was sentenced to three years of incarceration.

A. Procedural history

Plaintiff filed his complaint in this case in December, 2013. In April, 2014, defendant Banik moved to stay the case pending resolution of the criminal case. In July, 2014, plaintiff filed a motion to vacate the stay on the grounds that the state criminal proceeding had been resolved. This Court entered an order in December, 2014 finding both the motion to stay and the motion to vacate moot.

Meanwhile, plaintiff filed an amended complaint, adding a previously unnamed defendant, Stephen Greene, the FedEx employee who delivered the initial package to plaintiff, and defendants State Police and FedEx filed their motions to dismiss.

In October, 2014, a summons was issued to defendant Greene. That summons was, however, returned unexecuted. In December, 2014, the Court allowed plaintiff's motion to serve summons on Greene at a new address. As of early February, 2015, that new summons had not been served on Mr. Greene.

II. Motions to dismiss by defendants FedEx and State Police

A. Legal standard

To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). The Court must accept all factual allegations in the complaint as true and draw all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor. Langadinos v. Am. Airlines, Inc., 199 F.3d 68, 69 (1st Cir. 2000). The Court, however, need not accept legal conclusions as true. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009). Threadbare recitals of the legal elements, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice to state a cause of action. Id . ...


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