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D'Amario v. Sturdy

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

December 10, 2015

MARK E. STURDY, Clerk Magistrate, et al., Defendants.


Denise J. Casper United States District Judge

I. Introduction

A. Procedural Background

This Court issued a Memorandum and Order, D. 7, in this § 1983 action directing plaintiff to demonstrate good cause by July 21, 2015 why this action should not be dismissed for the reasons stated therein, including, inter alia, the bar of the statute of limitations and the inability of the Court to grant retroactive injunctive relief vacating state court civil and criminal judgments against plaintiff. Further, this Court indicated that plaintiff’s claims with respect to his motion for DNA testing did not appear to be barred by the statute of limitations, but his request for retroactive injunctive relief vacating adverse state court judgments was not the type of relief that could be granted against Clerk Magistrate Sturdy.

On July 21, 2015, plaintiff filed a show cause response, D. 10, and an amended complaint, D.11. On August 10, 2015, plaintiff filed a supplemental response to the order to show cause, D. 13, without permission to file beyond the deadline.

B. The Show Cause Response

In his show cause response, plaintiff alleges that his amended complaint pleads facts that effectively remove the statute of limitations bar to his claims. Specifically, he alleges that he has pled a “continuing deprivation” of his procedural rights from 1997 to 2015. D. 10 at 1. Accordingly, plaintiff contends the continuing violation doctrine permits him to raise claims that otherwise would be barred by the statute of limitations. Further, plaintiff claims that his diligence in pursuing his postconviction remedies was thwarted by his incarceration by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (keeping him out of Massachusetts after 2000) and by the Prison Litigation Reform Act (because he was a three-strike litigant and unable to pay the Court’s filing fee).

Next, plaintiff alleges that his postconviction petitions for forensic testing, filed pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 278A, § 3, were mailed to the Clerk Magistrate Sturdy’s court on October 5, 2012 and May 5, 2014. He asserts that both of these petitions were “thrown away” by court clerks. He alleges the same thing occurred four times in the Rhode Island Superior Court from 2012-2013. Much of plaintiff’s show cause response reiterates his claims of procedural deficiencies in his state court cases and his inability to file his notices of appeal from every final judgment.

C. The Amended Complaint

A detailed background of the allegations contained in the original complaint is set forth in this Court’s Memorandum and Order, D. 7, and is incorporated herein by reference. In the amended complaint, plaintiff now seeks to sue defendant Clerk Magistrate Sturdy in both his personal and official capacity, not just his official capacity. He also adds as a defendant Thomas Quinn, III (“Quinn”), Bristol County District Attorney, and sues him in his official capacity. Plaintiff alleges both defendants deprived him of his rights to due process, equal protection, free speech and access to the state trial and appellate courts.

Plaintiff’s amended complaint contains a host of grievances concerning not only the matters alleged in his original complaint but matters relating to his claims of harassment and threats by police officers and others due to his exercise of free speech in connection with political activity, as well as matters relating to his state court criminal convictions and civil judgments, release from federal custody, calculation of his prison sentence and his housing difficulties as a consequence of his state conviction.

As relief, plaintiff again seeks an Order from this Court directing the defendants to vacate all of his state civil and criminal judgments, or, in the alternative, direct the defendants to appoint counsel for him, direct the docketing of all of his appeals and adjudicate his Rule 30 motions. Further, plaintiff seeks to have this Court order Quinn to arrange for DNA and fingerprint comparison on the alleged anonymous letters of 1998-99.

Next, plaintiff seeks an Order from this Court directing Clerk Magistrate Sturdy to provide him with a true, complete record of his February 4, 1999 hearing in one of his state cases, at government expense.[1] He also seeks an Order from this Court directing Quinn to release all public and exculpatory records to him and to admit that plaintiff: (1) was never in Massachusetts on August 8, 1998 and August 15, 1998; (2) never contacted Sellers on those dates; and (3) was not a fugitive from justice. Further, plaintiff seeks a temporary and permanent restraining order prohibiting defendants and their agents from continuing to threaten him or tamper with his Section 8 housing[2] and/or his court files and from taking unlawful actions to banish plaintiff from Massachusetts, Rhode Island and the state courts.

Finally, he seeks fees and costs and any other just relief. Attached to the amended complaint was a proposed summons form directed to Quinn ...

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