United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
THOMAS GRAY and MARIE A. GRAY, Plaintiffs,
CITY OF REVERE; BRIAN ARRIGO, Mayor of Revere; PAUL CAPIZZI, City Solicitor; BENJAMIN DeCHRISTOFORO, Building Inspector; MARK LOCKE, Plumbing Inspector; MICHAEL CONLEY, Electrical Inspector; THOMAS AMBROSINO, Former Mayor of Revere; LOVENBERG AND ASSOCIATES P.C.; BURNS & LEVINSON, LLP; FRANK FOSS RUSSELL; and D'AMBROSIO BROWN, LLP, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS TO
Dennis Saylor IV United States District Judge
a pro se action arising out of a zoning dispute
between two property owners and the City of Revere. The city
prevailed in the underlying zoning dispute after a 2009 bench
trial in state District Court, and the Appellate Division
affirmed that decision in early 2011.
Thomas and Marie Gray have now brought suit against the City
of Revere, various city officials and inspectors, and
multiple law firms that allegedly represented them in their
zoning dispute with the city. Defendants have moved to
dismiss the complaint pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) for
failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
the complaint is difficult to understand, it appears to
assert claims for "double jeopardy, "
"perjury, " and a number of tort actions, including
intentional infliction of emotional distress, defamation,
conspiracy, fraud, and legal malpractice. (Compl. 2,
It is highly doubtful that the complaint--no matter how
liberally construed--states a plausible claim upon which
relief can be granted.
even assuming that the complaint states a claim for any of
the causes of action pleaded, the zoning dispute and
subsequent appeal occurred more than five years ago.
Therefore, the claims are time-barred by the applicable
three-year statutes of limitations. Accordingly,
defendants' motions to dismiss will be granted.
difficult to piece together the factual background of this
matter from the allegations in the complaint. Accordingly,
the Court relies in part on the decision of the Appellate
Division of the District Court to provide the historical
background. The complaint refers to that decision, which is
an official public record, several times. To the extent
that the complaint pleads facts not otherwise described in
the Appellate Division's opinion, the Court accepts them
1980, plaintiffs Thomas and Marie Gray purchased a house
located at 17 Vinal Street in Revere, Massachusetts. The
house was located in a zoning district that allowed
1987, plaintiffs obtained a building permit from the city to
convert the house into a three-family dwelling and rent it to
tenants. However, the city's review board later informed
the building inspector that plaintiffs' proposed
alteration would in fact create a four-family dwelling. The
city's building inspector notified plaintiffs that the
permit did not allow a four-family dwelling. As a result,
plaintiffs reached an agreement with the city to limit the
use of the property in accordance with the permit.
1996, the building inspector, responding to a complaint, went
to the property. He discovered that plaintiffs had converted
the house into a four-family dwelling. In 1998, after issuing
a cease and desist order that plaintiffs ignored, the city
filed an enforcement action against plaintiffs. In 2006, the
city filed another enforcement action against plaintiffs,
along with criminal complaints. For reasons that are not
addressed by the parties and otherwise unclear from the
record, those complaints were dismissed.
a 2007 inspection, the building inspector discovered a fifth
apartment in the house on plaintiffs' property. In
November 2007, the city again notified plaintiffs that they
were violating the building code and zoning ordinance. Three
weeks later, the city ordered plaintiffs to remove all
surplus apartment units, kitchens, bathrooms, and wiring that
were constructed without permits, and to restore the house to
a two-family dwelling.
plaintiffs did not respond to the demand, the city brought
suit against plaintiffs in the Chelsea District Court for
injunctive relief to enforce the Massachusetts building code
and the city's zoning ordinance. In May 2009, after a
bench trial, the District Court enjoined plaintiffs from
using the premises for any purpose other than as a two-family
dwelling. It also imposed monetary ...