United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
Nathaniel M. Gorton United States District Judge.
case arises out of the arrest of Matthew Fairbanks
(“Fairbanks” or “plaintiff”), the
subsequent search of his apartment and car and the seizure of
his property. Fairbanks claims that defendants, various
police officers employed by the Town of Danvers,
Massachusetts, 1) falsely arrested him, 2) conducted an
unlawful search and seizure, 3) violated his right to bear
arms, 4) violated the Equal Protection Clause and 5) took his
property without just compensation, all in violation of 42
U.S.C. § 1983. Defendants' motion to dismiss for
failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted is
pending before the Court. For the following reasons, that
motion will be allowed, in part, and denied, in part.
January, 2013, plaintiff hosted a small social gathering at
his apartment in Danvers, Massachusetts which included his
estranged father, Mark Kendall, his neighbor, Maria Melendez
and his father's friend, Holly Fletcher. During the
gathering, plaintiff and his father, Kendall, stepped into
the bathroom to have a conversation which descended into an
argument with raised voices. In the course of the argument,
fixtures in the bathroom were damaged and the toilet was
broken off of its base and began leaking water into the
approximately 3:00 A.M., the individual who lived in the
lower apartment called the police about the water leak.
Officer Dana O'Hagan arrived at plaintiff's apartment
shortly thereafter. Kendall and Fletcher met him in the lobby
and told him that plaintiff was a Marine suffering from
post-traumatic stress disorder and was “crazy”.
O'Hagan and other officers went upstairs to
plaintiff's apartment. They found plaintiff in the
hallway and proceeded to handcuff and frisk him. They also
asked him if he had any weapons and he responded that he had
three weapons: a .45 caliber pistol, a .38 caliber revolver
and a .22 caliber rifle two of which were in his vehicle.
then entered plaintiff's apartment to recover his keys
and seized the revolver and rifle from his vehicle. They also
confiscated a knife, a “scope”, the pistol and
other property not specifically identified in the complaint
from plaintiff's apartment.
was charged in the Massachusetts District Court with 1)
assault and battery, 2) assault and battery with a dangerous
weapon, 3) two counts of improper storage of a firearm and 4)
malicious destruction of property. In July, 2013, he admitted
to sufficient facts for a guilty finding with respect to the
assault and battery charge and one of the charges of improper
storage of a firearm. As to those admissions, he agreed to a
two-year continuance without a finding. The other charges
January, 2016, plaintiff filed suit in this Court against the
Town of Danvers and five Danvers police officers, Officer
Dana O'Hagan, Detective f/n/u Carleton, Officer f/n/u
Cassidy, Officer f/n/u George and Sergeant f/n/u Janvrin
(collectively “defendants”). This Court dismissed
the claims against the Town of Danvers in September, 2016.
The remaining defendants filed a motion to dismiss shortly
thereafter which plaintiff opposes. That motion is the
subject of this memorandum and order and for the reasons that
follow, it will be allowed, in part, and denied, in part.
survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim
under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), a complaint must contain
“sufficient factual matter” to state a claim for
relief that is actionable as a matter of law and
“plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 667 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim is
facially plausible if, after accepting as true all
non-conclusory factual allegations, the court can draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged. Ocasio Hernandez v. Fortuno
Burset, 640 F.3d 1, 12 (1st Cir. 2011). A court may not
disregard properly pled factual allegations even if actual
proof of those facts is improbable. Id. Rather, the
relevant inquiry focuses on the reasonableness of the
inference of liability that the plaintiff is asking the court
to draw. Id. at 13.
rendering that determination, a court may not look beyond the
facts alleged in the complaint, documents incorporated by
reference therein and facts susceptible to judicial notice.
Haley v. City of Boston, 657 F.3d 39, 46 (1st Cir.
2011); Alt. Energy, Inc. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine
Ins. Co., 267 F.3d 30, 33-34 (1st Cir. 2001) (excluding
opposition memorandum and supporting materials unless they
are undisputed by the parties or the motion is converted to
summary judgment). Courts may properly consider matters of
public record such as documents from prior state court
adjudications. Giragosian v. Ryan, 547 F.3d 59, 66
(1st Cir. 2008).
contend that plaintiff's claims must be dismissed
pursuant to the doctrine espoused in Heck v.
Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994), which prohibits 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 claims that would undermine state court
convictions. Defendants further assert that plaintiff fails
to state a claim upon which relief can be granted for
violations of his ...