Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Bourne v. Gardner

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

September 7, 2017

Samuel Bourne, Plaintiff,
v.
Roy E. Gardner and Town of East Bridgewater, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM & ORDER

          Nathaniel M. Gorton United States District Judge

         This cases involves a land dispute between Samuel Bourne (“Bourne” or “plaintiff”), the Town of East Bridgewater, Massachusetts (“the Town”) and the Chairman of its Planning Board, Roy E. Gardner (collectively, “defendants”). Bourne generally alleges that defendants violated his constitutional right to due process and that their actions prevented him from acquiring the subject parcel of land, in violation of the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

         Pending before the Court are defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiff's claims, or, alternatively, to transfer the case to state court and plaintiff's motion to amend his complaint. For the reasons that follow, defendant's motion to dismiss will be allowed and plaintiff's motion to amend will be denied.

         I. Background

         On March 17, 2016, Bourne acquired title to a parcel of land known as “Lot 31” in East Bridgewater, Massachusetts. He recorded the deed on April 1, 2016 with the Plymouth County Registry of Deeds (“the Registry of Deeds”).

         On June 30, 2016, Roy Gardner (“Gardner”), the Chairman of the Planning Board for the Town of East Bridgewater wrote Bourne a letter in which he notified Bourne that the acquisition of Lot 31 violated several local zoning ordinances. The following day, Gardner's letter was recorded with the Registry of Deeds.

         In response to Gardner's letter, Bourne filed a complaint in the Massachusetts Superior Court for Plymouth County, asserting claims against Gardner and the Town for 1) slander of title, 2) negligence, 3) quiet title and 4) “injunction to restrain nuisance”.

         Meanwhile, Bourne also filed suit against Gardner and the Town in this Court in November, 2016. Although the factual allegations are nearly identical, here Bourne alleges three causes of action: 1) “ultra vires” (Count I), 2) due process violations (Count II) and 3) unlawful taking (Count III).

         In December, 2016, defendants moved to dismiss this case or, in the alternative, to transfer plaintiff's claims for resolution in the state court case. While that motion was pending plaintiff filed a motion to amend his complaint, seeking to add Dorothy L. Simpson (“Simpson”), a secretarial clerk who works for the Town under Gardner, as a defendant and two causes of action: conspiracy against Gardner and Simpson and intentional interference with contractual relations against all defendants. This memorandum addresses both pending motions.

         II. The Pending Motions

         A. Legal Standards

         1. Motion to Dismiss

         To 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.

         When 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. H ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.