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Lucien-Calixte v. David

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

August 1, 2018

Sandra Lucien Calixte, Plaintiff,
v.
Neal David and Town of Stoughton, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM & ORDER

          NATHANIEL M. GORTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This case involves claims by Sandra Lucien Calixte (“plaintiff” or “Calixte”) that defendant Officer Neal David (“David”) and defendant Town of Stoughton (“Stoughton”) (together, “defendants”) wrongly caused her arrest and prosecution.[1] Plaintiff asserts violations pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and M.G.L. c. 12, § 111, as well as a claim of malicious prosecution. Pending before the Court is defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings.

         I. Background

         Plaintiff avers that she lived with her aunt, Marie Belfort-Bois (“Belfort-Bois”). Belfort-Bois suffered a stroke on January 22, 2013, and she subsequently entered Good Samaritan Hospital (“the Hospital”), where she was hospitalized until March, 2013. While at the Hospital, Belfort Bois suffered from severe bed sores and low body temperature. She was fed intravenously. From March, 2013, until June, 2013, Belfort-Bois was in hospice care, after which she was discharged and returned to plaintiff's residence.

         The complaint alleges Belfort-Bois required “round the clock care for her basic needs.” Calixte, a registered nurse and trained pulmonary therapist, handled the majority of Belfort-Bois's care after June, 2013. Plaintiff and her family set up a makeshift hospital room in the unfinished basement of her home. The room had a twin bed with a table, a small television and another table with medication.

         On February 16, 2014, plaintiff summoned emergency medical help for Belfort-Bois. A first responder found Belfort-Bois to be dehydrated and to be suffering from low oxygen saturation. Belfort-Bois was re-admitted to the Hospital, and a nurse there called the Stoughton Police to report “stuff that was very troubling.” The nurse observed that Belfort-Bois had serious bed sores, low body temperature, a soiled diaper, a dirty feeding tube and other issues.

         Officer David responded to the call, arrested the plaintiff and filed an undisclosed charge against her. Plaintiff contends she was arrested and that Officer David lied to a Grand Jury as part of a malicious prosecution. She states David claimed to a Grand Jury, that: 1) the basement in which plaintiff cared for Belfort-Bois was half-finished, 2) Belfort-Bois' bed sores had been treated while she was at hospice care and 3) a doctor told David that Belfort-Bois's care was definitely a case of neglect.

         In July, 2014, Calixte was charged and arraigned in Superior Court. She was tried and acquitted in 2017. She now claims that during the prosecution Officer David admitted that he may have become too emotionally invested in the prosecution due to a death in his own family.

         Calixte alleges she spent approximately $50, 000 in legal fees to defend herself in Superior Court. She seeks damages for all of her legal fees as well as lost income as a result of her damaged reputation as a registered nurse, and emotional distress. She seeks punitive damages and equitable relief from this Court to enjoin Officer David from filing false reports and ordering him to submit to further police training.

         The complaint specifically alleges that (1) defendants deprived plaintiff of clearly established and well-settled constitutional rights while acting under color of law in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983, (2) the Town of Stoughton violated 42 U.S.C. § 1983 by maintaining improper policies for its law enforcement officers, (3) Officer David violated the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act, M.G.L. c. 12 § 11I and (4) he maliciously prosecuted plaintiff, which act constituted false imprisonment.

         Pending before the Court is the motion of defendants Neal David and the Town of Stoughton for judgment on the pleadings.

         IV. Motion for judgement on the pleadings

         Although a Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c) motion for judgment on the pleadings considers the factual allegations in both the complaint and the answer, it is governed by the same standard as a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. See Perez-Acevedo v. Rivero- Cubano, 520 F.3d 26, 29 (1st Cir. 2008). To survive such a motion, the subject pleading 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, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). For a claim to be facially plausible, the pleadings must show “more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.” Id. A plaintiff cannot merely restate the defendant's potential liability. Id.

         In considering the merits of such a motion, the Court must accept all factual allegations in the complaint as true and draw all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor. R.G. Fin. Corp. v. Vergara-Nunez, 446 F.3d 178, 182 (1st Cir. 2006). The Court may also consider documents if 1) the parties do not dispute their authenticity, 2) they are “central to the plaintiffs' claim” or 3) they are “sufficiently referred to in the ...


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