United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MARILYN BARRESI, PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ESTATE OF STEPHANIE MCMAHON Plaintiff,
CITY OF BOSTON Defendant.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
B. Saris Chief United States District Judge.
sad and troubling case involves the murder of Stephanie
McMahon allegedly by Randall Tremblay. Her mother, Marilyn
Barresi, filed this lawsuit against the City of Boston on
behalf of the Estate of McMahon alleging that two police
officers failed to protect her despite the issuance of a
restraining order against Tremblay by the Boston Municipal
Court. In the Amended Complaint (Docket No. 17), Plaintiff
asserts eleven counts against the City: wrongful death claims
under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 229 (Counts I and II); various
negligence claims and a claim of a “Violation of Boston
Police Department Policy” (Counts III, V, VI, and VII); an
intentional infliction of emotional distress claim (Count
IV); two due process claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
(Counts VIII and IX); an equal protection claim under 42
U.S.C. § 1983 (Count X); and a failure to train and/or
supervise claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Count XI).
filed a motion to dismiss all counts for failure to state any
claim upon which relief can be granted (Docket No. 18). After
hearing, Defendant's motion to dismiss is
ALLOWED. Because Plaintiff did not
oppose the motion to dismiss the claims asserted under state
law in her brief, the Court will only address the
constitutional claims under § 1983.
following factual background is taken from the Amended
Complaint. The allegations must be taken as true at this
stage of the litigation. See Watterson v. Page, 987
F.2d 1, 3 (1st Cir. 1993).
April 23, 2014, the Boston Municipal Court issued a
restraining order against Tremblay ordering him to stay away
from McMahon's residence. It did not expire until April
23, 2015. On November 16, 2014 around 2:10 A.M., McMahon
called 911 and stated that Tremblay was “trying to hit
[her] over the head with a stick, ” and that she had an
active restraining order against him. Officers Robert C.
Boyle and William Hubbard were dispatched to McMahon's
apartment to respond to the call. Before responding to the
disturbance, the officers did not log into the record
management system inside their vehicle, and therefore did not
see the details of the 911 call.
the officers entered the apartment building, they saw a man
in the hallway in front of McMahon's unit. McMahon, who
was inside, opened the door to tell the officers repeatedly
that she had a restraining order against the man in the
hallway. At the time, the officers did not know the man's
name. They did not check the record system in their vehicle
in order to determine whether McMahon in fact had an active
restraining order. The officers also did not request
additional information from the 911 dispatcher, nor did they
speak to a supervisor to confirm either the identity of the
man in the hallway or the existence of a restraining order.
Police Department procedure requires officers to
“arrest any person that the officer observes, or has
probable cause to believe, has committed a violation of a
court order.” Officers Boyle and Hubbard did not arrest
the man, later identified as Tremblay, but instead escorted
him out of McMahon's apartment building and transported
him to Shattuck Hospital. Tremblay also had an outstanding
warrant at the time for failing to register as a sex
offender. When they arrived at Shattuck Hospital, Officers
Boyle and Hubbard left Tremblay outside the facility. They
did not seek to admit Tremblay to Shattuck, nor did they ask
any staff at Shattuck to identify the man. At some point
later, Tremblay returned to McMahon's apartment and
an internal affairs investigation, Officers Boyle and Hubbard
indicated “that they did not have the training or
knowledge of the City of Boston's police department rules
and regulations with respect to the handling of domestic
Standard of Review
survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim,
“a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter . .
. to ‘state a claim to relief that is 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)).
filed five exhibits with her Memo in Opposition to
Defendant's Motion to Dismiss (Docket No. 32-1).
Plaintiff describes the Exhibits as: Exhibit A,
“Transcript of 911 call”; Exhibit B, “Abuse
Prevention Order”; Exhibit C, “Police
Reports”; Exhibit D, “Findings of Internal
Affairs Investigation”; and Exhibit E, ...