United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
ORDER AND MEMORANDUM ON DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO
DISMISS (DOCKET NO. 15)
TIMOTHY S. HILLMAN DISTRICT JUDGE.
Simone, Jr. (“Plaintiff”) filed this action under
42 U.S.C. § 1983 for battery and violations of his
Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. (Docket No. 1).
Sergeant Clark Gephardt (“Sergeant Gephardt”),
Officer Steven Hallam (“Officer Hallam”),
Sergeant Joshua Trefry (“Sergeant Trefry”), and
Commissioner James Tollner (“Commissioner
Tollner”) (collectively, the “Nashua
Defendants”) move to dismiss the claims against them
for lack of jurisdiction. (Docket No. 15). Because Plaintiff
has not shown that the Nashua Defendants are subject to
personal jurisdiction in Massachusetts, the Court
grants the motion to dismiss.
following facts are taken from Plaintiff's Complaint
(Docket No. 1) and assumed true for the purposes of this
5, 2016, the Worcester District Court issued a warrant for
Plaintiff's arrest after he failed to appear at a
probation hearing. (Docket No. 1 at 6). Six days later, as
Massachusetts police officers tried to arrest Plaintiff,
Plaintiff drove over the border into New Hampshire. (Docket
No. 1 at 7-8). The Massachusetts police officers coordinated
with New Hampshire police officers to continue pursuing
Plaintiff. (Docket No. 1 at 8). The pursuit ended when
Plaintiff stopped his vehicle on a residential dead-end
street in Nashua, New Hampshire. (Docket No. 1 at 8).
remained in his vehicle as officers from Massachusetts State
Police, New Hampshire State Police, Holden Police Department,
and Nashua Police Department surrounded him. (Docket No. 1 at
8). Sergeant Gephardt, Officer Hallam, and Sergeant Trefry of
the Nashua Police Department were among those present.
(Docket No. 1 at 8). Plaintiff complied with an officer's
order to exit the vehicle and get on the ground. (Docket No.
1 at 8-9). After his surrender, Troopers Andrew Monaco and
Joseph Flynn began to strike Plaintiff's body repeatedly.
(Docket No. 1 at 10). Although officers of the Nashua Police
Department tried to handcuff Plaintiff at one point, they did
not try to stop the troopers from hitting Plaintiff. (Docket
No. 1 at 10-11). Plaintiff was eventually taken to a hospital
in New Hampshire to treat the injuries he sustained during
8, 2019, Plaintiff filed a § 1983 action against, among
others, the Nashua Defendants. (Docket No. 1). Count II
alleges that Sergeant Gephardt and Officer Hallam physically
restrained Plaintiff while state police officers struck him
in violation of his Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
(Docket No. 1 at 17). Count III alleges that Sergeant
Gephardt and Officer Hallam committed battery against
Plaintiff. (Docket No. 1 at 18). Count IV alleges that
Sergeant Gephardt, Officer Hallam, and Sergeant Trefry
violated Plaintiff's constitutional rights by failing to
intervene when state police officers hit Plaintiff. (Docket
No. 1 at 19). Finally, Count VII alleges that the Nashua
Police Department, acting under the supervision of
Commissioner Tollner, failed to adequately “train its
officers or . . . maintain a policy of intervention when an
officer witnesses another law enforcement officer engaging in
the clear use of excessive force.” (Docket No. 1 at
Nashua Defendants moved to dismiss for lack of personal
jurisdiction on August 16, 2019. (Docket No. 15).
plaintiff bears “the burden of establishing that
jurisdiction over the defendant lies in the forum
state.” Baskin-Robbins Franchising LLC v. Alpenrose
Dairy, Inc., 825 F.3d 28, 34 (1st Cir. 2016). When a
defendant moves to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2), “the
court may proceed to adjudication by one or another among
several different methods.” Boit v. Gar-Tec
Prod., Inc., 967 F.2d 671, 674 (1st Cir. 1992). The most
commonly used standard, applicable here, is the prima facie
standard. Id. at 675. Under the prima facie
standard, a court considers “whether the plaintiff has
proffered evidence that, if credited, is enough to support
findings of all facts essential to personal
jurisdiction.” Id. A plaintiff
“ordinarily cannot rest upon the pleadings, but is
obliged to adduce evidence of specific facts”
supporting jurisdiction. Foster-Miller, Inc. v. Babcock
& Wilcox Canada, 46 F.3d 138, 145 (1st Cir. 1995).
establish personal jurisdiction over the Nashua Defendants,
Plaintiff “must meet the requirements of both the
Massachusetts long-arm statute and the due process clause of
the Fourteenth Amendment.” See A Corp. v. All Am.
Plumbing, Inc., 812 F.3d 54, 58 (1st Cir. 2016).
“The jurisdictional requirements imposed by the
Massachusetts long-arm statute are quite similar to, though
not completely congruent with, the jurisdictional
requirements imposed by the Due Process Clause.”
Baskin-Robbins, 825 F.3d at 34. In this case, the
differences between the requirements of the Massachusetts
long-arm statute and the Due Process Clause are not relevant.
are two types of personal jurisdiction available: general
jurisdiction and specific jurisdiction. Plaintiff asserts
both types of personal jurisdiction here.