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Human v. Colarusso

United States District Court, First Circuit

January 16, 2014

Human
v.
Anthony F. Colarusso, Jr., and Thomas P. Velardi. Opinion No. 2014 DNH 006

ORDER

STEVEN J. McAULIFFE, District Judge.

Plaintiff, named "human, " has filed a complaint in forma pauperis, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state law, alleging that Dover Police Department ("DPD") Chief Anthony Colarusso, Jr., and Strafford County Attorney Thomas P. Velardi, are liable in their official capacities for violations of plaintiff's federal and state constitutional rights. The matter is before this court for preliminary review, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) and LR 4.3(d)(2).

Background

Plaintiff asserts that he has engaged in lawful public protests against the DPD on public sidewalks in downtown Dover, New Hampshire, and that DPD officers have harassed and intimidated him because of his speech and protests. Plaintiff further asserts that DPD officers arrested him and falsely charged him with disorderly conduct, and that a jury acquitted him of that charge on June 30, 2010.

In this lawsuit, plaintiff asserts the following claims for damages and declaratory relief:

1. DPD officers, at the direction of Chief Colarusso, violated plaintiff's First Amendment rights, by (a) harassing and intimidating plaintiff, (b) falsely arresting plaintiff, and (c) prosecuting plaintiff on a false charge of disorderly conduct, in retaliation for his exercise of his First Amendment rights to free speech, peaceful assembly, and to petition the government for the redress of grievances.
2. DPD officers, at the direction of Chief Colarusso, (a) falsely arrested plaintiff, and (b) maliciously prosecuted plaintiff, without probable cause, in violation of plaintiff's Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.
3. The Office of the Strafford County Attorney violated plaintiff's federal constitutional rights, by prosecuting plaintiff on a trumped-up charge of disorderly conduct, maliciously, and in retaliation for his exercise of First Amendment rights.
4. Defendants violated plaintiff's rights under the Tenth Amendment.
5. Defendants violated Part I, Articles 19, 22, and 32 of the New Hampshire Constitution.

Discussion

I. Standard

In determining whether a pro se complaint states a claim, the court construes the complaint liberally. See Erickson v. Pardus , 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). Disregarding any legal conclusions, the court considers whether the factual content in the complaint and inferences reasonably drawn therefrom, taken as true, state a facially plausible claim to relief. Hernandez-Cuevas v. ...


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