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Nye v. Newport Police Department

United States District Court, First Circuit

January 23, 2014

Thadius B. Nye
v.
Newport Police Department and Aaron Aldridge No. 2014 DNH 011

Thadius B. Nye, pro se

ORDER

Landya McCafferty United States District Judge

Before the court is Thadius B. Nye’s complaint (doc. no. 1). Nye’s complaint is construed as intending to state claims, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state tort law, against defendants Aaron Aldridge, a fellow inmate at the New Hampshire State Prison (“NHSP”), and Aldridge’s former employer, the Newport Police Department (“NPD”). The matter is before the court for preliminary review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, to determine if plaintiff has stated any claims upon which relief can be granted.

Background

Aldridge, a former NPD officer, is currently incarcerated at the NHSP where Nye is also incarcerated. Aldridge is serving a sentence for possession of child pornography. Nye alleges that upon seeing Aldridge’s face recently, Nye recalled that when Nye was a minor, Aldridge arrested and brought Nye into custody. Nye recalls that at that time, Aldridge “overly touched” Nye; Aldridge kept “going to [Nye’s] pockets, ” “looked” around Nye “way too much, ” and made sounds or said words Nye could not quite hear, while looking at Nye from behind. Nye further recalls Aldridge telling Nye to “stop moving” when Nye turned around, wondering what Aldridge was doing. Nye believes that Aldridge’s search was a sexual assault, and that the NPD is liable for failing to prevent Aldridge from sexually assaulting him when he was a minor.

Claims

Nye asserts the following claims in this action:

1. Aldridge violated Nye’s (a) Fourth Amendment right to be free from an unreasonable search and seizure, and (b) Fourteenth Amendment right to substantive due process, when Aldridge sexually assaulted Nye when Nye was a minor.

2. The NPD violated Nye’s Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, by failing to prevent its employee, NPD Officer Aldridge, from sexually assaulting minors.

3. Aldridge and the NPD are liable to Nye under state tort law for assault and battery, based on the same allegations giving rise to Nye’s federal constitutional claims.

Discussion

I. Standard for Preliminary Review

The court undertakes a preliminary review of Nye’s complaint, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, to determine whether the action may proceed. 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 ...


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