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Durand v. Harpold

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit

December 7, 2015

LOUISE DURAND, Plaintiff, Appellant,
v.
DR. THERESA HARPOLD, Defendant, Appellee

APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS. Hon. Richard G. Stearns, U.S. District Judge.

Christopher J. Trombetta and Law Office of Christopher J. Trombetta, on brief for appellant.

Sean E. Capplis, Sandra P. Wysocki Capplis, and Capplis, Connors & Carroll, PC, on brief for appellee.

Before Torruella, Lynch, and Barron, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 393

BARRON, Circuit Judge.

Louise Durand appeals the District Courts dismissal of her 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim against Dr. Theresa Harpold. Durand alleges that Harpold violated Durands federal constitutional rights when Harpold issued an order, pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 123, § 12, authorizing Durand to be seized from her home and brought to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. We affirm.

I.

Harpold, Durand's co-worker at a Massachusetts Department of Mental Health facility in Norton, Massachusetts, issued the order after she was approached by another co-worker, Marleen Mills.[1] Mills reported that Durand was having " visual hallucinations of worms coming out of her body and across telephone [lines]," had " been driving to parts unknown," had been " sending threatening texts" to Mills, had " not been attending to her blood sugar[, and] has diabetes and reported a [blood sugar level] of 30."

Harpold signed the § 12 order on this basis, certifying that there was a " [v]ery substantial risk" that Durand would injure herself. Pursuant to the order, the police took Durand from her home and drove her to a hospital. At the hospital, Durand was evaluated by a doctor, who found Durand lucid and released her.

II.

The District Court dismissed Durand's § 1983 claim against Harpold for failure to state a claim that Harpold had violated her federal constitutional rights. We review the District Court's dismissal de novo, construing all inferences in favor of Durand. See, e.g., Morales-Cruz v. Univ. of P.R., 676 F.3d 220, 224 (1st Cir. 2012).

Durand contends that she has stated a plausible claim that Harpold violated her right, under the Fourth Amendment, to be free from unreasonable seizures because Harpold violated Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 123, ยง 12, by (1) not evaluating Durand before issuing the order to have her seized and ...


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