FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF
MASSACHUSETTS. Hon. Nathaniel M. Gorton, U.S. District Judge.
J. McCormick, III, with whom McCormick & Maitland was on
brief, for appellant.
J. Gambaccini, with whom Reardon, Joyce & Akerson, P.C. was
on brief, for appellee Daniel Racine.
Howayeck, Office of the Corporation Counsel, City of Fall
River, for appellee the City of Fall River.
Kayatta, Stahl, and Barron, Circuit Judges.
BARRON, Circuit Judge.
Saldivar appeals the dismissal of her federal civil rights
and state law negligence claims against the City of Fall
River, Massachusetts, and Fall River Police Chief Daniel
Racine. The District Court dismissed those claims pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) for failure to state
a claim. We affirm.
allegations set forth in Saldivar's
complaint are very disturbing. As we are
reviewing a dismissal for failure to state a claim, we accept
the complaint's factual allegations as true and draw all
reasonable inferences from those facts in favor of Saldivar.
See Gargano v. Liberty Int'l Underwriters, Inc.,
572 F.3d 45, 48 (1st Cir. 2009). So read, the complaint
offers the following account.
early June 2011, Elba Saldivar, a resident of Fall River,
contacted the Fall River Police Department and reported that
her child had been harassed at school. The Police Department
assigned Officer Anthony Pridgen to investigate the incident.
arrived at Saldivar's apartment in his marked police
cruiser and in full uniform and told Saldivar he needed to
question her as part of his investigation. Saldivar allowed
Pridgen into her apartment.
entering the apartment, Pridgen pulled out his service
handgun and pointed it at Saldivar. He then grabbed Saldivar
and assaulted, battered, and raped her. He told Saldivar he
would kill her and her children if she reported the assault.
Pridgen's threats, Saldivar reported the assault to the
Police Department, and the Department conducted an
investigation. The investigation uncovered security camera
footage at Saldivar's housing complex that showed a
police cruiser parked next to one of the buildings in that
complex and Pridgen entering and leaving that building. A
subsequent search of Pridgen's police locker led to the
seizure of various items, including two condoms and two
packages of " Extenze" tablets.
resigned from his job as a Fall River police officer on June
28, 2011. In September of that same year, the Bristol County,
Massachusetts, District Attorney's office informed
Saldivar that it would not prosecute Pridgen.
complaint also sets forth the following allegations
concerning how Pridgen had been disciplined by the Police
Department on various occasions prior to the alleged
assault. In February 2007, he was suspended for
thirty days --a punishment later reduced to a written warning
and training -- for failing to abide by Department policy in
handling a domestic violence call. A few months later, in
October 2007, Pridgen was suspended for five days without pay
for violating the Department's sick leave policy. And,
according to his disciplinary record, in January 2011, he was
suspended for a day for violating the " [r]oll
call/[leave benefit] policy." Pridgen was also
reprimanded seven times between September 2003 and June 2011
for " [f]ailure to log & submit [e]vidence [f]orm,"
" attention to duty," " absence from
duty/late," " cruiser accident," "
pursuit policy," " tardiness," and "
final disciplinary action came in June of 2011, shortly after
the alleged rape and assault. At that time, he was suspended
for five days without pay for allowing his license to carry
his service handgun to lapse for five years.
brought suit against Pridgen, Fall River Chief of Police
Daniel Racine, and the City of Fall River for (1) assault and
battery by Pridgen; (2) violation of the Massachusetts Civil
Rights Act by Pridgen and the City; (3) violation of 42
U.S.C. § 1983 by all defendants, and (4) negligent
hiring, training, and supervision by the City.
never entered an appearance in this case, and the District
Court granted default judgment of $600,000 to Saldivar on her
claims against him. Racine and the City then moved to dismiss
all of Saldivar's claims against them for failure to
state a claim. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). The District Court
granted those motions and dismissed the complaint. See
Saldivar v. Pridgen, 91 F.Supp.3d 134 (D. Mass.
appeals the dismissal of her § 1983 claim against
Racine, her § 1983 claim against the City, and her
negligent hiring, ...