United States District Court, D. New Hampshire
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
K. JOHNSTONE, Magistrate Judge.
plaintiff Amanda Faria has filed a complaint (doc. no. 1) and
a verified complaint (doc. no. 5) seeking damages, pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. Â§ 1983, alleging that defendants violated her
due process rights, her rights under the Fair Debt Collection
Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. Â§ 1692, et seq. ("FDCPA"),
and New Hampshire statutes. The matter is before the
court for preliminary review, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Â§
1915(e)(2) and LR 4.3(d)(2).
determining whether a pro se pleading states a claim, the
court construes the pleading liberally. See Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). The magistrate judge may
recommend to the district judge that one or more claims be
dismissed if, among other things, the court lacks
jurisdiction, a defendant is immune from the relief sought,
or the complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may
be granted. See 28 U.S.C. Â§ 1915(e)(2); LR 4.3(d)(2). The
complaint must contain "sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to state a claim to relief.'" See
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)
the complaint does not present a clear narrative of events
underlying Faria's action, the court understands the
facts asserted to be as follows. Faria and a third party,
Thomas W. Lyle, Jr., own property at 192 Lovell Lake Road in
Wakefield, New Hampshire. On September 22, 2014, Dugas
Builders, LLC ("Dugas") filed a
"Petition/Motion for Ex Parte Attachment" against
Faria and Lyle in state court, seeking to perfect a
mechanic's lien on the Lovell Lake Road property and to
obtain a writ of attachment, pursuant to state law. See Dugas
Builders, LLC v. Faria, No. 464-2014-cv-123, (N.H. Cir. Ct.,
3rd Cir., Dist. Div., Ossipee). On August 11, 2015, that
court issued a writ of attachment for Dugas, for recovery of
a debt in the amount of $15, 320.98. On December 3, 2015, the
court issued a Writ of Execution for the August 11, 2015,
judgment. A levy was accomplished against the Lovell Lake
Road property at the Carroll County Registry of Deeds on
December 28, 2015. The state court directed the Carroll
County Sheriff to collect upon the Writ of Execution and the
Sheriff's sale of the property was scheduled for February
11, 2016. Prior to that date, Faria attempted to file papers
with Domenic M. Richardi, the Carroll County High Sheriff,
and Lisa Scott, the Carroll County Register of Deeds. These
documents included, among other things, two affidavits signed
by Faria containing arguments and "evidence" that,
she alleges, demonstrate that the state court judgment
underlying the Writ of Execution, levy, and Sheriff's
sale of the Lovell Lake Road property, were incorrect under
the law, and that the judgment in favor of Dugas was based on
fraudulent evidence presented to the state court. It seems
Faria expected that Richardi and Scott would accept those
documents, agree that the judgment was void, and stop
attempts to collect on the judgment, including the
Sheriff's sale. Faria also asserts that Scott was
required to accept the documents under state law. Scott
declined to accept the documents and advised Faria to seek
relief in the court that issued the judgment.
claims that defendants violated her rights when they
registered and executed a state court judgment against her
property, on the basis that the state court judgment upon
which they acted was wrong, and based on false evidence.
"[A]ctors in the judicial system who are authorized to
perform quasi-judicial functions by law" enjoy the same
absolute immunity from a Â§ 1983 suit for damages as does a
judge acting within its jurisdiction. Schofield v. Johnson,
No. 08-11787-RGS, 2009 WL 1137917, at *1, 2009 U.S. Dist.
LEXIS 37466, at *3 (D. Mass. Apr. 28, 2009) (citing
Antoine v. Byers & Anderson, Inc., 508 U.S. 429,
435-36 (1993)). "The policy justifying an extension of
absolute immunity in these circumstances is to prevent court
personnel and other officials from becoming a lightning rod
for harassing litigation aimed at the court.'"
Schofield, 2009 WL 1137917, at *1, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS
37466, at *3-*4 (quoting Richman v. Sheahan, 270
F.3d 430, 435 (7th Cir. 2001)); see also Whiting v.
Kirk, 960 F.2d 248, 253 (1st Cir. 1992) ("police
officers, sheriffs, and other court officers who act in
reliance on a facially valid court order are entitled to
quasi-judicial immunity from suit under Â§ 1983 for
damages'" (citation omitted)); Smith v.
Laster, 787 F.Supp.2d 315, 319 (D. Del. 2011) (recorder
of deeds acting pursuant to court order entitled to absolute
quasi-judicial immunity); Addison v. Pearlman, No. CA
206-3403-HFF-RSC, 2006 WL 3843616, at *3, 2006 U.S. Dist.
LEXIS 94583, at *11 (D.S.C. Dec. 12, 2006) (Register of Deeds
entitled to quasi-judicial immunity for recording judicial
decree or court order). Cf. Surprenant v. Mulcrone,
163 N.H. 529, 531, 44 A.3d 465, 467 (2012) ("Absolute
judicial immunity [to state law damages claims] attaches when
a [guardian ad litem] GAL performs certain delegated duties
because of the intimate relationship between the GAL and the
court in the judicial process.'" (citation
and Scott, in performing the acts that Faria claims violated
her rights, were acting in compliance with a court order.
Accordingly, defendants enjoy absolute immunity from this
damages action, and all claims for damages against them
should be dismissed.
foregoing reasons, the district judge should dismiss this
action in its entirety. Any objections to this Report and
Recommendation must be filed within fourteen days of receipt
of this notice. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(2). Failure to file
objections within the specified time waives the right to
appeal the district court's order. See
Garayalde-Rijos v. Mun. of Carolina, 747 F.3d 15,
21-22 (1st Cir. 2014).