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Brady v. Somersworth School District, School Board

United States District Court, D. New Hampshire

June 13, 2016

Lisa Marie Brady
v.
Somersworth School District, School Board, et al. Opinion No. 2016 DNH 100

          Demetrio F. Aspiras, III, Esq.

          Lisa Marie Brady, Esq.

          Brian J.S. Cullen, Esq.

          Melissa A. Hewey, Esq.

          ORDER

          Joseph DiClerico, Jr. United States District Judge

         Lisa Marie Brady, proceeding pro se, brings federal and state claims against the School Board of the Somersworth School District; Jeni Mosca, the Superintendent of Schools; Pamela MacDonald, the Special Education Director; and Jeanne Kincaid, counsel for the school district, arising from the termination of Brady’s employment. Kincaid moves to dismiss the claims against her pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Brady did not file a response to the motion.

         Standard of Review

         In considering a motion under Rule 12(b)(6), the court assumes the truth of the properly pleaded facts and takes all reasonable inferences from those facts that support the plaintiff’s claims. Mulero-Carrillo v. Roman-Hernandez, 790 F.3d 99, 104 (1st Cir. 2015). The court also considers documents submitted with the complaint, “matters of public record, and facts susceptible to judicial notice.” Guadalupe-Baez v. Pesquera, __ F.3d __, 2016 WL 1592690, at *2 (1st Cir. Apr. 20, 2016). Conclusory legal allegations, however, are not credited for purposes of a motion to dismiss. Id. at *3. Based on the properly pleaded facts, the court determines whether the plaintiff has stated “a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).

         Background

         The allegations in the complaint are not presented in a coherent sequential narrative but instead state legal conclusions with reference to documents and data submitted with the complaint. The following background information pertaining to the claims against Jeanne Kincaid is summarized from the complaint.

         Brady is a licensed special education teacher who was tenured in the Somersworth School District and was working at the Somersworth Middle School. While Brady was working there, staff in the school district made a film called “Axel” about a special education student in the district. The film was funded by an educational grant. Brady disagreed with the methods that were used and shown in the film.

         In September of 2012, Brady complained to the administrators of the Somersworth School District about the film and also filed complaints of criminal fraud based on the grant for the film with “multiple NH State and federal agencies.” Brady was dissatisfied with the responses to her complaints and notified the press about her charges of criminal fraud against the Somersworth School District. In March of 2013, Pamela MacDonald put a warning in Brady’s employee file. Brady disputed the warning with a written rebuttal and a grievance.

         In March of 2014, Mosca accused Brady of violating RSA 141-H:2 and transferred Brady from the middle school to an elementary school in the district.[1] Brady’s counsel accused the school district of violating New Hampshire’s Whistleblower Act. Brady made charges of educational grant fraud against Mosca, MacDonald, and others to the New Hampshire Commissioner of Education. In September and October of 2014, Brady tried unsuccessfully to appeal the decision to transfer her to the New Hampshire Department of Education. Brady also brought a complaint to the New Hampshire Department of Labor, accusing the Somersworth School District of violating the Whistleblowers’ Protection Act.[2]

         Mosca hired an investigator to address the issues of Brady’s complaints and activities. The investigator issued a report on December 4, 2014, with findings that Brady had violated the Family Educational and Privacy Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, had “behaved in a non-professional manner, in violation of the Somersworth Staff ...


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