United States District Court, D. New Hampshire
Marie Brady, pro se
Demetrio F. Aspiras, III, Esq.
J.S. Cullen, Esq.
Melissa A. Hewey, Esq.
DiClerico, Jr. United States District Judge
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. The School Board,
Mosca, and MacDonald move for judgment on the
pleadings. Brady objects.
“After the pleadings are closed-but early enough not to
delay trial-a party may move for judgment on the
pleadings.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c). The court
“take[s] all well-pleaded facts in the light most
favorable to the non-moving party and draw[s] all reasonable
inferences in that party's favor.” Najas
Realty, LLC v. Seekonk Water Dist., 821 F.3d 134,
140 (1st Cir. 2016). Only factual allegations are credited,
however, not legal conclusions or other conclusory statements
that are not facts. Id. To survive the motion, the
plaintiff's complaint must allege sufficient facts
“to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.” Downing v. Glove Direct LLC, 682 F.3d
18, 22 (1st Cir. 2012) (internal quotation marks omitted).
court noted in the order granting Jeanne Kincaid's motion
to dismiss, 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. Brady apparently copied a form
and includes the instructions from the form in her complaint.
Brady was given an opportunity to amend the complaint but did
not do so.
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, the
University of New Hampshire's Institute on Disability
produced a film, called “Axel”, about a special
needs student in the Somersworth School District who is
referred to as “AC”. The film was funded by an
educational grant and portrays AC as being able to function
through “facilitated communication” at grade
level and with the ability to be college bound. Brady was
part of AC's team at the middle school and disagreed with
the methods that were used and shown in the film and with the
suggestion that AC could function at the level portrayed.
September 3, 2012, Brady sent a grievance to Mosca and other
school district employees against MacDonald, stating
Brady's view that MacDonald had not properly considered
Brady's concerns about the educational plan for AC and
had created a hostile work environment for her. At the
suggestion of the assistant principal, Brady withdrew the
did not agree with the educational plan for AC, however, and
did not comply with directions she was given. 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 but later withdrew the grievance.
December of 2013, Brady had problems with another staff
member who, Brady suspected, was abusing prescription pain
medication. When Brady suspected that the staff member had
bitten Brady's school identification badge, which left
saliva on the badge, Brady sent that sample along with a
known sample of the staff member's saliva for DNA testing
to prove who had bitten the badge. The result was
inconclusive. The relationship between Brady and the staff
member deteriorated, and the school administrators tried to
mediate the situation.
March of 2014, Mosca issued a warning to Brady about her
actions, including a statement that Brady had violated the
staff member's privacy and RSA 141-H:2. Brady and the
other staff member were transferred to different schools.
felt that her transfer from the middle school to an
elementary school was a demotion. She did not report to work
at the new school. She was granted medical leave but never
returned to work. Brady's appeal of the transfer decision
to the New Hampshire Board of Education was stayed because of
pending dismissal proceedings.
in the summer of 2014, Brady brought charges of educational
grant fraud to the New Hampshire Commissioner of Education
against Mosca, MacDonald, and others, based on the
“Axel” film. She also included charges of grant
fraud in a complaint filed with the New Hampshire Department
of Labor that alleged a violation of the Whistleblower
Protection Act and in a complaint filed with the United
States Office of Inspector General, along with other
agencies. Each agency informed her that her charges were
unfounded. Dissatisfied with the responses to her complaints,
Brady made statements to the media about her charges of grant
fraud and disclosed confidential information about AC.
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 ethics policy, ” and was insubordinate to the
superintendent. Mosca recommended that Brady be terminated.
hearing was held before the school board over a period of
three days in January of 2015. The school board hired an
attorney, John Teague, to act as a hearing officer and to
advise the school board. After the hearing, the school board
found that Brady had acted in an unprofessional manner by
having a staff member's DNA tested, that her
communications with parties outside the school district about
AC violated federal law and school district policies, and
that Brady abandoned her position at the elementary school
after her transfer there. Brady was terminated on January 20,
Brady was terminated, the Board of Education considered her
appeal of the transfer decision. The Board concluded that it
lacked jurisdiction to consider the appeal. Brady did ...