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Lath v. Manchester Police Department

United States District Court, D. New Hampshire

March 23, 2017

Sanjeev Lath
v.
Manchester Police Department; Oak Brook Condominium Owners' Association; Cheryl Vallee; Perry Vallee; Patty Taylor; Christos Arthur Klardie; Gerald Dufresne; Dorothy Vachon; Betty Mullen; Zenaida Rodriguez; Warren Titus Mills; James Anthony Mullen; William Quinn Morey; Al Terry Plumbing and Heating, Inc.; BMS CAT; Amica Mutual Insurance Co.; and Justin Boufford Opinion No. 2017 DNH 057

          ORDER

          Landya McCafferty United States District Judge.

         In this action, pro se plaintiff Sanjeev Lath has sued 17 defendants in 27 counts. He asserts claims arising from several incidents that have taken place during his tenure as a unit owner in the Oak Brook Condominium (“Oak Brook”). Before the court are two motions to dismiss, one filed by Betty Mullen and Jamie Cox, [1] the other filed or joined by Oak Brook Condominium Owners' Association (“Association”), Cheryl Vallee, Perry Vallee, William Morey, Christos Klardie, Zenaida Rodriguez, Patty Taylor, Warren Mills, and Dorothy Vachon (hereinafter “nine defendants”). Lath has objected to the motion filed by Mullen and Cox, but has not objected to the motion filed by the nine defendants. For the reasons that follow, the motion to dismiss filed by Mullen and Cox is granted, and the motion filed by the nine defendants is granted in part.

         I. Background

         In Cause 1 of his First Amended Complaint (“FAC”), plaintiff asserts his sole federal claim. Through the vehicle of 42 U.S.C. § 1983, he claims that the Manchester Police Department (“MPD”) violated his right to equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution by: (1) refusing to take information from him when he attempted to report three incidents (i.e., Vachon allegedly drilled holes into his unit and installed a wiretapping device, his mailbox was defaced with graffiti, and his car was vandalized); (2) taking 30 minutes to respond to a burglary alarm from his unit; and (3) characterizing him in various police records as being a “mental subject.”

         II. Discussion

         In this section, the court considers in turn each of the two pending motions to dismiss Lath's FAC.

         A. Document No. 27 (Mullen & Cox)

         In the paragraph of his FAC in which he identifies the individual defendants, plaintiff does not mention either Mullen or Cox. See doc. no. 24 ¶ 18. However, in paragraph 33 of the second amended complaint in Lath v. Oak Brook Condominium Owners' Ass'n, No. 116-cv-463-LM, Lath alleges that Mullen is an Oak Brook unit owner and that Cox is her son. The FAC includes the following factual allegations concerning Mullen and Cox:

After a flood emanated from Lath's unit on December 13, 2016, “Betty Mullen . . . interrogated Lath's caretaker and friend, Randall Parker Booth, persuading Booth to admit Lath was the person who caused the “flooding.” Mullen asked if Booth was [Lath's] “boyfriend” and asked Booth about intimate details concerning Lath's life.” FAC (doc. no. 24) ¶ 53.
After a fire in Lath's unit on December 15, 2016, Mullen and Cox “made statements that Lath intentionally caused the fire and they had heard and seen the incident by a camera in Lath's unit.” Id. ¶ 43.
“Lath has been exposed to the dangers and harassment from the Defendants, Betty Ann Mullen, [Cox], Cheryl Vallee, Perry Vallee, Zenaida Rodriguez, Patricia Napolitano, Dorothy Martha Vachon, Gerald Paul Dufresne, Christos/Christas Arthur Klardie, which has exponentially deteriorated his health and has deprived Plaintiff Lath of his Fourteenth [A]mendment rights, of due process, to report a crime, when he called the Manchester Police on September 30, 2016, to file a report for the actions of the said defendants.” Id. ¶ 127.[2]
[Cox] has caused transmission of harmful [radio] frequencies, primarily to cause physical harm upon Lath, from the attic space immediately above Lath's unit.” Id. ¶ 252.
[Cox's] use of high frequency sound has further caused Lath to suffer with excruciating headaches. Id. ¶ 254.

         Based upon the foregoing allegations, Lath asserts three claims against Mullen and Cox: (1) a claim against Mullen, under the common law of New Hampshire, for invasion of privacy, based upon her conversation with Booth (Cause 16, see FAC ¶ 249); (2) a claim against Cox, under N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. (“RSA”) § 570-A, for wiretapping, based upon his transmission of high frequency radio signals (Cause 17, see Id. ¶¶ 251-54); and (3) a claim against all defendants other than the MPD, under the common law of New Hampshire, for civil conspiracy (Cause 19, see Id. ¶ 277).

         Mullen and Cox argue that the claims against them should be dismissed because: (1) the court lacks diversity jurisdiction over this case under 28 U.S.C. § 1332; (2) the only claims plaintiff has brought against them arise under state law; and (3) the court lacks supplemental jurisdiction over those claims, under 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a), or should decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction, under ...


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