United States District Court, D. New Hampshire
L. Spillane, Esq., Tony F. Soltani, Esq., Daniel P. Schwarz,
Esq., Brian J. S. Cullen, Esq.
ORDER AND MEMORANDUM
K. Johnstone United States Magistrate Judge.
plaintiff, Lisa Censabella, alleges that various employees of
the Town of Weare Police Department (“WPD”) and
members Board of Selectmen (“Board”) were
complicit in a conspiracy that ultimately resulted in
Censabella's termination as a WPD employee. She brings a
ten-count complaint alleging various violations of federal
and state law. Brandon Montplaisir, a WPD officer, is named
as a defendant in seven of those counts: Counts I, IV, V, VI,
VIII, IX, and X. Montplaisir moves to dismiss each count
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6)
on the basis that Censabella has failed to state a claim
against him upon which relief may be granted. Doc. no. 13.
Censabella objects, subject to one limited exception. Doc.
no. 18. For the reasons that follow, Montplaisir's motion
is granted in part and denied in part.
Rule 12(b)(6), the court must accept the factual allegations
in the complaint as true, construe reasonable inferences in
the plaintiff's favor, and “determine whether the
factual allegations . . . set forth a plausible claim upon
which relief may be granted.” Foley v. Wells Fargo
Bank, N.A., 772 F.3d 63, 71 (1st Cir. 2014) (citation
and quotation marks omitted). A claim is facially plausible
“when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows
the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant
is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Analyzing plausibility
is “a context-specific task” in which the court
relies on its “judicial experience and common
sense.” Id. at 679.
the general factual allegations relevant to Censabella's
claims against Montplaisir are recited in narrative form in
the court's companion order on defendant Shelia
Savaria's motion to dismiss. See Sept. 6, 2017
Order and Memorandum (doc. no. 31). The court incorporates
that narrative herein by reference, and limits its present
discussion to a recitation of the specific allegations
Censabella makes against Montplaisir. These allegations are drawn
from Censabella's complaint and certain documents
attached to Montplaisir's motion to
dismiss. When viewed in the light most favorable to
Censabella, they are as follows:
• Censabella surmised that Montplaisir was part of a
conspiracy against then-WPD lieutenant James Carney.
• Montplaisir started to “target” Censabella
due to the perception that she was close to Carney and was
“leaking” information to him.
• In or around December 2013, Montplaisir told a Police
Explorer that Censabella was a “shitty cop who did not
know what she was doing.” Doc. no. 1-1 ¶ 8.
Montplaisir later denied making this statement when
Censabella confronted him about it.
• In summer 2014, then-WPD sergeant Kenneth Cox informed
Censabella that certain members of the WPD, including
Montplaisir, believed that Censabella was leaking information
• In January 2015, Montplaisir informed a Weare animal
control officer that Censabella had been suspended and would
not be returning to the WPD.
• In March 2015, Censabella started crying
uncontrollably when approached at a bar by Carney, telling
Carney that she could not speak with him because she had
“become the target” of several WPD officers,
including Montplaisir, for not filing a false report against
• In early July 2015, several officers, including
Montplaisir, read aloud in front of Censabella from a lawsuit
that Carney had filed against them in state court. As they
read the lawsuit, Montplaisir became increasingly angry and
“glared” at Censabella. Montplaisir yelled,
“Carney is a piece of shit and anyone who talks to him
is a piece of shit.” Id. ¶ 115. Later in
the day, Censabella started crying when speaking with Cox
about the incident. When Censabella arrived at work the
following day, someone had placed a box of tissues in her
• In late July and early August 2015, several WPD
officers, including Montplaisir, orchestrated “an
onslaught of false allegations, untrue statements, and . . .
internal affairs investigations” against Censabella.
Id. ¶ 121. These actions resulted in Censabella
being placed on unpaid administrative leave.
• In September 2015, Censabella filed charges of
discrimination against several WPD officers, including
Montplaisir, with the New Hampshire Commission for Human
Rights (“NHCHR”) and the United States Equal