United States District Court, D. New Hampshire
Josephine Amatucci, pro se.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
K. Johnstone United States Magistrate Judge.
the court for preliminary review is Josephine Amatucci's
complaint (Doc. No. 1), asserting violations of her rights
under the federal constitution and state law. See 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2); LR 4.3(d)(2). In the body of her
complaint, Mrs. Amatucci indicates that she intends this
action to be consolidated with another related case before
this court, Amatucci v. Chase, 17-cv-237-JL (D.N.H.)
7, 2014, former Wolfeboro Police Department ("WPD")
Chief Stuart Chase arrested Mrs. Amatucci for disobeying a
police officer when Mrs. Amatucci failed to pull over for
police officers with activated blue lights and sirens. Mrs.
Amatucci states that she did not stop because she was on the
way to the Carroll County Sheriff's Department
("CCSD") to report that, earlier that day, Chase
had warned her that he would "arrest her on the
spot" if she complained about the police, and that Chase
knew Mrs. Amatucci, after that warning, had attempted to
complain to Town of Wolfeboro officials about Chase, and was
on her way to the CCSD to complain about Chase.
Amatucci, once she stopped her car, was arrested for speeding
and disobeying a police officer. After trial on those
charges, Mrs. Amatucci was found not guilty of speeding and
was convicted of disobeying a police officer after a bench
trial. See June 25, 2015 Order After Trial on
Merits, State v. Amatucci, No. 464-2014-CR-836 (N.H.
Cir. Ct., 3d Cir., Dist. Div., Carroll Cty.). Here, Mrs.
Amatucci seeks to challenge the propriety of her arrest and
prosecution for disobeying a police officer, on the basis
that her acquittal for speeding equates to a finding by the
state trial court that there was no probable cause to arrest
her for disobeying a police officer.
Amatucci asserts that Chase's actions on May 7, 2014,
violated her First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights,
as well as her rights under state law. Mrs. Amatucci also
claims that Chase's actions on that date were part of a
pattern of retaliation against Mrs. Amatucci for her
complaints against members of the WPD over the several years
before the May 7, 2014 incident.
Amatucci also asserts a fraud claim here, alleging that the
state court prosecutor in her speeding and disobeying a
police officer trial deprived her of exculpatory evidence
concerning her state of mind on May 7, 2014. Specifically,
Mrs. Amatucci alleges that May 7, 2014 video footage from the
WPD lobby demonstrates that she was threatened and assaulted
by Chase minutes before the motor vehicle pursuit that
resulted in her arrest. Mrs. Amatucci claims that, at her
criminal trial, the prosecutor suppressed the May 7, 2014
video, and instead presented a 2013 video of Mrs. Amatucci at
the WPD, claiming it was the May 7, 2014 video.
case, Mrs. Amatucci has asserted a number of federal
constitutional and state law claims arising out of the events
of May 7, 2014 and the ensuing prosecution. Those events also
gave rise to claims litigated by Mrs. Amatucci in a prior
federal case, see Amatucci v. O'Brien, No.
15-cv-356-JL (D.N.H.) ("0'Brien").
0'Brien provides a basis for applying the
doctrine of res judicata to bar most of the claims
the preclusive effect of a federal judgment by a court
exercising federal question jurisdiction is at issue, the
court applies federal law of claim preclusion. Maher v.
GSI Lumonics, Inc., 433 F.3d 123, 126 (1st Cir. 2005) .
"Under the federal law of claim preclusion, a final
judgment on the merits of an action precludes the parties or
their privies from relitigating claims that were raised or
could have been raised in that action." Hatch v.
Trail King Indus., 699 F.3d 38, 45 (1st Cir. 2012).
"Claim preclusion applies if (1) the earlier suit
resulted in a judgment on the merits, (2) the causes of
action asserted in the earlier and later suits are
sufficiently identical or related, and (3) the parties in the
two suits are sufficiently identical or closely
related." Airframe Sys., Inc. v. Raytheon Co.,
601 F.3d 9, 14 (1st Cir. 2010) .
the defendants in this action were defendants in
0'Brien, and all of the causes of action
asserted here were asserted in 0'Brien. The
identity of the parties and causes of action here and in
0' Brien are sufficiently related to warrant
application of res judicata.
court in 0'Brien issued a judgment on the merits
as to all claims in that case, and then altered that judgment
to dismiss without prejudice Mrs. Amatucci's malicious
prosecution claims under state and federal law, for
prosecuting her maliciously for speeding, without probable
cause. See November 17, 2017 Order,
O'Brien (ECF No. 229). Mrs. Amatucci has,
however, asserted those claims in another action in this
court, Chase I. In an Order issued in Chase
I, the court has directed service of the malicious
prosecution claims asserted here against the essentially the
same set of defendants named in this action. This case is
duplicative of Chase I, with respect to those
malicious prosecution claims, and those claims may be
dismissed, without prejudice, as duplicative of that prior