Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Amatucci v. Chase

United States District Court, D. New Hampshire

February 6, 2018

Josephine Amatucci
v.
Stuart Chase et al.[1]

          Josephine Amatucci, pro se Daniel J. Mullen, Esq. Mark H. Puffer, Esq.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          ANDREA K. JOHNSTONE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Before the court for preliminary review are complaint addenda (Doc. Nos. 27-31, 33-43, 45, 50, 51, 53, 54, 56, 61, 66-71) filed by plaintiff, Josephine Amatucci. See LR 4.3(d)(2). Also before the court are Mrs. Amatucci's motions: for an expedited jury trial (Doc. No. 32); to clarify (Doc. Nos. 46, 47); to amend the complaint (Doc. Nos. 49, 60, 72); and for summary judgment and/or directed verdict (Doc. Nos. 55, 73).[2]

         Discussion[3]

         I. Issues Already Decided

         In large part, Mrs. Amatucci's filings at issue in this Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) either reassert claims that have been dismissed from this action, are asserted against defendants already dropped from this case, or reiterate arguments that have been rejected by the court. With the exception of matters specifically discussed in this R&R, Mrs. Amatucci's factual assertions and legal arguments are neither new nor more persuasive upon repetition. To the extent Mrs. Amatucci seeks, in any of her filings, to assert claims that have already been dismissed from this case, or to add defendants that are not presently in the case, the district judge should deny those requests.

         II. Malicious Prosecution Claims

         A. Monell Claim

         In her filings, Mrs. Amatucci repeatedly asserts that she wants Fourth Amendment malicious prosecution claims to proceed in this matter against the Town of Wolfeboro (“Town”) and/or Town officials in their official capacities. In Monell v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., the Supreme Court authorized a suit against a town, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, for a constitutional violation where “action pursuant to official municipal policy of some nature caused a constitutional tort.” 436 U.S. 658, 691 (1978). Mrs. Amatucci alleges that, under the Fourth Amendment, the Town is liable to her for the malicious prosecution for speeding at issue in this case, because that prosecution was the effectuation of “de facto” municipal policies to ignore police misconduct and police misconduct complaints, and to violate Mrs. Amatucci's rights when she complained about the Wolfeboro Police Department (“WPD”) and Town officers. Mrs. Amatucci has stated the minimum facts necessary to state a Fourth Amendment malicious prosecution claim against the Town under Monell. Accordingly, in an Order issued this date, the court directs that the Monell claim be served on the Town, and further directs the defendants to answer that claim.

         B. Unlawful Detention

         Mrs. Amatucci asserts that the court has not considered her claim challenging her pretrial “detention” that allegedly began on May 7, 2014 and lasted through the criminal prosecution at issue here. Mrs. Amatucci's claim that she was detained, due to “the wrongful institution of legal process, ” is properly brought as a Fourth Amendment malicious prosecution claim. See Filler v. Kellet, 859 F.3d 148, 152 n.2 (1st Cir. 2017) (recognizing Fourth Amendment malicious prosecution claim for unlawful pretrial detention); Hernandez-Cuevas v. Taylor, 836 F.3d 116, 123 (1st Cir. 2016) (same). Accordingly, a Fourth Amendment malicious prosecution claim based on Mrs. Amatucci's pretrial detention may proceed in this matter. In an Order issued simultaneously with this Report and Recommendation, the court will direct the defendants to answer that claim.

         C. State Law Claims

         In this action, Mrs. Amatucci has indicated that she wants to proceed on Fourth Amendment malicious prosecution claims rather than under a state tort theory of malicious prosecution. The court previously ruled in this matter that both her Fourth Amendment malicious prosecution claims and her state law tort claims for malicious prosecution may proceed in this case against each of the defendants upon whom this court has directed service. If Mrs. Amatucci wants to proceed only on her Fourth Amendment claims, and forego litigating the malicious prosecution claims she has asserted under state law, she must move to dismiss or withdraw those claims from this action.

         D. Timothy Morgan

         Mrs. Amatucci seeks to amend her complaint to add WPD prosecutor Timothy Morgan, who prosecuted her for speeding on May 7, 2014, as a defendant to her malicious prosecution claims. Specifically, Mrs. Amatucci alleges that Morgan failed to produce, either to Mrs. Amatucci or at trial, the “true” video of what occurred in the WPD lobby on May 7, 2014, between Mrs. Amatucci and then WPD Chief Stuart Chase which, she alleges, would have exculpated her. Mrs. Amatucci alleges that Morgan, instead, fraudulently, produced a different video, both in discovery and to the court, which Morgan represented to be the “true” May 7, 2014 WPD lobby video.

         Prosecutors are entitled to absolute immunity from claims arising out of their “prosecutorial actions that are ‘intimately associated with the judicial phase of the criminal process.'” Van de Kamp v. Goldstein, 555 U.S. 335, 341 (2009) (quoting Imbler v. Pachtman, 424 U.S. 409, 430 (1976)). “The Imbler rule has been applied where prosecutors failed to disclose exculpatory evidence specifically requested by the defense, and where prosecutors misled the trial court in order to conceal their failure to disclose exculpatory evidence.” Reid v. New Hampshire, 56 F.3d 332, 336-37 (1st Cir. 1995) (internal citations omitted).

         Mrs. Amatucci's assertions about Morgan's failure to provide the correct video, either to her or to the trial court, therefore, do not state a claim that may proceed against Morgan. Accordingly, the district judge should deny Mrs. Amatucci's request to assert a malicious prosecution claim against Morgan.

         III. James O'Brien

         In a motion to amend (Doc. No. 60), Mrs. Amatucci has asked that this action not proceed against defendant James O'Brien. The District Judge should grant ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.