United States District Court, D. New Hampshire
Margaret Kris, pro se.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
K. Johnstone United States Magistrate Judge.
the court is plaintiff Margaret Kris's complaint (Doc.
No. 1); two motions seeking preliminary injunctive relief
(Doc. Nos. 2, 4); and a notice/motion (Doc. No. 5) regarding
her contacts with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
Development (“HUD”). This case arises out of an
eviction proceeding Kris contends was undertaken in
retaliation for her complaints to the local public housing
authority. The defendants to this action are Charlene
Dusseault, Frances Dusseault, and the Dusseault Family
Revocable Trust (“Dusseault Trust”) (the landlord
that evicted her); the Dusseault Trust's counsel,
Attorney Sean Curran; and HUD. The complaint and the factual
assertions in Document Nos. 2, 4, and 5 are here for
preliminary review under LR 4.3(d)(2) and 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2). Kris's motions for preliminary injunctive
relief have been referred to the magistrate judge for a
report and recommendation, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(B). See June 21, 2018 Order; July 13, 2018
who has a hearing impairment and other disabilities, was a
tenant in an apartment with a driveway parking space, in
Manchester, New Hampshire. The apartment was owned by Frances
Dusseault and/or the Dusseault Trust. Kris's rent was
subsidized by the Manchester Housing and Redevelopment
Authority (“MHRA”) under the HUD Section 8
program. Kris's lease started on September 15,
2017. Kris was evicted in July 2018.
asserts that the building had a bedbug issue that the
landlord did not disclose before Kris moved in. On October 5,
2017, Kris reported to the MHRA that her building needed
extermination, and she noted that she had a breathing problem
(COPD) and a “support animal” that could be
harmed by chemical exposure. Oct. 5, 2017 MHRA Request for
Reasonable Accommodation (Doc. No. 1-1, at 38).
letter addressed to MHRA agent Deb Butterworth, dated
December 11, 2017, Kris complained about maintenance issues
in her apartment, the behavior of other tenants, and ice in
the driveway. See Dec. 11, 2017 Ltr. to Deb
Butterworth, MHRA (Doc. No. 1-1, at 39). A winter parking
notice signed by Frances Dusseault on December 16, 2017,
notified tenants that they needed to remove their cars from
the driveway when it snowed more than three inches, to allow
for snowplowing. See Doc. No. 1-1, at 44. In a
January 4, 2018 letter to the MHRA, Kris complained that the
snowplow honking its horn in the driveway did not give her
adequate notice of the need to move her car, as she is deaf
in one ear. See Jan. 4, 2017 Ltr. to Deb
Butterworth, MHRA (Doc. No. 1-1, at 45).
has further alleged that on an unspecified date in January
2018, Frances Dusseault and Charlene Dusseault came to
Kris's apartment to “admonish” Kris for
reporting them to the MHRA. Doc. No. 1-2, at 35. Kris asserts
that Charlene and Frances “verbally assaulted”
her, and that Frances grabbed Kris's arm and pushed it
out of the away, using her fingernails, as Kris approached
her carrying a cup to the sink. Doc. No. 1-2, at 33-34; Doc.
No. 1-1, at 31; Doc. No. 1-2, at 18. Kris then asked Frances
and Charlene to leave, and reported the incident to the
police as an assault. See Doc. No. 1-2, at 34. Kris
asserts that she did not receive any response to any of her
complaints to the landlord reporting maintenance issues,
after that incident. See Doc. No. 1-2, at 33; Doc.
No. 1-1, at 31.
withheld rent in February/March 2018. See Doc. No.
1-1, at 40; Doc. No. 1-1, at 18. On March 2, 2018, Attorney
Sean Curran, on behalf of the Dusseault Trust, filed a state
court proceeding to evict Kris, see Dusseault Family Rev.
Tr. of 2017 v. Kris, No. 456-2018-LT-00234 (9th Cir.
Dist. Div., Manchester, filed Mar. 2, 2018). Kris obtained
money orders for unpaid rent, which she brought with her to
the March 23, 2018 hearing in that case. See Doc.
No. 1-1, at 18. Those money orders were not accepted, and the
Manchester District Court issued a judgment for the landlord
on that date.
filed a notice of appeal of the Manchester District Court
judgment in the New Hampshire Supreme Court
(“NHSC”). See Doc. No. 4, at 8-9. The
NHSC declined to accept that appeal on June 13, 2018, see
Dusseault Family Rev. Tr. of 2017 v. Kris, No. 2018-0215
(N.H. June 13, 2018) (Doc. No. 1-1, at 4), and the Manchester
District Court issued a writ of possession to the landlord on
July 2, 2018.
record includes a notice, dated April 13, 2018, addressed to
Kris at a prior address, stating that Kris was no longer
eligible for receipt of electrical assistance payments,
administered under the New Hampshire Electric Assistance
Program, effective April 1, 2018. See Doc. No. 1-2,
at 3. Kris asserts that in discussions preceding her signing
the lease, Joanne had told Kris that Frances Dusseault would
receive and retain Kris's electrical assistance payments.
See Ltr. to Bonnie, MHRA Housing Supervisor, May 14,
2018 (Doc. No. 1-1, at 22).
March 30, 2018, Kris sent a Fair Housing Act
(“FHA”) complaint to HUD. See Doc. No.
1-1, at 1, 17. Kris checked boxes on that form indicating
that she believed she had been discriminated against on
multiple bases, including having a handicap or disability.
See id. Kris asserts here that Robert D. Forti, HUD
Intake Branch Chief, responded to that complaint by sending a
letter to Kris in July 2018 asking her to provide additional
documentation. See Doc. No. 5, at 1.
filed this action on June 20, 2018, along with her first
motion for a preliminary injunction. See Doc. Nos.
1, 2. Kris claims that HUD and the state courts failed to
enforce laws prohibiting disability discrimination, and that
judges in the state proceedings were biased. Kris also asks
this court to enjoin the eviction, to compel HUD to respond
to her complaint, and to compel HUD to represent her in the
eviction proceeding and to pursue an enforcement action
against the Dusseaults.
filed a second motion for preliminary injunctive relief in
this case on July 13, 2018. See Doc. No. 4. In that
motion, she asserts that she went to the apartment on July
11, 2018, and found it marked with a sheriff's sticker.
Kris entered the apartment to retrieve her belongings. Kris
asserts that six Manchester Police Department officers
arrived on the scene, threw her against a porch railing, and
handcuffed her. Kris further asserts that MPD officers did
not allow her to receive medical attention at that time.
See Doc. No. 5. Kris was charged with resisting
arrest, criminal trespass, and disturbing the peace.
See Doc. No. 4.
further asserts that she was sent to the Hillsborough County
Department of Corrections (“HCDOC”) on July 11,
and that after her arrival, while changing her clothes at the
direction of a corrections officer (“C.O.”), Kris
was falsely accused of attempting to assault a C.O. HCDOC
officers then pepper-sprayed Kris and slammed her head
against the floor. Doc. No. 4, at 4-5. A C.O. stepped on her
bare foot, breaking her toe. Id. at 5. She asserts
that a contusion on her elbow resulting from the arrest was
aggravated by the HCDOC assault. Id. Kris asserts
she was released the next day without adequate removal of the
pepper spray. Id. She alleges that while at the
HCDOC she asked for a grievance form and a Bible, which she
did not receive. See id.
asserts that her bail conditions require her to stay away
from the apartment, see Doc. No. 4, at 5, and that
she is temporarily living with her son. See Doc. No.
4, at 3, 5. Kris also asserts that she has filed a motion in
the Manchester District Court asking for assistance in
recovering her security deposit. See Doc. No. 4, at
asserts the following claims in Doc. Nos. 1, 2, 4 & 5:
Failing to execute duties under the Fair Housing Act
(“FHA”), 42 U.S.C. § 3610(g):
a. HUD has not completed its investigation of Kris's
March 30, 2018 FHA complaint; and
b. HUD failed to represent Kris in the eviction proceedings
and failed to take action against the landlord.
Frances Dusseault, the Dusseault Family Revocable Trust, and
Attorney Sean Curran violated Kris's rights under the
Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the
FHA, in that:
a. Kris did not receive notice of the building's bedbug
infestation, despite Kris's breathing problems and
“support animal” that could be affected by
b. The landlord did not take steps to provide Kris with
adequate notice to move her car to avoid having it plowed in,
to accommodate Kris's hearing impairment;
c. In negotiations preceding Kris's signing of the lease,
Frances Dusseault's daughter Joanne said that Frances
would take care of Kris's electrical assistance payments,
although Kris's eligibility for such payments was allowed
to lapse, in retaliation for Kris's action in contacting
d. After receiving notice that Kris had contacted the MHRA to
complain about the apartment and to request assistance in
resolving issues relating to Kris's disabilities, in
retaliation for Kris's action in contacting the MHRA:
i. Charlene and Frances Dusseault appeared at Kris's
apartment, “verbally assaulted” Kris, and Frances