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Brady v. Whitefield Police Department

United States District Court, D. New Hampshire

June 13, 2019

Darren Brady
v.
Whitefield Police Department, Eoin Stapleton, Wendy E. Roberts, and Sandra St. Pierre

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          ANDREA K. JOHNSTONE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Before the court is pro se plaintiff Darren Brady's complaint (Doc. No. 1) filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that the defendants violated his constitutional rights by subjecting him to false arrest, false imprisonment, and malicious prosecution. The complaint is before this magistrate judge for preliminary review, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) and LR 4.3(d)(1).

         Background

         This action relates to Brady's February 18, 2017 arrest and detention for one or more sexual assault charge(s) involving a child. The court has done its best to identify the relevant factual allegations and summarize them here.[1]

         According to the complaint, Defendant Eoin Stapleton, a police officer with the Whitefield Police Department (“WPD”), arrested Brady on February 18, 2017. See Compl. (Doc. No. 1), at 1. Brady does not state the reason for his arrest on that date. A warrant for Brady's arrest was issued on March 27, 2017, see id., at 6, and a probable cause hearing was held on April 7, 2017, see id. at 1. The charge(s) against Brady were dismissed on April 7, 2017, after the probable cause hearing. See id. Brady was held in pre-trial detention from February 18, 2017 until April 7, 2017. See id.

         In the complaint, Brady also alleges that Stapleton and Defendant Sandra St. Pierre, identified as a special education helper “- [C]oos [C]ounty - of the Whitefield N.H. Superintendent-school district- White Mountains Regional school, ” id. at 2, conducted a sexual assault investigation targeting Brady. Brady alleges: 1) neither Stapleton nor St. Pierre was trained or certified to conduct interviews of victims of sexual assault, see Compl. (Doc. No. 1), at 10-11; 2) Stapleton and St. Pierre subjected the victim to days of repeated psychological brainwashing and mental and physical abuse, see id. at 2, 4; 3) Stapleton and St. Pierre targeted Brady because of past conflicts he had with each; and 4) St. Pierre was a friend of the victim's and the real assailant's foster parents and wanted to cover up allegations of abuse within the foster family, see id.

         Brady alleges he and Stapleton have a history of conflict, including: Stapleton refused to investigate rape allegations Brady's girlfriend made against “a gang of white guys, ” id. at 1; Stapleton blamed Brady when Stapleton was refused alcohol service at a local establishment, see id. at 4; and Brady made numerous complaints about Stapleton being drunk while tending bar before Stapleton became a police officer, see id. at 5. Brady accuses St. Pierre of causing trouble after Brady refused to date St. Pierre and of stalking him and his family on social media. See Compl. (Doc. No. 1), at 3, 10. Brady asserts that he has filed numerous complaints against St. Pierre with the WPD and the New Hampshire Board of Education. See id. at 3, 6.

         Brady alleges that defendants Stapleton, St. Pierre, and Coos County prosecutor Wendy E. Roberts knowingly provided false information to a Coos County judge in order to obtain the March 27, 2017 warrant for Brady's arrest. See id. at 1-2. Specifically, Brady asserts that the defendants told the judge that the victim, identified as an eight-year-old girl with mental health needs, was sexually assaulted by a black male, when they knew the girl repeatedly had identified a white female as her assailant. See id. at 2, 4. Brady asserts he is the only black male in Whitefield. See id. at 3. Brady also alleges that the defendants told the court that St. Pierre was a Child Advocate Center (“C.A.C.”) investigator and a New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Children, Youth and Families ("DCYF") worker who was trained to interview victims of sexual assault, when they knew St. Pierre did not work for either entity and was not trained or certified to interview victims of sexual assault. See id. at 10-12.

         Brady further alleges that during his probable cause hearing, Stapleton identified St. Pierre as a C.A.C. investigator who had worked with him on the case, see Compl. (Doc. No. 1), at 6, and testified that the child had been questioned at the Groveton C.A.C., see id. at 2, 4, 6. Brady claims in the complaint that St. Pierre does not work for the C.A.C. and that the C.A.C. has no record of the child having been questioned at any of its locations. See id. at 4.

         Brady asserts that the WPD knew of his conflicts with Stapleton and St. Pierre when it authorized them to investigate sexual assault allegations involving the victim. He also alleges the WPD knew St. Pierre was not a C.A.C. investigator, a DCYF worker, or licensed, certified, or trained to question victims of sexual assault, but allowed her to be represented as such in the warrant application.

         Brady seeks $350, 000 in damages, court filing fees, unspecified state fees, and out-of-state college fees. He seeks an order requiring that the victim's school locker be moved away from his stepdaughter's locker; enjoining the defendants from “stopping him” from working for DCYF or the “human services field”; requiring the defendants to hand over any and all information concerning him, and ordering the defendants to stop talking about him. Brady also seeks assistance relocating. See id. at 27.

         Preliminary Review Standard

         The court reviews complaints filed by pro se plaintiffs to determine, among other things, whether plaintiff has asserted any claim upon which relief might be granted. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), LR 4.3(d)(1). In determining whether a pro se pleading states a claim, the court construes the pleading liberally. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (citation omitted). Disregarding any legal conclusions, the court considers whether the factual content in the pleading and inferences reasonably drawn ...


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