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Li v. Warren Police Department

United States District Court, D. New Hampshire

September 10, 2019

Changgang Li
v.
Warren Police Department

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          Andrea K. Johnstone, United States Magistrate Judge.

         Plaintiff Changgang Li filed a complaint (Doc. No. 1) in this matter against the Warren, New Hampshire Police Department (“WPD”), and two defendants located in Massachusetts, the Belmont Police Department (“BPD”) and the Cambridge District Court (“CDC”). This court previously severed the claims against the BPD and the CDC from the claims against the WPD, opened a new case containing the claims against the Massachusetts defendants, and transferred the newly opened case to the District of Massachusetts. See Jan. 9, 2019 Order (Doc. No. 9). The court now undertakes a further preliminarily review of the complaint (Doc. No. 1), construing the factual assertions in Li's motions (Doc. Nos. 3, 5, 7, 8), and in his objection (Doc. No. 6) to the November 20, 2018 Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) as part of the complaint. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2); LR 4.3(d)(2).

         Preliminary Review Standard

         The court may dismiss claims asserted in a complaint filed in forma pauperis if the court lacks jurisdiction, a defendant is immune from the relief sought, the complaint fails to state a claim, or the action is frivolous or malicious. See Id. In determining whether a pro se complaint states a claim, the court must construe the complaint liberally. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (per curiam). To survive preliminary review, the complaint must contain “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief.'” See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citation omitted). The court treats as true all well-pleaded factual allegations, and construes reasonable inferences in plaintiff's favor. See Ocasio-Hernández v. Fortuño-Burset, 640 F.3d 1, 12 (1st Cir. 2011).

         Background

         Although Li's filings are convoluted and lack a clear narrative, the court understands Li to have asserted the following facts in this matter. Li came to the United States from China in June 2017 with his now-estranged wife, Zhang Weiping, and their two children. Li purchased a home in Warren, New Hampshire where he lived with his children after arriving in the United States. It is not clear whether Zhang Weiping ever lived in Warren with Li and the children. Zhang Weiping now lives in Massachusetts with the children, and Li lives in Warren, and has visitation with the children pursuant to proceedings in the CDC.

         Li asserts that WPD officers entered his home and arrested him, and then jailed him subsequent to arrest. It appears that Li's arrest may have been, at least in part, due to a BPD warrant. After the WPD arrested Li, the BPD picked him up and brought him to Massachusetts, apparently for a criminal domestic violence case involving Zhang Weipeng. Li does not state whether the WPD independently charged him with any offense. Li further asserts that someone at the WPD seized his wallet at the time of his arrest, and would not give him access to it while he was jailed, which prevented Li from contacting anyone to tell them he had been arrested and incarcerated.

         Claims

         In a January 7, 2019 Order (Doc. No. 9), the court found that Li had attempted to assert the following two claims against the WPD:

1. The WPD violated Li's Fourth Amendment rights by:
a. illegally arresting him in his home, and
b. illegally searching and seizing his wallet.
2. The WPD, by illegally arresting and incarcerating Li, interfered with Li's First and Fourteenth Amendment rights to familial association and to parent his children.

         In his objection (Doc. No. 6) to the November 2018 R&R, Li stated facts which, liberally construed, assert a third ...


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