United States District Court, D. New Hampshire
McCafferty United States District Judge.
Margaret Kris, proceeding pro se, sues defendants, Dusseault
Family Revocable Trust of 2017, Frances Dusseault, and
Charlene Dusseault, for claims arising out of an eviction
proceeding Kris contends defendants undertook in retaliation
for her complaints to the local public housing authority.
After the magistrate judge’s preliminary review of
Kris’s suit, the court dismissed all but one of her
claims. Defendants move to dismiss Kris’s remaining
claim. Doc. no. 15. Kris objects. Doc. no. 19. For the
following reasons, the court denies defendants’ motion
Rule 12(b)(6), the court must accept the factual allegations
in the complaint as true, draw all reasonable inferences from
those facts in the plaintiff’s favor, and
“determine whether the factual allegations in the
plaintiff’s complaint set forth a plausible claim upon
which relief may be granted.” Foley v. Wells Fargo
Bank, N.A., 772 F.3d 63, 71, 75 (1st Cir. 2014)
(internal quotation marks omitted). A claim is facially
plausible “when the plaintiff pleads factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
lives with several physical and mental health conditions. She
is hearing impaired in one ear, has a breathing problem
(COPD), and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and
anxiety. To assist her, she previously had a
“support” cat. During all relevant times,
Kris’s sole source of income was Social Security
Disability Insurance (“SSDI”).
was a tenant in an apartment in Manchester, owned by the
Dusseault Family Revocable Trust of 2017 (“Dusseault
Trust”), from September 2017 until her eviction in July
2018. Though the Dusseault Trust owns the apartment complex,
Frances Dusseault acted as the landlord of the property. The
Manchester Housing and Redevelopment Authority
(“MHRA”) subsidized Kris’s rent under the
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
(“HUD”) Section 8 program.
Kris resided at the Manchester apartment, she made multiple
complaints about her landlord to the MHRA. On October 5,
2017, Kris reported to the MHRA that she believed her
building needed bedbug extermination and that she was
concerned that such extermination would aggravate her
breathing issues and negatively impact her support animal.
Doc. no. 1-1 at 38. On December 11, 2017, she wrote a letter
to the MHRA about maintenance issues at her apartment,
inadequate snow removal, and the behavior of other tenants.
Id. at 39. On January 4, 2018, Kris wrote another
letter to the MHRA complaining that, due to her hearing
impairment, the landlord had given her inadequate notice of
the need to move her car for snow removal by having the
snowplow honk. Id. at 45.
point in January 2018, Frances and Charlene Dusseault came to
Kris’s apartment to “admonish” her for
reporting them to the MHRA. Doc. no. 1-2 at 35. The
Dusseaults “verbally assault[ed]” Kris, and
Frances dug her fingernails into Kris’s arm and then
pushed Kris’s arm away. Id. Kris asked the
Dusseaults to leave her apartment and reported the incident
to the Manchester Police Department. Id. at 33.
After this incident, the landlord did not respond to any of
Kris’s complaints about maintenance issues at the
apartment. Doc. no. 1-1 at 31, 40.
February 2018, Kris began withholding rent due to the
landlord’s failure to respond to her requests for
repairs. Soon thereafter, on March 2, the Dusseault
Trust’s attorney, Sean Curran, 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). After a hearing in the eviction proceeding
on March 28, the Manchester District Court entered judgment
for the Dusseault Trust.
then filed a Fair Housing Act Discrimination Complaint with
HUD. Doc. no. 1-1 at 17. In the complaint, Kris checked boxes
to indicate that she believed she had been discriminated
against on the basis of her mental and physical handicaps,
and specifically mentioned her hearing impairment. She
claimed that she was evicted because she withheld rent for
repairs, that her landlord verbally and physically assaulted
her, and that the landlord failed to respond to her requests
to maintain the property.
also appealed her eviction judgment to the New Hampshire
Supreme Court. But that Court declined to accept her
discretionary appeal. See Dussealt Family Revocable Trust
of 2017 v. Margaret Kris, No. 2018-0215 (N.H. Jun. 13,
2018); doc. no. 1-1 at 10. Consequently, the Manchester
District Court issued a writ of possession to the landlord.
filed this action on June 20, 2018 along with her first
motion for preliminary injunctive relief. Doc. nos. 1 &
2. On July 11, 2018, Kris returned to the Manchester
apartment in an attempt to collect her belongings. After
entering the property despite the posting of a
sheriff’s sticker, Kris was arrested for criminal
trespass, resisting arrest, and disturbing the peace. She
spent the night at the Hillsborough County Department of
Corrections, where she claims she was physically assaulted by
corrections officers and denied medical care. On July 13,
2018, Kris filed a motion for a temporary restraining order
requesting relief for how she was treated while in jail. Doc.
no. 4. She also claimed that she has not received her
security deposit back from her landlord nor has it been
applied towards her outstanding rent. Id. at 8-9.
court referred Kris’s complaint and two requests for
preliminary relief to the magistrate judge for a report and
recommendation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B). The
magistrate judge issued a report and recommendation on August
6, 2018 (“August 2018 R&R”). The August 2018
R&R characterized Kris’s pleadings as asserting
five claims: (1) HUD failed to execute certain duties under
the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”); (2) the Dusseaults
and Attorney Sean Curran violated Kris’s rights under
the FHA and the Americans with Disabilities Act; (3) biased
state court judges violated Kris’s due process rights
during the eviction proceedings; (4) the Manchester Police
Department subjected Kris to excessive force and denied her
medical attention in violation of her federal constitutional
rights; and (5) the Manchester Police Department subjected
Kris to excessive force and denied her access to grievances
and a Bible in violation of her federal constitutional
rights. See doc. no. 6 at 7-8. Claims 1 and 2 have additional
subparts based on specific factual allegations. Id.
After conducting a preliminary review of Kris’s claims,
the magistrate ...