United States District Court, D. Rhode Island
J. McConnell, Jr. United States District Judge
the Court are the following thirteen motions:
• Plaintiffs Motion for Leave for Additional Amendments
to Complaint to Adjust Amount for Damages and Add Yet
Un-Identified Liable Party (ECF No. 30);
• Plaintiffs Motion to Amend (ECF No. 14);
• Plaintiffs Motion to Vacate State Court Decision in
Case PB 13-5636 (ECF No. 36);
• Plaintiffs Motion for Default Judgment (ECF No. 52);
• Plaintiffs Emergency Motion for Instant Injunction
(ECF No. 75);
• Plaintiffs Motion for Leave to Proceed In Forma
Pauperis (ECF No. 66);
• Plaintiffs Motion for Reconsideration or Transfer of
Venue (ECF No. 81);
• Defendants W. Mark Russo, John A. Dorsey, and Seth
Schalow's Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 5);
• Defendants Justice Michael A. Silverstein and Justice
Brian P. Stern's Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 11);
• Defendant Mark McVay's Motion to Dismiss (ECF No.
4) and Defendant John Deacon, Jr.'s Motion for Summary
Judgment (ECF No. 44); and
• Defendant Mark McVay's Motion for Sanctions (ECF
reasons that follow, Plaintiffs Motions are DENIED;
Defendants Russo, Dorsey, Schalow, Silverstein, and
Sterns' Motions to Dismiss are GRANTED; Defendants McVay
and Deacon's Motions for Summary Judgment are GRANTED;
and Defendant McVay's Motion for Sanctions is DENIED.
Plaintiff is ORDERED TO SHOW CAUSE within 14 days of this
Order as to why the Court should not dismiss her claims
against Defendant Benjamin Cutchshaw.
a falling-out between Melinda Laucks and her former business
partner, Mark McVay, their company, U.S. Textile, became the
subject of litigation in Rhode Island Superior Court. (Compl.
¶ 44, ECF No. 1.) Rhode Island Superior Court Associate
Justice Michael A. Silverstein placed the business under f
mastership pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws § 19-12 et.
seq. during the course of the litigation, and it remains
under the control of Special Master W. Mark Russo and his
associates, John A. Dorsey and Seth Schalow. (Id.
¶ 46.) Shortly after this state-court order, Ms. Laucks
says that she notified the Special Master of Mr. misconduct.
(Id. ¶ 47.) Specifically, she alleges that she
informed the court that her former partner Mr. McVay had once
committed bank fraud, had pled guilty to charges of vandalism
and domestic disturbance, and of a 2005 dispute she and Mr.
McVay had over the ownership of U.S. Textile. (Id.)
Despite these allegations, the Special Master refused to
return U.S. Textile to her control. (Id.) Ms. Laucks
alleges that the Special Master failed to adequately assess
the evidence she presented, acted in an "extraordinarily
hostile manner towards" her, and destroyed U.S.
Textile's business relationships by ignoring customers.
(Id. ¶¶ 51, 54.) Ms. Laucks further
alleges that Justice Silverstein assisted the Special Master
by restraining her from operating her business. (Id.
¶ 54.) Additionally, she alleges that Justice
Silverstein falsely accused her of embezzlement and that he
hurt the value of U.S. Textile by placing it in mastership.
(Id. ¶¶ 54, 57.) Ms. Laucks further
charges Rhode Island Superior Court Associate Justice Brian
P. Stern with taking documents from her evidence packet,
giving her a false impression about the outcome of her case,
and working with the other Defendants to ensure that the
court removed her from U.S. Textile. (Id.
¶¶ 57, 68, 69.)
midst of the state court litigation, Ms. Laucks and Mr. McVay
signed a Joint Release and Settlement Agreement (the
"Release") giving Mr. McVay 100 percent ownership
of U.S. Textile. (Id. ¶ 70.) Ms. Laucks now
claims that she signed this Release due to "extreme
pressure" from the Special Master and "constant
fear" of being held in contempt of court.
(Id. ¶ 59.) Ms. Laucks attempted to rescind the
contract two months later, but Justice Stern found it to be
enforceable. (Id. ¶ 61.) Ms. Laucks filed this
federal lawsuit soon after that state-court action described
addition to her claims against her former partner Mr. McVay,
the Special Masters, and the two Associate Justices of the
Rhode Island Superior Court, Ms. Laucks also names as
Defendants Mr. McVay's attorney, John Deacon, Jr., and an
attorney for U.S. Textile's client Kolon Industries,
Motion for Recusal - ECF No. 7
Laucks' motion to recuse the prior, presiding judge in
this matter (ECF No. 7) is DENIED AS MOOT because that judge
recused himself (ECF No. 77) on October 24, 2016.
Laucks also seeks in the same motion to "move for
transfer of venue out of Rhode Island altogether"
because "[i]t is not unreasonable that a possible
conflict of interest may exist simply as a result of
geography, social connections, and networking within the
legal profession." (Id. at 2.) This request is
unsupported by any facts or law and is otherwise without
merit. Accordingly, Plaintiffs Motion for Recusal (ECF No. 7)
Motion for Additional Amendments to Complaint to Adjust
Amount for Damages and Add Yet Un-Identified Liable Party and
Motion to Amend -ECF Nos. 14 and 30 A court may deny
leave to amend where the proposed amendment is futile.
v. Champion Mortg., 465 F.3d 24, 30 (1st Cir. 2006).
Here, Ms. Laucks seeks to make the following amendments:
1. Citizens Bank Mastership Account Statements for valuation
of business; Docket item 21 for actual damages incurred.
Potential income and future income, had I not been removed
from operations of the business, are likely significantly
higher, to be derived from documents sought from Bay
Logistics, GM and GM suppliers.
2. As of yet unidentified Bond underwriters per the attached
REQUEST FOR DOCUMENTS
(ECF No. 30.) Ms. Laucks' first proposed amendment
relates to her alleged damages. With respect to her second
proposed amendment, Ms. Laucks states that she is
"seeking to include additional financially-interested
parties as may be revealed by the Bond documents."
(Id. at 4.) Neither of these amendments would affect
the merits of Ms. Laucks' case. Because the Court is
granting Defendants' Motions to Dismiss and for Summary