United States District Court, D. Rhode Island
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
WILLIAM E. SMITH CHIEF JUDGE.
the Court is Magistrate Judge Lincoln D. Almond's Report
and Recommendation (ECF No. 40) recommending that
Defendants' Motions to Dismiss (ECF No. 4 pp. 126-134;
ECF No. 5) be granted. Plaintiff has filed an Objection to that
recommendation. (ECF No. 41.) After reviewing this issue de
novo, the Court agrees with part, but not all, of Magistrate
Judge Almond's recommendation.
alleges that his former employer and his employer's
software company (collectively, “Defendants”)
monitored Plaintiff's electronic communications in
violation of various federal and state laws. (Complaint, ECF
No. 4 pp. 1-61.) Plaintiff filed his Complaint on August 1,
2016. Magistrate Judge Almond reviewed the federal and state
statutes at issue and determined that they are subject to
two- and three-year statute of limitations periods,
respectively. Magistrate Judge Almond also found that, by
Plaintiff's own admission, Plaintiff was made aware that
Defendants were monitoring his electronic communications on
January 24, 2012. Because Plaintiff's awareness of
Defendants' actions began over three years prior to the
filing of the Complaint, Magistrate Judge Almond recommends
that the Complaint be dismissed in its entirety based on the
applicable statute of limitations periods.
objects to the Report and Recommendation as it pertains to
his state-law claims, but does not object to the
recommendation that his federal claims be dismissed. Absent
any objection, the Report and Recommendation is accepted as
to the federal claims, which are dismissed with prejudice.
See United States v. Valencia-Copete, 792 F.2d 4, 6 (1st Cir.
1986); Park Motor Mart, Inc. v. Ford Motor Co., 616 F.2d 603,
605 (1st Cir. 1980). The Court is therefore left only to
consider whether dismissal of Plaintiff's state-law
claims is warranted based on the applicable statute of
Report and Recommendation notes that Plaintiff admitted in a
deposition that he became aware in January, 2012 that his
employer had used some form of electronic surveillance to
monitor Plaintiff's communications at work. (R&R 3,
ECF No. 40.) Plaintiff contends that he did not know the full
extent of his employer's electronic surveillance until
November, 2013. For example, Plaintiff claims that he was
unaware that his employer monitored his key strokes, took
screen shots of his computer, and recorded the contents of
his bank accounts. (Pl.'s Obj. to the R&R 2, ECF No.
where there are questions of fact regarding when Plaintiff
gained sufficient knowledge to begin the statute of
limitations period, such questions are not appropriately
resolved at the motion to dismiss stage. Young v. Lepone, 305
F.3d 1, 8 (1st Cir. 2002) (“Where, as here, an order of
dismissal is predicated on the statute of limitations, we
will affirm only if ‘the pleader's allegations
leave no doubt that an asserted claim is
time-barred.'”) (quoting LaChapelle v. Berkshire
Life Ins. Co., 142 F.3d 507, 509 (1st Cir. 1998). Moreover,
because Plaintiff's federal claims have been dismissed,
the Court need not exercise jurisdiction over Plaintiff's
remaining state-law claims. See 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3).
The Court therefore rejects the Report and Recommendation as
to Plaintiff's state-law claims and remands this case to
state court. The Court provides no opinion as to whether
Plaintiff's state-law claims are barred by Rhode
Island's applicable statute of limitations.
on June 21, 2017, Plaintiff submitted a Motion to Supplement
Plaintiff's Objection to the Report and Recommendation.
(ECF No. 53.) In that motion, Plaintiff asks the Court to
consider the Motion to Amend and Amended Complaint previously
filed by Plaintiff in state court. (Id.) Because the
remaining state-law claims are being remanded to state court,
the Court need not address that issue. Plaintiff's Motion
is therefore passed as moot.
described above, the Report and Recommendation (ECF No. 40)
is ACCEPTED IN PART and REJECTED IN PART. The Report and
Recommendation is ACCEPTED as it relates to Plaintiff's
federal claims, which are DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. The
Report and Recommendation is REJECTED as it relates to
Plaintiff's state- law claims, which are REMANDED to
state court. Defendant's Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 5) is
therefore GRANTED as to the federal claims and DENIED WITHOUT
PREJUDICE as to the state-law claims. Plaintiff's Motion
to Supplement Plaintiff's Objection to the Report and
Recommendation (ECF No. 53) is PASSED AS MOOT.
 This Complaint was originally filed in
state court before being removed to federal court. While
pending in state court, Defendants Golden Plains Software and
Russell Turner filed a motion to dismiss (ECF No. 4 pp.
126-134) arguing that Plaintiff's claims were barred by
the applicable statutes of limitations, and Plaintiff
objected to that motion (Id. at 280-320). Before the
state court could provide a ruling, the case was removed to
federal court at which point the state court record became
part of the federal court record. (See ECF No. 4.) Once in
federal court, Defendant Automatic Temperature Controls filed
a motion to dismiss (ECF No. 5) on substantially the same
grounds as the previous motion to dismiss filed by the other
Defendants in state court. Plaintiff, once again, opposed
that motion (ECF No. 12), and the matter was referred to
Magistrate Judge Almond. Magistrate Judge Almond reasonably
interpreted the referral to encompass both the motion to
dismiss filed in federal court as well as the motion to
dismiss filed in state ...