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Haptonstahal v. Pawtucket Police Department

United States District Court, D. Rhode Island

November 1, 2018

LUANDA HAPTONSTAHAL, Plaintiff,
v.
PAWTUCKET POLICE DEPARTMENT, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          WILLIAM E. SMITH, CHIEF JUDGE.

         This case is before the Court on a motion from defendant Pawtucket Police Department to dismiss (ECF No. 5) the complaint (ECF No. 1) filed by plaintiff Luanda Haptonstahal. The Court GRANTS the motion for the following reasons.

         I. Background

         Haptonstahal's complaint consists of 33 handwritten pages containing 103 paragraphs, some of which are illegible. The legible portion centers around three incidents. The first is an incident in May 2017 involving Pawtucket officers asking Haptonstahal to lower the volume on her television. (Compl. ¶ 4.) When she failed to comply, the officers wrote her two citations, and then allegedly loitered on her porch. (Id. ¶¶ 4-5, 8.)

         The second incident occurred in June 2017 when a Pawtucket officer arrested Haptonstahal and held her in a hospital for nine days. (Id. ¶ 62.) Haptonstahal alleges that “Officer Duffy had his team raid her home” (id. ¶ 63); that the officers deliberately left her pets in the home to die (id. ¶ 64); and that a female officer “molested” her by “squeezing her braless breasts too hard” (id. ¶ 65). Also as part of this incident, Haptonstahal alleges that “Pawtucket Prosecutors . . . in Providence District Court brain washed the justice to demand that she have mental evaluation against her will” (id. ¶ 52, 62), and that if not for Officer Duffy forcing her to be held for nine days, his conspiracy to break into her home would not have succeeded (id. ¶ 80).

         The third constellation of events involved the police knocking on her door at various points in January 2018. (Id. ¶ 24.) Haptonstahal never opened the door for the police, but heard from her attorney that the officers were there because she had made too many calls to the police. (Id. ¶¶ 25, 27, 29.)

         II. Discussion

         The complaint purportedly contains fifteen counts.[1] (ECF No. 1.) Since filing the complaint, Haptonstahal has thrice moved to amend.[2] (ECF Nos. 11, 14, 16.) Pawtucket moves to dismiss, primarily because the complaint is “largely indecipherable due to the illegibility of what Defendant presumes is Plaintiff's own handwriting.” (Mem. in Supp. of Mot. to Dismiss 1, ECF No. 5-1.) The Court has deciphered enough of the complaint - both the facts stated above and the legal claims addressed below - to say it fails to state a plausible claim. See Damon v. Moore, 520 F.3d 98, 103 (1st Cir. 2008) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007)).

         A. Count I: Sexual Assault, Willful Trespass, and Stalking

         Haptonstahal brings claims for sexual assault, willful trespass, and stalking, but identifies no statutory basis for a private right of action under the alleged criminal statutes. See Cort v. Ash, 422 U.S. 66, 79-80 (1975) (holding no private action under criminal statutes absent clear statutory basis for such inference); see also Linda R.S. v. Richard D., 410 U.S. 614, 619, (1973) (“[A] private citizen lacks a judicially cognizable interest in the prosecution or nonprosecution of another.”). Therefore, these claims fail.

         B. Count II: Americans with Disabilities Act

         The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) states that “no qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any such entity.” 42 U.S.C. § 12132. A qualified individual under the ADA is “an individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable modifications to rules, policies, or practices, the removal of architectural, communication, or transportation barriers, or the provision of auxiliary aids and services, meets the essential eligibility requirements for the receipt of services or the participation in programs or activities provided by a public entity.” 42 U.S.C. § 12131.

         Here, Haptonstahal has not alleged facts, taken as true, that would make her a qualified individual. Indeed, Haptonstahal claims she does not have a disability. (See ...


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