A sample Pro se civil rights lawsuit brought by Thomas P. Seymour
STATE OF RHODE ISLAND
SUPERIOR COURT---PROVIDENCE, SC.
THOMAS P. SEYMOUR [Pro Se],
----- v. -----
CITY OF PROVIDENCE POLICE DEPARTMENT; SERGEANT RHONDA
KESSLER; OTHER UNKNOWN OFFICERS AND SUPERVISORS WHO RESPONDED TO PLAINTIFF'S HOME ON OR
ABOUT JUNE 28 AND NOVEMBER 28, 2002, in their individual and official capacities,
C.A. No. PC/2003-0261
CIVIL RIGHTS COMPLAINT
1. This is a Civil Rights complaint for declaratory, injunctive and other appropriate relief brought by Plaintiff, Thomas P. Seymour, a United States citizen, appearing pro se. Mr. Seymour brings this complaint for violations of his individual and associational rights under the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, in violation of 42 U.S.C. 1983, 1985 and 1986; 29 U.S.C. 794 (Rehabilitation Act of 1973), 42 U.S.C. 3601 et seq (Fair Housing Act Amendments of 1988, FHAA), 42 U.S.C. 12132, 12182, 12203 (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, ADA); Article I, sections 2, 5, 6, 10, 14 and 21 of the Rhode Island Constitution; Sections 9-1-28.1, 11-44-26, 11-59-2 (stalking/threatening), 34-18-1 et seq (Landlord-Tenant Act); 34-37-1 et seq (R.I. Fair Housing Practices Act), 42-87-1 et seq (R.I. Civil Rights of People with Disabilities Act) and 42-112-1 et seq (R.I. Civil Rights Act of 1990, RICRA) of R.I. General Laws.
2. This Court has jurisdiction pursuant to sections 8-2-13, 8-2-14, 8-2-15, 9-30-1 et seq, 42-87-4(a) and 42-112-2 of R.I. General Laws, and 42 U.S.C. 1983. See Ward v. City of Pawtucket Police Dept., 639 A.2d 1379, 1381-2 (R.I. 1994) and Dempsey v. McQueeney, 387 F.Supp. 333 (D.R.I. 1975).
3. Cathedral Square Apartments (CSA) in Providence, is a Federally-subsidized apartment complex for low-income elderly and/or people with disabilities. It is owned and managed by Property Advisory Group, Inc. (PAG), Gregg W. Jenner and others.
4. Mr. Seymour is a qualified individual with disabilities, as defined by section 42-87-1 of R.I. General Laws. Mr. Seymour has orthopedic/mobility impairments, Crohn's disease, panic disorder and depression. He has been a tenant at CSA since April 1991. PAG and Gregg W. Jenner attempted a retaliatory eviction against Mr. Seymour in relation to this case, in violation of 42 U.S.C. 3604, 3617; 42 U.S.C. 12203, 34-18-46, 34-37-4(a) and 34-37-5.1 of R.I. General Laws. Their retaliatory eviction action was dismissed by this Court [Indeglia, J.] in September 2002 [PD/02-4743]. See Kingstown Mobile Home Park v. Strashnick, 774 A.2d 847 (R.I. 2001).
5. Another CSA resident, Saffwat (a.k.a. "Jimmy") Hanna ("Hanna")[D.O.B. 8/26/63], an Egyptian-born drug addict with a history of violent/psychotic behavior, assaulted and battered Mr. Seymour on 4/16/02 and 11/28/02, in violation of section 11-5-10.2 of R.I. General Laws, and stalked/threatened Mr. Seymour on a number of occasions on or about 11/28/02 to the present, in violation of section 11-59-2 of R.I. General Laws. On [Thanksgiving Day] 11/28/02, Hanna complained to Defendants about the presence in the building of Mr. Seymour's lawful invitee/guest, with whom Hanna allegedly had an altercation on or about 4/16/02 [P2/02-1808-A; PC/02-2038; PC/02-2051].
6. The [City of] Providence Police Department (PPD), and its officers and supervisors are responsible for protecting the physical safety of persons and property in Providence, including CSA. PPD also maintains a mini "sub-station" at Building 5, CSA.
7. Officers of the PPD failed to prevent the conspiracy enforcement of a discriminatory eviction/trespass action and false imprisonment against Mr. Seymour's lawful invitee/guest. She is a 56-year old woman with emotional, cognitive and physical disabilities, with whom Mr. Seymour maintains a familial/caregiver ("mother-son") type of relationship as a result of his friendship/companionship with her late daughter, who passed away April 9, 2002. Defendants physically and forcibly removed and falsely arrested a woman with disabilities from Mr. Seymour's home, without a warrant or probable cause, and absent exigent circumstances, thereby violating Mr. Seymour's rights of privacy and security in his home, and of persons located therein, under the Fourth Amendment [through the Fourteenth Amendment] to the United States Constitution [violating 42 U.S.C. 1983], and Article I, section 6 of the Rhode Island Constitution. See State v. O'Dell, 576 A.2d 425 (R.I. 1990)[citing Steagald v. United States, 451 U.S. 204 (1981)][Third-party rights under Fourth Amendment]; Payton v. New York, 445 U.S. 573, 596-7 (1980)[Warrantless entries under Fourth Amendment]; Soldal v. Cook County, 506 U.S. 56, 67-70 (1992)[Fourth Amendment's protections triggered by search or entry incident to eviction or repossession] and State v. Verrecchia, 766 A.2d 377, 383-4 (R.I. 2001)[Tenant has the right to exclude landlord and police from his premises].
8. PPD's removal and false arrest of Plaintiff's lawful invitee/guest violated Plaintiff's rights of associational privacy under the First, Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution [under 42 U.S.C. 1983], and Article I, section 21 of the Rhode Island Constitution. See NAACP v. Alabama, 357 U.S. 449, 462 (1958)[Freedom to associate and privacy in one's associations] and Edmonds v. Oxford House, 514 U.S. 725, 732-3, and fn.1 (1995)[citing Moore v. East Cleveland, 431 U.S. 494, 499-500 (1977)][Familial association].
9. This was a repeat of a similar incident on or about 6/28/02 in which certain officers failed to prevent Mr. Jenner, PAG, Hanna, and others from conspiring to violate Mr. Seymour's constitutional and civil rights, by barging into his home, threatening him with arrest and interfering with a lawful invitee/guest located therein. Defendants engaged in a malicious prosecution based on guilt by association, in violation of the Fifth, Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution [under 42 U.S.C. 1983], and Article I, sections 2, 10 and 14 of the Rhode Island Constitution. See Albright v. Oliver, 510 U.S. 266, 269-73 (1994)[citing Paul v. Davis, 424 U.S. 693 (1976)]; Senra v. Cunningham, 9 F.3d 168, 173 (1st Cir, 1993) and Wisconsin v. Constantineau, 400 U.S. 433, 437 (1971).
10. PPD's enforcement of a no-contact order against Mr. Seymour's invitee/guest was illegally enforced against Mr. Seymour, was overbroad, and was inconsistent with section 11-44-26(b) of R.I. General Laws, as Mr. Seymour's lawful invitee/guest was a former CSA tenant and had a legitimate purpose for being on the CSA property, where Mr. Seymour is a lawful tenant. See State v. Conti, 672 A.2d 885, 887 (R.I. 1996)[coincidental contact does not violate no-contact order]; Peltier v. Roy, 453 F.Supp. 1373, 1375 (D.R.I. 1978)[Plaintiff's invitee had legitimate purpose under section 11-44-26 of R.I. General Laws], and Cozzo v. Tangipahoa Parish, La., 279 F.3d 273, 285 (5th Cir, 2002)[Deputy Sheriff misconstrued a TRO as an eviction order against ex-wife].
11. PPD's actions interfered with Plaintiff's personal, contractual and property rights by discriminating against Mr. Seymour in his association with a person with emotional/cognitive disabilities, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 794, 42 U.S.C. 12132, 12182(b)(1)(E), 12203; 42-87-3(5) and 42-112-1 et seq of R.I. General Laws. See Olmstead v. L.C., 527 U.S. 581, 598-602 (1999)[ADA requires public entities to accommodate individuals with disabilities in most integrated setting]; Gorman v. Bartch, 257 F.3d 738, 749-51 (8th Cir, 2001)[reversed on other grounds Barnes v. Gorman, 536 U.S. 181 (2002)][ADA applies to arrested persons with disabilities], and Roe v. Boulder Housing Authority , 909 F.Supp. 814, 822-3 (D.Colo. 1995)[citing Roe v. Sugar River Mills, 820 F.Supp. 636, 640 (D.N.H. 1993)[so-called "dangerous" tenants with mental disabilities must be reasonably accommodated].
12. Paragraphs 1 through 11 are referenced, incorporated and realleged.
COUNT I-- VIOLATION OF THE REHABILITATION ACT, ADA, R.I. CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1990 (RICRA) AND R.I. CIVIL RIGHTS OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES ACT
13. Defendants, on or about 6/28/02 and 11/28/02 to the present, interfered with the personal, contractual and property rights of Mr. Seymour, individually and in his association with a person with emotional and cognitive disabilities, and retaliated against Plaintiff based on same, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 794, 42 U.S.C. 3604(f)(2)(C), 3617; 42 U.S.C. 12132, 12182(b)(1)(E), 12203(a-c); 34-37-4(a), 42-87-3(3),(5), and 42-112-1 et seq of R.I. General Laws. See Iacampo v. Hasbro, Inc., 929 F.Supp. 562 (D.R.I. 1996) and Liu v. Striuli, 36 F.Supp.2d 452, 478 (D.R.I. 1999).
COUNT II-- VIOLATION OF PLAINTIFF'S DUE PROCESS RIGHTS AND RIGHTS OF EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE
14. Defendants actions created a type of malicious prosecution based on "guilt by association," which violated Mr. Seymour's Due Process rights under the Fifth, Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution [under 42 U.S.C. 1983] and Article I, sections 2, 6, 10 and 14 of the Rhode Island Constitution, on or about 6/28/02 and 11/28/02 to the present. See United States v. Robel, 389 U.S. 258, 266 (1967). Mr. Seymour was denied notice of accusation, the right to confront his [would be] accusers, and of his presumption of innocence. See Vachon v. New Hampshire, 414 U.S. 478, 480 (1974)[citing Thompson v. Louisville, 362 U.S. 199 (1960)][notice of accusation]; Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 447-8 (1966)[illegal police procedures]; Pointer v. Texas, 380 U.S. 400, 404 (1965) and State v. Brown, 706 A.2d 465, 473 (R.I. 1998)[citing Davis v. Alaska, 415 U.S. 308, 316 (1974)][right to confront accusers/witnesses]. The Plaintiff is being deprived of significant liberty and property interests under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution (i.e., the ability to decide who may visit or enter his home). See L.A. Ray Realty v. Town of Cumberland, 698 A.2d 202, 210-11 (R.I. 1997)[citing Zinermon v. Burch, 494 U.S. 113, 125 (1990)][Substantive Due Process]; Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. at 481-6 [cited in Lawrence v. Texas, Case No. 02-102 (USSC, 6/26/2003)], and Aurelio v. R.I. Div. of Motor Vehicles, 985 F.Supp. 48, 56-57 (D.R.I. 1997)[Procedural Due Process].
15. Defendants, on or about 6/28/02 and 11/28/02 to the present denied Mr. Seymour's rights of Equal Justice by recourse to the laws under Article I, section 5 of the Rhode Island Constitution.
COUNT III-- VIOLATION OF ASSOCIATIONAL RIGHTS UNDER THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION [42 U.S.C. 1983] AND RHODE ISLAND CONSTITUTION
16. Defendants violated the Plaintiff's rights of associational, familial and personal privacy and liberty under the First, Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution [under 42 U.S.C. 1983] and Article I, section 21 of the Rhode Island Constitution, on or about 6/28/02 and 11/28/02 to the present.
COUNT IV-- VIOLATION OF THE SECURITY AND PRIVACY OF PLAINTIFF'S HOME UNDER THE FOURTH AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION [42 U.S.C. 1983], AND THE RHODE ISLAND CONSTITUTION
17. Defendants violated the Plaintiff's rights to the security and privacy of his home, and of persons located therein, under the Fourth (through the Fourteenth Amendment) Amendment to the United States Constition [under 42 U.S.C. 1983, and Article I, section 6 of the Rhode Island Constitution. Specifically, the defendants barged into Mr. Seymour's home to forcibly remove and falsely arrest his lawful invitee/guest, without an arrest or search warrant and absent exigent circumstances, on or about 6/28/02 and 11/28/02. See State v. Verrecchia, 766 A.2d at 383-4, and Minnesota v. Olson, 495 U.S. at 95-100 [Overnight guest has a reasonable expectation of privacy, absent exigent circumstances]. Neither PPD, its officers, PAG nor Hanna had any business intruding into the [constitutional] privacy and security of Plaintiff's apartment [and persons located therein] on or about 6/28/02, Thankgiving Day , or at any other time, without a valid warrant or probable cause, and absent any exigent circumstances, to carry out an action concerning a months-old allegation by a neighbor against Mr. Seymour's lawful invitee/guest. See Steagald v. United States, 439 U.S. at 214-15, fn.8.
COUNT V-- FAILURE TO PREVENT CONSPIRACY TO DEPRIVE FEDERALLY-PROTECTED RIGHTS
18. Defendants failed to prevent a conspiracy between Mr. Seymour's Federally-subsidized landlord, PAG, Gregg W. Jenner and other individuals, to deprive Mr. Seymour of his Federally-protected rights on or about 6/28/02 and 11/28/02 to the present, in violation of 42 U.S.C. 1985 and 1986. See Andrade v. Jamestown Housing Authority, 82 F.3d 1179 (1st Cir, 1996). Specifically, Defendants failed to prevent the execution of a discriminatory and retaliatory trespass and eviction under 42 U.S.C. 3604, 3617; 42 U.S.C. 12203, 34-18-46, 34-37-4, 34-37-5.1 and 42-87-3 of R.I. General Laws.
COUNT VI-- FALSE ARREST/IMPRISONMENT
19. On or about 6/28/02 and 11/28/02, the Defendants executed a false arrest/imprisonment within the confines of Plaintiff's lawful home, and against a lawful invitee/guest located therein. See Hayes v. Florida, 470 U.S. 811, 816 (1985); Dyson v. City of Pawtucket, 670 A.2d 233 (R.I. 1996); Weber v. Cranston School Cmte., 212 F.3d 41 (1st Cir, 2000)[standing under 29 U.S.C. 794] and Carroll v. Capalbo, 563 F.Supp. 1053, 1057, fn.7 (D.R.I. 1983)[citing Gordon v. Crouchley, 554 F.Supp. 796, 798 (D.R.I. 1982)[Third-party litigant's standing to assert constitutional rights] and Powers v. Ohio, 499 U.S. 400, 411 (1991)[citing Doe v. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179, 187-9 (1973)][threat of prosecution against third party].
COUNT VII-- INVASION OF PRIVACY
20. Defendants invaded the personal seclusion and solitude of Plaintiff on or about 6/28/02 and 11/28/02, in violation of section 9-1-28.1(a)(1) of R.I. General Laws. See Liu v. Striuli, 36 F.Supp.2d at 479-80.
COUNT VIII-- TRESPASS
21. Defendants trespassed on Plaintiff's lawfully-leased premises, in violation of section 11-44-26 of R.I. General Laws. See Payton v. New York, 445 U.S. at 596-7, fn.45 [Common-law and colonial laws against warrantless entry...A man's house is his castle]; State v. Verrecchia, 766 A.2d at 383-4.
WHEREFORE, the Plaintiff, Thomas P. Seymour respectfully asks this Court to grant him such declaratory, injunctive and other relief as it deems just and proper.
THOMAS P. SEYMOUR [Pro Se],
4 Cathedral Square, Apt. 109
Providence, RI 02903