United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING RE: MOTION TO DISMISS (DOC. NO. 16)
C. Hall United States District Judge.
before the court is the Motion to Dismiss the Complaint of
the defendants Darren Millington (“Mr.
Millington”), Courtney A. Millington (“Ms.
Millington”), and William M. Agresta. Mot. to Dismiss
(Doc. No. 16). The action arises from an altercation between
Margolies and the defendants at a school Halloween party, and
a criminal action against Margolies arising therefrom.
defendants bring this Motion to Dismiss (Doc. No. 16) under
Rules 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6), asserting that the Amended
Complaint fails to state a federal claim, and that the court
lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the state claims.
Defs.' Mot. to Dismiss pursuant to FRCP 12(b)(1) and
12(b)(6) (Doc. No. 16); Defs.' Mem. In Support of their
Mot. to Dismiss Pursuant to FRCP 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6)
(Defs.' Mem.) (Doc. No. 17). Margolies opposes the
Motion, arguing that the Amended Complaint does state a
federal claim for relief, and the court should hear the state
law claims under the supplemental jurisdiction statute. Br.
in Opposition to Mot. to Dismiss (“Margolies'
Br.”) (Doc. No. 19).
reasons that follow, the Motion to Dismiss is DENIED. The
court concludes that the Amended Complaint does properly
state a claim under section 1983 of title 42 of the United
States Code against Mr. Millington and Ms. Millington.
Because the court has jurisdiction over the federal claims,
and the state claims arise from the same common nexus of fact
as the federal claims, the court concludes that it has
supplemental jurisdiction over the state claims. See
28 U.S.C. 1367.
the court can turn to the substance of the Motion, the court
must first address the issue of which Complaint is operative.
Although the Motion to Dismiss was addressed to the original
Complaint, Doc. No. 1, after the Motion to Dismiss was
joined, Margolies docketed an Amended Complaint. See Doc. No.
21. This Amended Complaint was docketed without permission of
the court or any allegation of consent by the defendants.
Margolies also made no representation as to whether he
believed that the Amended Complaint mooted any of the
defendants' arguments in the Motion to Dismiss.
same token, the defendants have not objected to the Amended
Complaint, nor alerted the court that they would like to
update or file a new Motion to Dismiss. Indeed, the Joint
Status Report acknowledges that an Amended Complaint has been
filed, and that a Motion to Dismiss is currently pending. See
Joint Status Report (Doc. No. 22). The Amended Complaint only
changes a single paragraph, now alleging that, during the
assault, Mr. Millington told Margolies not to fight back
because Mr. Millington was a police officer. Am. Compl. at
any objection, and cognizant of Rule 15's command to
grant leave to amend the complaint “when justice so
requires, ” the court will construe the Amended
Complaint as a Motion to Amend the Complaint, and grant it.
Thus, the operative complaint is the Amended Complaint. Doc.
No. 21. The court reminds counsel that, if they should desire
to amend the Amended Complaint, they must request consent of
the defendants or motion for leave of the court, as required
by Rule 15(a). See Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a).
similarity of the Complaint and the Amended Complaint permits
the court to analyze the Motion to Dismiss's arguments as
they apply to the Amended Complaint even though the arguments
were originally made against the Complaint. Compare Compl.
(Doc. No. 1) with Am. Compl. (Doc. No. 21). The court will
thus refer to the Amended Complaint throughout this opinion,
as it is the operative Complaint.
following factual allegations are taken from the Amended
Complaint and, therefore the court will accept them as true
for the purposes of the Motion to Dismiss. See Johnson v.
Priceline.com, Inc., 711 F.3d 271, 275 (2d Cir. 2013)
(setting forth the standard of review for a motion to
Millington is the ex-wife of the plaintiff, Michael
Margolies, Jr. Am. Compl. at ¶ 8. They have three
children together, and currently share joint custody of them.
Id. at ¶¶ 8, 10. Ms. Millington is now
married to Darren Millington, who is currently an officer in
the Trumbull Police Department. Id. at ¶ 4. On
October 30, 2015, Margolies and the defendants, as well as
the three children, were at a Halloween party at the Daniels
Farm Elementary School in Trumbull, Connecticut. Id.
at ¶ 11. Margolies attempted to leave the party with his
children, but Mr. Millington grabbed Margolies, put Margolies
in a headlock, and then proceeded, with the assistance of Ms.
Millington and Agresta, to beat and kick him. Id. at
¶ 13. During this, Mr. Millington told Margolies,
“You know who I am. You know I'm a police officer.
Don't fight back.” Id.
this incident, the three defendants together filed sworn
statements with the Trumbull police, accusing Margolies of
assaulting Ms. Millington and endangering the children.
Id. at ¶ 14. On the basis of these statements,
Margolies was arrested for risk of injury to a minor, assault
in the third degree, and breach of peace. Id. at 15.
All of these charges were dismissed on September 29, 2016.
Id. at 16.
Amended Complaint alleges that Mr. and Ms. Millington
together subjected Margolies to unreasonable force in
violation of the Fourth Amendment, as enforceable through
section 1983 of title 42 of the United States Code.
Id. at 19. It further alleges that Mr. Millington
subjected Margolies to malicious prosecution in violation of
the Fourth Amendment, as enforceable through section 1983.
Id. at 20. Finally, the Amended Complaint alleges
that all of the defendants subjected Margolies to assault and
battery, defamation, malicious prosecution, ...