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Burke v. Vision Government Solutions, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

November 30, 2018

KEVIN R. BURKE, Plaintiff,
v.
VISION GOVERNMENT SOLUTIONS, INC., TOWN OF FAIRFIELD, DONALD ROSS, JUNE PERRY, MARY KATE MOODY, and ANNA M. DLUGOSZ, Defendants.

          RULING AND ORDER ON MOTIONS TO DISMISS FOR FAILURE TO TIMELY SERVE DEFENDANTS AND MOTIONS TO EXTEND TIME, NUNC PRO TUNC, TO EFFECT SERVICE

          VICTOR A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         On November 20, 2017, Kevin R. Burke (“Plaintiff”) sued Vision Government Solutions, Inc., June Perry, and Mary Kate Moody (the “Vision Defendants”), the Town of Fairfield and Tax Assessor Donald Ross (the “Town Defendants”), and Anna Dlugosz, alleging federal civil rights violations and state law claims. Complaint, dated Nov. 20, 2018 (“Compl.”), ECF No. 1.

         The Vision Defendants and Ms. Dlugosz move to dismiss the Complaint against them for failure to effect timely service. See Motion to Dismiss, dated Apr. 20, 2018 (“Vision Defs.' Mot.”), ECF No. 15; Motion to Dismiss, dated Apr. 24, 2018 (“Dlugosz Mot.”), ECF No. 18.

         Mr. Burke opposes both motions and moves instead for extensions of time to serve the Complaint, nunc pro tunc, as to the Vision Defendants and Ms. Dlugosz. Memorandum in Opposition to Vision Defs.' Mot. and/or Motion for Extension of Time, Nunc Pro Tunc, to Effect Service, dated June 11, 2018 (“Pl.'s Opp. to Vision Defs.' Mot.”), ECF No. 26; Memorandum in Opposition to Dlugosz Mot. and/or Motion for Extension of Time, Nunc Pro Tunc, to Effect Service, dated June 11, 2018 (“Pl.'s Opp. to Dlugosz Mot.”), ECF No. 27.

         For the reasons set forth below, Defendants' motions to dismiss for untimely service are DENIED, and Mr. Burke's motions are GRANTED.

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         A. Factual Allegations

         On July 2, 2014, the town of Fairfield, Connecticut contracted with Defendant Vision Government Solutions, Inc. (“Vision”), a Massachusetts corporation, to assist the town's tax assessor, Donald Ross, in undertaking a revaluation of real property located within the corporate limits of Fairfield for the Grand List of October 1, 2015. Compl. ¶¶ 5, 8. During the first phase of the revaluation, “Data Collectors” or “Listers” visited each property to physically inspect the interior and measure the exterior of each building. Id. ¶ 27.

         Mr. Burke, a Fairfield resident, owns the house located at 2425 Merwins Lane in Fairfield. Id. ¶ 4. The house is allegedly set off three hundred feet from the street in an isolated, wooded conservation zone not visible to any neighbors. Id. ¶ 35.

         On November 10, 2014, Mr. Burke alleges that he was cleaning his handgun in his basement ahead of a trip to the shooting range. Id. ¶ 36. As he ascended the stairs to his kitchen, Mr. Burke allegedly saw a man looking through his kitchen window. Id. Mr. Burke alleges that he went outside and asked the man for identification and his reason for being on the property. Id. ¶ 37. Mr. Burke also claims he noticed a woman standing near the man. Id. ¶ 40.

         The pair allegedly identified themselves as Aaron Goldberg and Anna M. Dlugosz, informed Mr. Burke that they were employed by Vision as Listers, and presented him with their credentials. Id. ¶ 39. Mr. Burke alleges that he then asked them to leave his property. Id. Mr. Burke alleges that his handgun was visible in his holster, and that he did not remove his handgun from the holster. Id. ¶ 41.

         Mr. Burke alleges that Mr. Goldberg and Ms. Dlugosz subsequently reported to Mr. Ross that Mr. Burke came outside of his home with a gun. Id. ¶¶ 30, 42.

         On November 19, 2014, Mr. Ross allegedly directed Mr. Goldberg and Ms. Dlugosz to file police reports about the encounter-even though an officer from the Fairfield Police Department allegedly told Mr. Ross that Mr. Burke was within his rights and that the police would not take any action were such a report filed. Id. ¶¶ 44, 44(a)-(d). In making their reports, Mr. Goldberg and Ms. Dlugosz allegedly stated that Mr. Burke had pointed a handgun at them. Id. ¶¶ 46, 48. When a Fairfield police officer called Mr. Burke about the report, Mr. Burke allegedly stated that he had not removed his gun from its holster during the encounter. Id. ¶ 51.

         Mr. Ross also allegedly used the Appraisal Vision Computer Assisted Mass. Appraisal (CAMA) system to record a notation in a Visit History for Mr. Burke's address: “No Callback Record: Owner Came Out With Gun Pointed At Data Collectors Police Report Filed.” Id. ¶ 57. Mr. Burke claims he was never informed of this notation, nor was he provided an opportunity to rebut it. Id. ¶ 60.

         In 2016, Ms. Dlugosz sued Mr. Burke in state court, alleging intentional infliction of emotional distress. Id. ¶¶ 52-53; see also Complaint, Dlugosz v. Burke, No. CV16-6015991-S (Conn. Super. Ct. Jul. 15, 2016). Mr. Burke also sued Mr. Goldberg in a separate state court case alleging trespass to land. Pl.'s Opp. to Vision Defs.' Mot. at 2; see also Complaint, Burke v. Goldberg, CV16-6061060 (Conn. Super. Ct. Nov. 16, 2016).

         B. ...


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