United States District Court, D. Connecticut
ORDER GRANTING MOTIONS TO DISMISS
Jeffrey Alker Meyer, United States District Judge.
Mary Elizabeth Schipke filed a pro se complaint
against sixteen defendants, including the State of
Connecticut; the City of Meriden, Connecticut; the Meriden
Police Department; Meriden Police Officers Fonda, Busa,
Pellegrini, and Zurstadt; Meriden Police Chief Jeffry
Cossette; attorney Tom Luby; Suzanne Daigle, a Meriden
Probate Court-appointed conservator over Mary Schipke's
Aunt Rose; Connie Schipke, Mary Schipke's cousin; Meriden
Probate Court Judge Brian Mahon; David Vega, who occupies the
house that is the subject of this lawsuit; York Correctional
Institution; the United States; and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
Church in Meriden.
September 26, 2018, I granted the Church's motion to
dismiss. See Doc. #92. I now turn to the remaining
defendants' motions to do the same under Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6). While Schipke has
alleged facts that, if true, speak to a number of tragedies
surrounding her life and her family, none give rise to a
plausible claim for relief at this time, and I will
accordingly grant the remaining motions to dismiss.
has filed a discursive complaint that highlights a great deal
of personal misfortune. As best I can tell, she has alleged a
series of wrongs principally connected to what Schipke claims
to be her “Ancestral Family Property” on Goodwill
Avenue in Meriden, Connecticut (“the Goodwill Avenue
home”). See, e.g., Doc. #1 at 2. I take the
following allegations of fact as true for purposes of this
1905, Schipke's great-grandmother, Rosalie Schilke,
purchased a home at 129 Goodwill Avenue in Meriden. Doc. #1
at 8; Doc. #1-1 at 1. In 1921, she deeded the property to
Schipke's grandmother, Martha Schipke, and her heirs.
Doc. #1 at 9; Doc. #1-1 at 2. Schipke's Aunt Rose lived
at the property with her Uncle Andrew Schipke, Doc. #1 at 3,
9, from roughly 1923 to Andrew's death in 2014, and
Rose's death in 2016, id. at 23 n.29.
Schipke's mother, Marguerite, spent some of this time
serving in the United States Navy. See Id. at 11;
Doc. #1-1 at 4. In 1945, Marguerite took part in naval
chemical warfare training in Virginia, where she was exposed
to multiple toxic substances. Doc. #1 at 11. She developed
several medical symptoms from the exposure, and died in
Tucson, Arizona, in 1968. Ibid. Following her death,
Marguerite's name was misspelled as
“Marquerite” on the Meriden Veterans Memorial
Boulevard Wall of Honor. Id. at 28.
life has come with difficulties of its own. For instance, the
effects of chemical warfare training on her mother have been
passed on to her in the form of numerous disabilities,
id. at 12, her family disowned her after
Marguerite's death, id. at 31-32, she suffered
from cancer from a botched medical procedure at age 15,
id. at 26, and she now experiences post-traumatic
stress disorder, id. at 28. Schipke learned about
her Uncle Andrew's death in 2014, id. at 19, and
traveled to Meriden from Arizona to claim the Goodwill Avenue
home and care for her Aunt Rose, id. at 2, 19-20.
Schipke arrived in Meriden on Thanksgiving of that year.
Id. at 19. Rose left Schipke waiting at the door to
the house, and when Schipke called the Meriden police and
medics, they told Schipke to leave the property. Id.
at 20. Schipke alleges that since that time, the Meriden
police have harassed her. Ibid.
Schipke does not detail what took place between November 2014
and November 2016, she does allege that on November 23, 2016,
she was forcefully evicted from the Goodwill Avenue home.
Doc. #1 at 16. Meriden police entered the property and
“brutalized” her on the same day, id. at
21, 33, presumably in connection with the eviction.
Id. at 32-33. Because the police failed to listen to
her request to accommodate her disabilities, Schipke suffered
a broken back, fractured sternum, and other injuries.
Ibid. She does not, however, name any particular
officers in connection with the arrest.
remained in custody from November 23 to December 19, 2016.
Id. at 24. During that time, York Correctional
Institution (“York”) also refused to accommodate
her disabilities, id. at 32, and she suffered pain,
sleep deprivation, hunger, and lack of medical care.
Id. at 24-25. As a result of her time in custody,
she now suffers from several back injuries and emotional
distress. Id. at 25. After her release, the Meriden
Police Department ignored the civilian complaint she filed
later that month, id. at 21, and the FBI similarly
failed to act on her complaints about the Meriden police,
id. at 4, 21.
appears to claim that there are ongoing state court
proceedings against her with a trial date set for 2020.
Id. at 24. Apparently in connection with those
proceedings, she alleges that Judge Moore, who she does not
name as a defendant, created numerous difficulties for her in
posting bond. Id. at 35. After her friend Kevin Long
finally did so, York intimidated Long into revoking it.
Ibid. Schipke also alleges that even since her
release the State of Connecticut has further immiserated her,
principally through allocating insufficient food stamp
benefits under the law. Id. at 12.
further alleges that several defendants have engaged in
ongoing malfeasance surrounding both Aunt Rose and the
Goodwill Avenue home. Schipke claims that Meriden Probate
Court Judge Brian Mahon and Suzanne Daigle, Rose's
court-appointed conservator, took part in a long-running
embezzlement scheme against Rose, Uncle Andrew, and
Schipke's grandmother Martha. Id. at 9-10.
Schipke also alleges that attorney Tom Luby exercised undue
influence against Rose as part of an “Inheritance
Hijacking Fraud Scheme” in concert with her cousin
Connie Schipke, and that Luby sold the Goodwill Avenue home
to David Vega, who now lives there. Id. at 14-16.
finally appears to assert a claim for a violation of the
Fifth Amendment's Takings Clause, as applied to the
States through the Fourteenth Amendment. Id. at 10.
Schipke does not, however, name any particular defendant in
connection with her Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment takings
claims aside from generic allegations about “the
government” and defendants “acting under color of
state law.” Ibid.
purposes of a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim,
the Court must accept as true all factual matters alleged in
a complaint, although a complaint may not survive unless the
facts it recites are enough to state plausible grounds for
relief. See, e.g., Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678 (2009); Mastafa v. Chevron Corp., 770
F.3d 170, 177 (2d Cir. 2014). This “plausibility”
requirement is “not akin to a probability requirement,
” but it “asks for more than a sheer possibility
that a defendant has acted unlawfully.” Iqbal,
556 U.S. at 678. Because the focus must be on what facts a
complaint alleges, a court is “not bound to accept as
true a legal conclusion couched as a factual
allegation” or “to accept as true allegations
that are wholly conclusory.” Krys v. Pigott,
749 F.3d 117, 128 (2d Cir. 2014). Similarly, because federal
courts have limited jurisdiction, a complaint in federal
court must also allege facts that give rise to plausible
grounds for a court to conclude that it has federal
jurisdiction. See Lapaglia v. Transamerica Cas. Ins.
Co., 155 F.Supp.3d 153, 155 (D. Conn. 2016). The Court
liberally construes the pleadings of a pro se party
in a non-technical manner to raise the strongest ...