United States District Court, D. Colorado
T. BABCOCK, JUDGE
alleged that her ex-husband violated protections orders. She
was charged with false reporting to authorities related to
her allegations. She sued, alleging that Defendants violated
certain Constitution rights surrounding her charge. This
matter is before me on Defendants' Motion to Dismiss. ECF
No. 13. I have jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1331. After considering the parties' arguments and
exhibits, I grant Defendants' Motion.
Plaintiff disputes Defendants' use of two police reports
that Defendants attached to their Motion. ECF No. 13 at 2 n.1
& 3 n.2; Pl.'s Resp., ECF No. 20 at 2 n.1. “A
district court may consider documents (1) referenced in a
complaint that are (2) central to a plaintiff's claims,
and (3) indisputably authentic when resolving a motion to
dismiss without converting the motion to one for summary
judgment.” Thomas v. Kaven, 765 F.3d 1183,
1197 (10th Cir. 2014). Defendants' exhibits are
referenced in the Amended Complaint and are central to
Plaintiff's claims. E.g., Am. Compl., ECF No. 12
at ¶¶ 18-30.
claims that she did dispute the truthfulness of the reports
in her Amended Complaint. ECF No. 20 at 2 n.1. However, while
she claimed that the reports may have been created to support
alleged retaliatory conduct, she did not in fact allege in
the Amended Complaint that the reports were indeed false or
inauthentic. As such, I consider Defendants' attached
exhibits without converting the Motion into one for summary
judgment. GFF Corp. v. Associated Wholesale Grocers,
Inc., 130 F.3d 1381, 1385 (10th Cir. 1997) (document not
attached to complaint was properly considered when plaintiff
frequently referred to the document and did not dispute its
obtained two criminal protection orders and one permanent
civil protection order against her ex-husband Fred Chambers
which prohibited him from contact with Plaintiff or her
children. ECF No. 12 at ¶ 12. The criminal protection
orders were issued in Rio Grande County on November 3, 2015
and June 7, 2016, and the civil protection order was issued
in Alamosa County on July 24, 2017. Id. On December
31, 2016, and other occasions, Plaintiff claimed that Fred
Chambers violated the protection orders. Id. at
¶ 13. Plaintiff sought assistance from the Monte Vista
Police Department to enforce the civil protection order five
times: March 21, 2016; June 7, 2016; December 8, 2016;
December 31, 2016; and January 5, 2017. Id. at
¶ 14. Fred Chambers was prosecuted for violating the
restraining orders and for felony stalking regarding the
alleged June 7 violation. Id. at ¶¶ 14,
alleged that the Defendants-who handled investigations
surrounding her claims-had strong social relationships with
Fred Chambers' mother. Id. at ¶ 16.
Plaintiff added that as a result of these relationships, the
individual Defendants were disposed positively to Fred
Chambers and negatively disposed to her. Id. at
December 31, 2016, Defendant Officer Robert Pino was
dispatched and wrote an incident report. Ex. A to Defs.'
Mot., ECF No. 13-1. Plaintiff's daughter noted to Officer
Pino by phone that Plaintiff's son saw Fred Chambers
driving his brown Dodge pickup truck by their house.
Id. at 1. Shortly after Officer Pino ended his
conversation with Plaintiff's daughter, Plaintiff called
him and said that something needed to be done because she was
in fear for her and her children's lives. Id.
Officer Pino visited the residence and spoke with
Plaintiff's son. Id. at 2. Officer Pino wrote
that Plaintiff's son “stated that he was outside
when he noticed Fred's truck . . . driving really slow .
. . [but] stated that he did not see Fred in the
January 5, 2017, Plaintiff followed up with the Monte Vista
Police Department and spoke with Defendant Sergeant Eduardo
Rodriguez to follow up on the incident on December 31. ECF
No. 12 at ¶ 18. Less than an hour after speaking with
Sergeant Rodriguez, Plaintiff called 911 to report that she
saw Fred Chambers in the alley behind her house. Id.
at ¶ 19; Ex. B to Defs.' Mot., ECF No. 13-2.
Sergeant Rodriguez was dispatched and wrote an incident
report. ECF No. 12 at ¶¶ 20, 21. Plaintiff reported
to Sergeant Rodriguez that she saw Fred Chambers wearing a
blue vest and ball cap entering a white Ford truck that
eventually sped away. Id. Sergeant Rodriguez wrote
that he did not see acceleration marks where Plaintiff stated
Fred Chambers drove away. ECF No. 13-2 at 3. She pointed out
the parked truck to Sergeant Rodriguez as they were in the
alley. ECF No. 12 at ¶ 21. She stated that Fred
Chambers' father James had returned driving the truck and
parked it in the alley. Id.
Rodriguez spoke with a witness who told him that she noticed
the same white truck frequently parked across the street from
Plaintiff's house and other times parked down the street.
Id. at ¶ 22. The witness continued that she did
not see who was in the truck that day, but that she saw the
truck driven around the house frequently, sometimes with an
older male driving and sometimes a middle-aged male driving.
Sergeant Rodriguez spoke with other neighbors who had a
security camera at their house. Id. at ¶ 23.
Sergeant Rodriguez wrote that the camera footage showed James
Chambers in the white truck around the time that Plaintiff
called to report that she saw Fred Chambers violating the
protection order. Id. The footage showed Plaintiff
entering her home from her car and then the white truck
slowly backing out of the alley and driving away.
Id. The neighbors noted that they saw the white
truck frequently driven by James Chambers “because he
usually goes to his son's house located next to
[Plaintiff's] residence . . . to make sure it has
heat.” ECF No. 13-2 at 3, 4. The neighbors said that
they had not seen Fred Chambers around the house in a long
period of time. ECF No. 12 at ¶ 24. They added that
there was another truck with a similar make and model to
Fred's truck that they saw blocks from Plaintiff's
residence. Id. James Chambers stated that he visited
the nearby residence several times a day to ensure that the
home is being warmed by a fire to in order to avoid high
heating bills. Id. at ¶ 27.
January 7, another officer obtained a statement from Fred
Chambers' co-worker who stated that Fred was at his shop
the morning of January 5 and worked there for most of the
day. Id. at ¶ 26. James Chambers stated that
Fred never used the truck that day. Id. at ¶
27. Sergeant Rodriguez provided a supplemental narrative to
his report. ECF No. 13-2 at 5. Dorothy Chambers shared a
photo with him of a truck similar to Fred's truck that
was seen blocks from Plaintiff's residence. ECF No. 12 at
¶¶ 25, 28. However, Plaintiff alleged that
“[o]n information and belief, Ms. Dorothy Chambers
provided a picture of the look-a-like truck that was a brown
Dodge . . . [s]he did not provide any information related to
the white Ford Mr. Chambers was driving that day.”
Id. at ¶ 29.
Rodriguez added that Dorothy was given a copy of camera
footage of Fred at the shop during the time Plaintiff alleged
to have seen him near her house. ECF No. 13-2 at 5. Sergeant
Rodriguez viewed the footage. Id. He noted that
cameras from the shop showed Fred's brown Dodge truck in
the parking lot and Fred working in the shop wearing a
t-shirt and ball cap. Id. Sergeant Rodriguez wrote
that he requested the District Attorney's Office to
review his report for possible charges against Plaintiff for
false reporting to authorities. Id. at 6; ECF No. 12
at ¶ 30.
January 17, the criminal protection order against Fred
Chambers was vacated and the charges against him for
violating the restraining orders and for felony stalking
related to the June 7 allegation were dismissed. ECF No. 12
at ¶ 42. Plaintiff alleged that these actions occurred
based on Sergeant Rodriguez's incident report.
District Attorney in Rio Grande County chose not to file the
misdemeanor charge of false reporting against Plaintiff.
Id. at ¶ 43. Plaintiff alleged that Defendant
Chief Evan Lopez determined that the charge be filed in Monte
Vista Municipal Court. Id. at ¶¶ 31, 44.
After Plaintiff expressed disbelief of the charges, Chief
Lopez told her by phone that he would support his officers.
Id. at ¶ 39.
February 11, 2017, Ms. Stonefield was served with a Summons
and Complaint signed by Sergeant Rodriguez referencing a
violation date of January 5, 2017, charging her with false
reporting to authorities in violation of Monte Vista City
Code § 8-2-60(a)(2). Id. at ¶¶ 31,
32. Two officers of the Monte Vista Police Department called
for Plaintiff and brought the summons to her house, requiring
her to sign the summons prior to leaving. Id. at
¶¶ 54, 55. Plaintiff alleged that she “felt
that she would be arrested if she did not sign the summons
and was certainly not free to leave during the time that the
officers waited for her to sign the summons.”
Id. at ¶ 56.
9, 2017, the attorney for the City of Monte Vista moved to
dismiss the case against Plaintiff due to a lack of evidence,
namely the failure to produce videos showing Fred Chambers
working in a shop during the time Plaintiff alleged to have
seen him near her house. Id. at ¶ 46. Since she
was charged, Plaintiff alleged that she has “restrained
from reporting [Fred] Chambers' repeated violations of
his protection order for fear of retaliation by the Monte
Vista Police Department and the named Defendants, including
most recently on December 14, 2018.” Id. at
brought suit in January 2019, alleging three claims of relief
in her Amended Complaint: (1) deprivation of her First
Amendment right to petition the government for a redress of
grievances in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against all
Defendants; (2) deprivation of her Fourteenth Amendment right
to equal protection of the laws in violation of 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983; and (3) deprivation of her Fourteenth Amendment
right to procedural due process in violation of 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. ECF No. 12 ¶¶ 65-86. Defendants move
to dismiss the Amended Complaint under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6). ECF No. 13.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6)
accept the “well-pleaded allegations of the complaint
as true and must construe them in the light most favorable to
the plaintiff.” Alvarado v. KOB-TV, L.L.C.,
493 F.3d 1210, 1215 (10th Cir. 2007). To avoid dismissal
under Rule 12(b)(6), “a complaint must contain enough
allegations of fact, taken as true, ‘to state a claim
to relief that is plausible on its face.'”
Khalik v. United Air Lines, 671 F.3d 1188, 1190
(10th Cir. 2012) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim is plausible
on its face “when the plaintiff pleads factual content
that enables the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing