COMPLAINT

February 3, 2023

STATE OF RHODE ISLAND 

 

WASHINGTON COUNTY 

 

WILLIAM GILBERT,

                                  Plaintiff

    vs.  

[ENTER NAME], and NORTH KINGSTOWN POLICE DEPARTMENT,

                                Defendants

Case No. ______________

 

COMPLAINT

  1. COMES NOW Plaintiff WILLIAM GILBERT, with this complaint against the Defendants, and alleges as follows: 

INTRODUCTION

  1. This action seeks to hold Defendant [ENTER NAME] (hereafter referred to as “[ENTER NAME]”) and Defendant NORTH KINGSTOWN POLICE DEPARTMENT (hereafter referred to as “NORTH KINGSTOWN”), (hereafter together referred to as “Defendants”) liable for violation of Plaintiff’s civil rights. Notably, Plaintiff alleges the violation of his Freedom of Speech and the Right to seek Redress of Grievances under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and Article 2, Section 21 of the Rhode Island Constitution
  2. Defendants used and/or sanctioned the use of use of intimidation and threats of violence to willfully; intentionally and purposely deprive Plaintiff’s first amendment rights of speech and governmental redress. 

 

PARTIES

  1. Plaintiff, William Gilbert, is an individual, a resident of North Kingstown, County of Washington, Rhode Island.
  2. Defendant, [ENTER NAME], is an individual of address [ENTER ADDRESS].  The said Defendant is/was a police officer working with at the North Kingstown Police Department.
  3. Defendant, North Kingstown Police Department, is a law enforcement agency of address 8166 Post Rd, North Kingstown, RI 02852

JURISDICITON AND VENUE

  1. This Court has subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws § 8-2-14 (a) because it involves the violation of Plaintiff’s rights.  This Court also has subject matter jurisdiction over this action for injunctive and declaratory relief pursuant to R.I.G.L. §§ 9-30-1.  
  2. This Court has personal jurisdiction over the Plaintiff is a resident of North Kingstown, County of Washington, Rhode Island. Defendants are also subject to the personal jurisdiction of this Court. [ENTER NAME] is a resident of this County. Defendant North Kingston is also a Police Department located within Washington County, State of Rhode Island.
  3. Venue is proper in this county under R.I.G.L. §§ 9-4-3 since it is brought in the county where the Plaintiff and/or Defendants dwell. Plaintiff and Defendants dwell in Washington County. Besides, a substantial part of the acts and omissions forming the basis of these claims occurred in Washington County. 

 

FACTS

  1. On or about [ENTER DATE], Plaintiff encountered Defendant [ENTER NAME], who intentionally, and purposefully intimidated and threatened to violate Plaintiff’s rights. 
  2. Plaintiff had committed no crime, and there was no probable cause, or reasonable suspicion and/or belief that Plaintiff had committed or was about to commit a crime. 
  3. Accordingly, Defendant [ENTER NAME] made the threat knowing that the order and/or threat was illegal; it had no basis in law; and that it violated Plaintiff’s rights.
  4. It is commonplace for police officers working at the North Kingstown Police Department to use threats of arrest against innocent individuals, to prevent citizens from engaging in behavior they know to be legal.
  5. It follows; Defendants have acted and continue to perform the said conduct(s), thereby making final injunctive relief or corresponding declaratory relief appropriate.

CLAIMS FOR RELIEF

COUNT 1

(Temporary Restraining Order/Preliminary Injunction)

  1. Plaintiff hereby incorporates by reference all the allegations contained in all the preceding paragraphs of this complaint as though fully stated herein.
  2. Plaintiff and the citizens of North Kingstown will suffer immediate and irreparable injury and damage if the Defendants are not ordered to immediately cease their actions alleged hereinabove. 
  3. Plaintiff has no adequate remedy at law. 
  4. Plaintiff is likely to succeed on the merit(s) of this case. 
  5. Plaintiff hereby requests a temporary restraining/preliminary injunction order to issue against the Defendants preventing Defendants from unlawfully issuing any threats and from attempting to unlawfully issue any threats to the citizens until further order of this Honorable Court.
  6. Plaintiff asserts that the issuance of a temporary restraining/preliminary injunction order will not cause an undue burden to the Defendants
  7. Plaintiff is entitled to the issuance of a temporary restraining order/injunction to prevent further harm and damage to Plaintiff and the Citizens of North Kingstown
  8. Plaintiff is also entitled to an award of costs, expenses, and attorneys’ fees.

COUNT 2

(Declaratory Relief)

  1. Plaintiff hereby incorporates by reference all the allegations contained in all the preceding paragraphs of this complaint as though fully stated herein.
  2. There now exists, between the parties hereto, a dispute and controversy to which the Plaintiffs and the Defendants are entitled to have a declaration of their rights and further relief relating to the facts and circumstances as set forth in this action.
  3. Plaintiff respectfully request this Honorable Court issue a declaratory judgment declaring that the actions and/or inactions of the Defendants violate the rights of Plaintiff, and the citizens of North Kingstown, at large. 

COUNT 3

(Deprivation of Rights in Violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983)

  1. Plaintiff hereby incorporates by reference all the allegations contained in all the preceding paragraphs of this complaint as though fully stated herein.
  2. Defendant [ENTER NAME], acting under the color of law, violated Plaintiff’s due process rights, and abused public trust.  
  3. Without probable cause, Defendant [ENTER NAME], intentionally and in reckless disregard for the Plaintiff’s rights, threatened to arrest Plaintiff without probable cause. As a law enforcement officer, Defendant [ENTER NAME] has an obligation to respect and protect the right(s) of citizens. Besides, Defendant [ENTER NAME] should only arrest and/or threaten to arrest upon probable cause. 
  4. On the other hand, Defendant North Kingstown Police Department failed to ensure Defendant [ENTER NAME] and other police officers respect, protect, and promote the rights of Plaintiff and citizens of North Kingstown. Notably, Defendant North Kingstown Police Department is obligated to come up with policy measures and/or oversight over the conduct of police officers in that regard. 
  5. However, in contradiction to the said expectation, Defendant [ENTER NAME] failed to honor and fulfill his duty to respect, protect, and/or promote the right(s) of Plaintiff and other citizens of North Kingstown by unlawfully threatening Plaintiff with arrest, without probable cause, and with an attempt to prevent Plaintiff from exercising his right(s). Defendant North Kingstown has also failed to ensure police officers do not violate Plaintiff’s rights and the rights of other citizens of North Kingstown. Notably, there is no/inadequate oversight pertaining the subject matter herein. In addition to the allegations herein, North Kingstown Police Department is also vicariously liable for Defendant [ENTER NAME]’s conduct. 
  6. Plaintiff is entitled to legal and equitable relief, including damages, interest, costs and attorneys’ fees and/or other relief as deemed appropriate. 

 

COUNT 4

(Violation of the First Amendment Rights to the U.S. Constitution)

  1. Plaintiff hereby incorporates by reference all the allegations contained in all the preceding paragraphs of this complaint as though fully stated herein.
  2. Defendants restricted Plaintiff’s Freedom of Expression by restricting him form speaking freely, in violation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Defendants also violated the said provision by restricting Plaintiff’s right to seek redress from the government. 
  3. Notably, Defendant [ENTER NAME] threatened Plaintiff with arrest, without probable cause, thus limiting Plaintiff’s right to speak freely, and to proceed with any step to seek government’s redress. Plaintiff observes that this conduct did not happen to him alone. It is commonplace for Police Officers in North Kingstown to behave in such manner, in violation of the First Amendment Rights of the citizens of North Kingstown. 
  4. Defendant North Kingstown Department of Police failed to enact measures to check the violation of Plaintiff’s rights as alleged herein.  

COUNT 5

 (Deprivation of Plaintiff’s rights under Article I, Section 21, of the Rhode Island State Constitution)

  1. Plaintiff hereby incorporates by reference all the allegations contained in all the preceding paragraphs of this complaint as though fully stated herein.
  2. Defendants restricted Plaintiff’s Freedom of Expression by restricting him form speaking freely, in violation of Article I, Section 21, of the Rhode Island State Constitution. Defendants also violated the said provision by restricting Plaintiff’s right to seek redress from the government. 
  3. Notably, Defendant [ENTER NAME] threatened Plaintiff with arrest, without probable cause, thus limiting Plaintiff’s right to speak freely, and to proceed with any step to seek government’s redress. Plaintiff observes that this conduct did not happen to him alone. It is commonplace for Police Officers in North Kingstown to behave in such manner, in violation of the First Amendment Rights of the citizens of North Kingstown. 
  4. Defendant North Kingstown Department of Police failed to enact measures to check the violation of Plaintiff’s rights as alleged herein.  

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

WHEREFORE, the Plaintiff is entitled to damages from the Defendants, and he hereby prays that judgment be entered in his favor and against the Defendants and the following relief be issued:

  1. Declaratory relief;
  2. An injunction preventing Defendants from continuing the unlawful conduct alleged herein;
  3. Temporary Restraining Order/Preliminary Injunction;
  4. Actual damages for violation of Plaintiff’s rights as alleged herein;
  5. Interest as provided by law;
  6. An award of fees and costs;
  7. Such other relief as the Court deems just and proper. 

 

Respectfully submitted:

 

 

Dated: __________

 

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

 I hereby certify on the ____________day of _______________, 2021, that a true and correct copy of the foregoing Complaint were served by placing a copy in the United States Postal Service, with postage prepaid, addressed upon the following:

 

SERVICE ON:

[ENTER ADDRESS]

 

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