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USCA1 Opinion

November 29, 1993

[NOT FOR PUBLICATION]


UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE FIRST CIRCUIT

___________________
No. 93-1535

DAVID WAYFIELD,
Plaintiff, Appellant,
v.
TOWN OF TISBURY,
Defendant, Appellee.
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APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS
[Hon. Walter Jay Skinner, U.S. District Judge]
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___________________
Before
Cyr, Circuit Judge,
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Bownes, Senior Circuit Judge,
____________________

and Boudin, Circuit Judge.


_____________
___________________

David Wayfield on brief pro se.


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Tracie L. Longman and Roche, Carens & DeGiacomo on brief for
_________________
_________________________
appellee.
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__________________

Per Curiam.
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Town

Appellant David Wayfield alleges

of

Tisbury,

in

parties,

deprived

him

violation

of 42 U.S.C.

motion to

dismiss the

conjunction
of

his

1983.

with

numerous

constitutional

private

rights

in

After the defendants filed a

entire complaint,

amend his original complaint.

that the

Wayfield moved

to

This motion was denied by the

district court on the ground that the amended complaint would


also be subject to dismissal.

Wayfield appeals the dismissal

of his

With one exception,

civil rights action.

we affirm

the dismissal of Wayfield's claims.


In

dismissing

Wayfield's

civil

rights

claims,

the

district court
civil

rights

seems to

rely in part

complaints

particularity.

must

pled

See Dartmouth Review v.


___ _________________

889

F.2d 13, 16 (1st Cir. 1989).

has

recently cautioned that

subject only

be

on the
with

doctrine that
heightened

Dartmouth College,
_________________

However, the Supreme Court

civil rights

claims are

to normal standards of pleading.

to be

Leatherman v.
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Tarrant County Narcotics Intelligence & Coordination Unit,


____________________________________________________________
113 S.Ct.

1160,

assessing

the

1163
adequacy

whether, accepting
as

true,

favorable
which
v.

and

(1993).
of the

proper

instant

these facts

plaintiff, the

could entitle plaintiff to

Mobil Oil Corp.,


_________________

851 F.2d

standard

complaint

the factual allegations in

construing

to the

The

in

pleading
relief.
513, 514

the

for

then is

the complaint
light

shows any

most
facts

See, e.g., Gooley


___ ___
______
(1st Cir.

1988).

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Moreover, as a pro se plaintiff, Wayfield is entitled to have


___ __

his

complaint "liberally construed."

Estelle v. Gamble, 429


_______
______

U.S. 97, 106 (1976).


Even

under

this

more

generous

standard,

most

Wayfield's causes of action are subject to dismissal

of

for the

reasons stated in the district court opinion, dated March 29,


1993.

However, we find that the amended complaint, liberally

construed, does state a

cause of action under section

We

the

therefore

Wayfield's

reverse

motion

to

district

amend his

court's

complaint

1983.

denial

and

of

vacate the

dismissal order in part.


According

to

his amended

where

he spoke with the Library Director, defendant Marjorie


attempted

"revisionist" books
respond and

to persuade

Haven Public

14,

Wayfield went

and

Vineyard

on December

1990,

Convery,

to the

complaint,

her

and periodicals.

"seemed very angry

to

Ms.

Library

stock several

Convery did

but controlled."

not

Within an

hour, Wayfield was falsely accused by Ms. Convery of stealing


a menorah from
open

his

the library.

shoulder

bag

"assaulted" by Convery.
certified

letter from

When he refused
to

be

searched,

her request to
Wayfield

was

On December 18, Wayfield received a


Convery informing

him

that "[a]s

result of the disruptive incident that occurred on Saturday .


. . your presence on the property
longer

be permitted."

or in the building will no

On December 20,

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he received another

letter

dated December 19,

for the Vineyard

1990, from the

Board of Trustees

Haven Public Library, announcing

that, due

to the "disruptive incident," he was banned from the

library

until April 2, 1991.

After Wayfield returned to the library

in January

was

charges

1991,

he

were eventually

charged with
dropped.

trespassing.

Wayfield

The

admits to

the

existence of a disturbance but alleges that he was the victim


of an

illegal assault by

the ban

Convery.

imposed upon him was due

He further

alleges that

not to any disturbance but

was in retaliation for his political views.


To state a
plaintiff

cause of action

must

determination

sufficient

"(i) that the

committed under
alleged] conduct
Constitution or
Board of Appeals,
________________
483

allege

color

of

worked a
laws

under 42

U.S.C.

facts

to

conduct complained of
state

law, and

denial of

of the

(ii)

support

has been
that

rights secured by

United States."

811 F.2d 36, 40 (1st

1983,

Chongris
________

[the
the
v.

Cir.), cert. denied,


____ ______

U.S. 1021 (1987). Liberally construing the complaint and

accepting its allegations as true, we find that the complaint

states a

cause of action under 42

Convery.

First,

1990,

banning

banning

from

the

because of

of December 18,

library,

under the color of state

of Wayfield

appear to be

1983 against Ms.

as evidenced by her letter


Wayfield

purported to act

U.S.C.

his

Ms.

law.

Convery

Second, the

political views

a violation of his constitutional

would

rights.

Cf.
__

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Nestor Colon Medina & Sucesores, Inc. v. Custodio,


_____________________________________
________
32,

40

(1st

Cir.

1992)

(denial of

unjustifiable retaliation for

land

use

964 F.2d
permit

expression of political

views

constitutes a first amendment violation).


[While
course,
public

a]

State or

its

instrumentality may,

of

regulate the use of its libraries or other


facilities

reasonable

and

.it

must

nondiscriminatory

do

so

in

manner, equally

applicable to all and administered with equality to


all. . .

. And it may not invoke regulations as to

use--whether

they

are

ad
__

hoc
___

or

in

general--as a

pretext

for

pursuing

constitutionally

those

protected

engaged
exercise

in

lawful,
of

their

fundamental rights.
Brown v. Louisiana, 383 U.S. 131, 142-43 (1966).
_____
_________
To be

sure,

the allegations

Convery and her banning


by animus
Such

that the

him from the library were

toward Wayfield's political

conclusory

assault by

allegations

become

Ms.

motivated

views are conclusory.


facts

for

pleading

purposes "only when such conclusions are logically compelled,


or at least supported, by the stated facts, that is, when the
suggested
acceptable

inference rises to what experience indicates is an


level

of

probability."

Dartmouth Review
_________________

v.

Dartmouth College, 889 F.2d 13, 16 (1st Cir. 1989).


_________________

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The

complaint

does

circumstantial, support the

allege

facts

conclusion that

which,

albeit

the banning

by

the Director

was politically motivated.

mind of an actor
party] says
605

(1st

Since

the state of

often "must be inferred from

or does[,]"
Cir.

1991),

the things [a

Anthony v. Sundlun, 952


_______
_______
circumstantial

evidence

support a conclusion of discriminatory intent.


First, Wayfield
which led to

but

Wayfield

controlled."

alleges

that

she

Id.
__

the Director his

"seemed

very

angry

that "within an hour"

accused falsely of stealing a

but

he was

menorah and was "assaulted" by

From these facts, it is possible to infer that

the accusation
reason

can

Not only was she thus aware of those views

He then alleges

the Director.

alone

alleges that on the day of the incident

the banning he discussed with

political views.

F.2d 603,

of stealing was

for the "assault"

a pretext and that

and the Director's

the real

letter banning

Wayfield was animus towards Wayfield's political views.


We also find that, although the
the complaint alleges
Tisbury

as

construed,

well.

a cause of action against


According

the Board

question is very close,

of

to

the

Trustees

of

the Town of

complaint, liberally
the

Vineyard

Haven

Library banned Wayfield from the library between December 19,


1990,

and April

While

the

"disruptive

Board

2,

1991 because

purported

incident" which

to

of
act

occurred

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his political
only

because

views.
of

the

between Wayfield

and

Convery,

the complaint alleges that this incident was only a

pretext, a

conclusion we

have decided

facts alleged in the complaint.

We do

inference that the Board, acting


provided by

the Director, may

shared, the

Director's intent,

is supported

not find the possible

on the basis of information


have been aware of,
to be

this case without any

Since

Trustees is

of

managing the library,

the

see Mass. Gen.


___ ____ ___

to

further inquiry.

body responsible
L. ch. 78,
_

illegal acts it

may have committed would expose

liability.

Pembaur v. Cincinnati, 475


_______
__________

See
___

and even

so speculative as

require dismissal of
the Board

by the

for

11,

any

the town to

U.S. 469, 483-84

(1986) (municipality is liable under section 1983 even for "a


single decision
made]

by

to take

the

establishing

unlawful action

official

or

. .

officials

[which

responsible

is
for

final policy with respect to the subject matter

in question.").
We

affirm

Wayfield's
Board

district

court's

claims except those

of Trustees

motivated

the

banning

in regard
of

dismissal

against Ms. Convery


to

Wayfield

the allegedly
from

the

of

all

and the

politically

Vineyard

Haven

Library.

As

to those claims, we vacate the dismissal of the

complaint,

reverse the

denial of

complaint,

and

to the

remand

the motion

district

to amend

court

the

for further

proceedings.

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Affirmed in part; vacated in part and


_________________ ________________
costs.

remanded.
________

No

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