BOSTON — The couple accusing Tremont firefighters and others of conspiring to let their restaurant burn to the ground in 2013 are appealing a federal court decision that dismissed their lawsuit for failure to state a claim.
Robert and Judy Cousins, owners of Cap’n Nemo’s restaurant, filed the appeal with the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit on Dec. 17.
The couple, who are representing themselves, initially filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in Bangor in December 2014. In court documents, the couple accused firefighters of engaging in “terroristic arson” and claimed they have the constitutional right to recover damages “from the assault put upon us by the outlandish acts of the local cabal of prejudiced cowards who hide beneath their official cloaks.”
In June, Judge D. Brock Hornby, acting on a motion filed by the firefighter’s attorney, dismissed the Cousins’ complaint, stating the couple failed in stating a valid federal claim. Hornby additionally denied a motion by the Cousins to amend that complaint because any amendment is “futile.”
In response, the couple filed a motion for reconsideration of the dismissal. In August, Hornby denied that motion, stating that the couple failed to introduce new evidence or show an error of law as required under the federal rules of civil procedure.
“I considered all their arguments seriously the first time, and I see no reason to amend or alter the judgment,” Hornby wrote in his August decision. “If the Cousins disagree with my ruling, their remedy is to appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.”
The Cousins are asking the appeals court to reverse the decision to dismiss their lawsuit and remand the case to the district court for further consideration.
Phone calls seeking comment to Robert Bower of Norman, Hanson and DeTroy LLC in Portland, who along with Devin Deane represents the firefighters, were not immediately returned.