Campbell v. Hennepin Cnty. Sheriffs, Case No. 19-cv-1348 (DWF/ECW)

CourtUnited States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court of Minnesota
Writing for the CourtELIZABETH COWAN WRIGHT United States Magistrate Judge
PartiesJames Paul Campbell, Plaintiff, v. Hennepin County Sheriffs, Saint Paul Police Department, Ramsey County Sheriffs, Hennepin County Parole Probation Office, and Public Storage Incorporated, Defendants.
Docket NumberCase No. 19-cv-1348 (DWF/ECW)
Decision Date21 January 2020

James Paul Campbell, Plaintiff,
Hennepin County Sheriffs, Saint Paul Police Department, Ramsey County Sheriffs,
Hennepin County Parole Probation Office,
and Public Storage Incorporated, Defendants.

Case No. 19-cv-1348 (DWF/ECW)


January 21, 2020


This matter is before the Court on Defendant City of Saint Paul Police Department's ("the City") Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. 7); Defendant Ramsey County Sheriffs' ("Ramsey County") Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. 13); Plaintiff James Paul Campbell's ("Campbell" or "Plaintiff") Motion for Update, to Enter and Note Default, and for Hearing if Needed, Against and As to All Defendants Except Saint Paul and Ramsey County ("Motion for Status Update and Entry of Default") (Dkt. 25); and Defendants Hennepin County Sheriff's Office's and Hennepin County Probation Office's (collectively, "Hennepin County") Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. 31). The case has been referred to the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge for a report and recommendation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636 and Local Rule 72.1. For the reasons discussed below, the Court recommends granting the Motions to Dismiss and denying Campbell's Motion for Status Update and Entry of Default.

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A. Factual Background

The present action relates to Plaintiff's arrest in St. Paul, Minnesota, in August 2010.1 Campbell was previously convicted in Texas of possession with intent to distribute approximately four kilograms of cocaine. See State v. Campbell, No. A11-1937 (hereinafter "State Criminal Case"), 2012 WL 5476108, at *1 (Minn. App. Nov. 13, 2012), review denied (Minn. Jan. 29, 2013); (Dkt. 1 at 8 ¶ 1 ("I was on Texas Interstate Parole for an unlawful sentence of first-degree possession of Narcotics.").) After his conviction in Texas, Campbell was transferred to Minnesota in December 2005 where he was monitored by the Hennepin County Community Corrections Department. Minnesota Court of Appeals Opinion, at *1; (Dkt 1. at 9 ¶ 9 ("I was forced to live in Texas 1 year before my parole got transferred to Minnesota my home.").) At some point in 2010, Campbell "sent lengthy letters to a federal judge in which he requested to be allowed to exercise his 'right' to cultivate and consume marijuana, use and possess cocaine or firearms, and travel freely." Minnesota Court of Appeals Opinion, at *1; (Dkt. 1 at 9 ¶ IV.2 ("Only on or about June 2010 I . . . mailed a (a) 'notice of Intent and claim of right affidavit' to federal judge Michael J Davis Minnesota District.").) The Hennepin County Sheriff's Department took notice of Campbell's letters and organized a team of police officers who began surveillance on Campbell. Minnesota Court of Appeals Opinion, at

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*1; (Dkt. 1 at 8 ¶ 3 ("Unbeknownst to me . . . Hennepin County Sheriff's violent Offender task force officers were lurking with intent outside, and had followed me from the parole office in Brooklyn Center Minnesota . . . .").)

Officers followed Campbell as he drove through the streets of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and observed what they described as "evasive maneuvers." Minnesota Court of Appeals Opinion, at *1. Campbell led the surveillance team to a public storage facility in St. Paul, Minnesota. Id. Campbell was there briefly, and the police did not observe Campbell place anything in or remove anything from the storage facility. Id. Later, Campbell was seen entering his residence with a large green plastic bag that was in the trunk of his vehicle. Id. Law enforcement applied for a search warrant to determine if Campbell rented a unit at the storage facility. Id. The district court issued a warrant to obtain information pertaining to the storage lockers, including the identification of its renters. Id. Police executed the warrant and discovered that Campbell had in fact rented a unit at that storage facility. Id. Law enforcement obtained permission from storage-facility management to conduct a drug-detection dog sniff in the public hallway outside the lockers near Campbell's storage unit. Id. The drug-detection dog alerted law enforcement to the odor of narcotics next to Campbell's storage unit. Id. Consequently, law enforcement applied for and obtained a second search warrant to enter Campbell's storage unit. Id. On August 26, 2010, law enforcement entered Campbell's storage locker and found four handguns, one assault rifle, and a small amount of marijuana. Id.

Campbell was charged with possession of a firearm by an ineligible person. Id. at *2. During the original criminal proceeding, Campbell moved to suppress the evidence,

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arguing that the search warrants were not supported by probable cause and that the supporting affidavits contained misrepresentations. Id. At the motion hearing, Campbell argued that the police lacked reasonable articulable suspicion justifying the dog sniff. Id. However, the district court denied Campbell's suppression motion. Id. Campbell waived his right to a jury trial and agreed to proceed with a trial on stipulated facts under Minn. R. Crim. P. 26.01, subd. 3. Id. The district court found Campbell guilty and sentenced him to 60 months' imprisonment.

Campbell appealed to the Minnesota Court of Appeals, claiming that the search-warrant application did not establish probable cause and that the drug sniff was not supported by reasonable suspicion. Id. at *3. Campbell also argued that his conviction should have been overturned because it "interferes with his rights as a sovereign." Id. at *5. The Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed his conviction. Id. The Minnesota Supreme Court denied Campbell's request for review. See Campbell, 2012 WL 5476108, review denied (Minn. Jan. 29, 2013).

B. Procedural Background

On May 22, 2019, Campbell filed his Complaint naming "Hennepin County Sheriffs et al," "Saint Paul Police Department," "Ramsey County Sheriffs et al," "Hennepin County Parole Probation Office et al," and "Public Storage Incorporated" as Defendants. (Dkt. 1 at 1.) Campbell brought this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, claiming that his civil rights and other State and Federal constitutional rights were violated. (Id. at 6.) Campbell seeks declaratory judgment and damages in the amount of

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$6,800,000 or "$1 below the insurance maximum Liability limit for each insured party . . . whichever is less." (Id. at 24.)

On June 6, 2019, the City moved to dismiss Campbell's Complaint under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2) for lack of personal jurisdiction and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. (Dkt. 7 at 1.) Campbell filed a response signed June 19, 2019 and docketed on June 26, 2019 (Dkt. 18) and the City filed its reply on July 3, 2019 (Dkt. 20).

On June 17, 2019, Ramsey County also moved to dismiss Campbell's Complaint under Rules 12(b)(2) and 12(b)(6). (Dkt. 13 at 1.) Although it appears that Campbell's June 26 response brief was directed only to the City, Ramsey County filed a reply addressing the arguments made in that response on July 3, 2019 (Dkt. 22).

On September 4, 2019, Campbell filed a document entitled "MOTION & AFFIDAVIT FOR STATUS UPDATE, TO ENTER AND NOTE DEFAULT, AND FOR HEARING IF NEEDED, AGAINST AND AS TO ALL DEFENDNTS [SIC] EXCEPT SAINT PAUL AND RAMSEY COUNTY." (Dkt. 25.) Because Campbell seeks "Noting and Entry of Default" and a "hearing for Default Judgment" for Defendants other than the St. Paul and Ramsey County Defendants, the Court construes this document (Dkt. 25) as a Motion for Status Update and Entry of Default in which Campbell also seeks a hearing on a motion for default judgment.

On November 5, 2019, Hennepin County moved to dismiss all claims against it with prejudice. (Dkt. 31 at 1.) Campbell did not file a response, and Hennepin County did not file a reply.

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C. The Complaint

Campbell, a self-styled "private natural person consumer and 1st party claimant within the meaning of such as defined in the insurance laws of this state and the consumer protection laws," alleges eighteen claims under 42 U.S.C § 1983 against Defendants including: (1) police brutality; (2) dishonesty; (3) fraud; (4) coercion; (5) torture to force confessions & coerced false confession; (6) abuse of authority; (7) intimidation; (8) false arrest; (9) false imprisonment; (10) falsification of evidence; (11) spoliation of evidence; (12) police perjury; (13) witness tampering; (14) police corruption; (15) racial profiling; (16) unwarranted surveillance; (17) unwarranted searches; and (18) unwarranted seizure of Person and/or property. (Id. at 11-23.) The claims are summarized as follows:

Police Brutality Claim

Campbell alleges that "[t]he police were unnecessarily rough with Claimant in speaking and in handling physically in Every encounter and phase as if he were ready to assault them at any time even once he was in custody and handcuffs and despite his calmness in speaking to them about the matter." (Id. at 11.)

Dishonesty Claim

Campbell alleges that police officers involved "were responsible for the acquisition, conversion and disposal" of Campbell's property "without taking such measures as would reasonably be required to comply or comport with fair dealing and observation of statute, police, practice, and procedure and they acted Proactively

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afterward to cover up that they had done anything that would raise an eyebrow of an honest person in their same or similar role and position." (Id. at 11-12.)

Fraud Claim

Campbell alleges that the officers involved "acted proactively and passively to cover up the true facts, the involved parties['] involvement, and to spoil evidence of the probability that what they did to Claimant was improper and a circumvention of the intent of the civil [r]ights and privacy rights laws without violation of the wording. Which circumvention without violation of the wording intentionally by practices, policies, and procedures developed for such is meant...

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