Mallak v. Aitkin Cnty.

Decision Date31 March 2014
Docket NumberCivil No. 13–2119 DWF/LIB.
Citation9 F.Supp.3d 1046
PartiesBrook MALLAK, Plaintiff, v. AITKIN COUNTY ; Anoka County; City of Baxter; City of Brainerd; Cass County; City of Crosslake ; Crow Wing County ; City of Fridley; Hennepin County; City of Little Falls; City of Long Prairie ; City of Minneapolis; Morrison County ; City of Pine River ; Ramsey County ; City of St. Cloud ; Scott County; St. Louis County; City of Staples ; Wright County; Tinker & Larson, Inc. ; Michael Campion, acting in his individual capacity as Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety; Ramona Dohman, acting in her individual capacity as Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety; John and Jane Does (1–500) acting in their individual capacity as supervisors, officers, deputies, staff, investigators, employees or agents of the other law-enforcement agencies or Tinker & Larson, Inc.; Department of Public Safety Does (1–30) acting in their individual capacity as officers, supervisors, staff, employees, independent contractors or agents of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety; and Entity Does (1–50) including cities, counties, municipalities, and other entities sited in Minnesota and federal departments and agencies, Defendants.
CourtU.S. District Court — District of Minnesota

9 F.Supp.3d 1046

Brook MALLAK, Plaintiff
v.
AITKIN COUNTY ; Anoka County; City of Baxter; City of Brainerd; Cass County; City of Crosslake ; Crow Wing County ; City of Fridley; Hennepin County; City of Little Falls; City of Long Prairie ; City of Minneapolis; Morrison County ; City of Pine River ; Ramsey County ; City of St. Cloud ; Scott County; St. Louis County; City of Staples ; Wright County; Tinker & Larson, Inc. ; Michael Campion, acting in his individual capacity as Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety; Ramona Dohman, acting in her individual capacity as Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety; John and Jane Does (1–500) acting in their individual capacity as supervisors, officers, deputies, staff, investigators, employees or agents of the other law-enforcement agencies or Tinker & Larson, Inc.; Department of Public Safety Does (1–30) acting in their individual capacity as officers, supervisors, staff, employees, independent contractors or agents of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety; and Entity Does (1–50) including cities, counties, municipalities, and other entities sited in Minnesota and federal departments and agencies, Defendants.

Civil No. 13–2119 DWF/LIB.

United States District Court, D. Minnesota.

Signed March 31, 2014.


9 F.Supp.3d 1048

Jonathan A. Strauss, Esq., Lorenz F. Fett, Jr., Esq., Mark H. Zitzewitz, Esq., Sonia L. Miller–Van Oort, Esq., and Kenneth H. Fukuda, Esq., Sapientia Law Group, counsel for Plaintiff.

Jon K. Iverson, Esq., Susan M. Tindal, Esq., and Stephanie A. Angolkar, Esq., Iverson, Reuvers Condon, counsel for Defendants City of Baxter, City of Brainerd, City of Crosslake, City of Fridley, City of Little Falls, City of Pine River, City of St. Cloud, City of Staples, and City of Long Prairie.

Erin E. Benson, Esq., Margaret A. Skelton, Esq., and Timothy A. Sullivan, Esq., Ratwik, Roszak & Maloney, PA, counsel for Defendants Cass County, Crow Wing County, Morrison County, Scott County, Wright County, and Aitkin County.

Toni A. Beitz, Assistant County Attorney, Beth A. Stack, Assistant County Attorney, and Daniel D. Koczor, Assistant County Attorney, Hennepin County Attorney's Office, counsel for Defendant Hennepin County.

Timothy S. Skarda, Assistant City Attorney, Minneapolis City Attorney's Office, counsel for Defendant City of Minneapolis.

Kimberly R. Parker, Assistant County Attorney, and Robert B. Roche, Assistant County Attorney, Ramsey County Attorney's Office, counsel for Defendant Ramsey County.

Leslie E. Beiers, Assistant County Attorney, and Nick D. Campanario, Assistant County Attorney, St. Louis County Attorney's Office, counsel for Defendant St. Louis County.

Oliver J. Larson, Assistant Attorney General, Minnesota Attorney General's Office, counsel for Defendants Michael Campion and Ramona Dohman.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

DONOVAN W. FRANK, District Judge.

INTRODUCTION

This matter is before the Court on the following motions: (1) Defendant Hennepin County's (“Hennepin County”) Motion to Dismiss and/or for Summary Judgment and/or to Sever with respect to Plaintiff Brook Mallak's (“Plaintiff”) Complaint relating primarily to violations of the Driver's

9 F.Supp.3d 1049

Privacy Protection Act (“DPPA”) (Doc. No. 19); (2) Defendants City of Baxter, City of Brainerd, City of Crosslake, City of Fridley, City of Little Falls, City of Long Prairie, City of Pine River, City of St. Cloud, and City of Staples's (collectively, “City Defendants”) Motion to Dismiss (Doc. No. 43); (3) Defendants Aitkin County, Cass County, Crow Wing County, Morrison County, Scott County, and Wright County's (collectively, “County Defendants”) Motion to Dismiss and/or for Summary Judgment (Doc. No. 49); (4) Defendant Ramsey County's (“Ramsey County”) Motion to Dismiss or for Severance (Doc. No. 55); and (5) Defendants Commissioner Ramona Dohman and Commissioner Michael Campion's (collectively, “Commissioner Defendants”) Motion to Dismiss (Doc. No. 30).1 For the reasons set forth below, the Court denies in part and grants in part the motions.

BACKGROUND

The Department of Vehicle Services (“DVS”) is a division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (“DPS”). (Doc. No. 1, Compl. ¶ 53.) DPS maintains a database that contains the motor-vehicle records for Minnesota Drivers (“DVS Database”), which includes “names, dates of birth, driver's license numbers, addresses, driver's license photos, weights, heights, social security numbers, various health and disability information, and eye colors of Minnesota drivers.” (Id. ¶¶ 53–54.)

Plaintiff is a practicing attorney in Brainerd and Little Falls, Minnesota. (Id. ¶ 44.) Plaintiff alleges she has “well established” and “long-standing ties within the community.” (Id. ¶¶ 45–46, 51.) Plaintiff was a full-time public defender between 2003 and 2008 in Crow Wing and Aitkin Counties, who represented adult criminal defendants, juvenile delinquents, and parties in child welfare matters. (Id. ¶ 48.) Plaintiff has also served on Crow Wing County Drug and DWI Courts and a number of steering committees, has volunteered with high school students, and has taught as an adjunct teacher at Bemidji State University. (Id. ¶ 52.)

Plaintiff requested an audit report from DPS in March 2013, at which time she learned that her driver's license information had been accessed by Minnesota municipal and state personnel approximately 190 times between 2003 and 2012. (Id. ¶¶ 1–2, 55–76, 120–123 & Ex. A.) Plaintiff alleges that she provided the following to DPS: her address, color photograph, social security number, date of birth, weight, height, and eye color. (Id. ¶ 173.) Plaintiff alleges that each of these searches was run by her name, rather than by her license plate number or driver's license number. (Id. ¶ 3.) Plaintiff further alleges that these accesses were done knowingly, and that she had committed no crimes that would have justified any of the accesses identified in her Complaint. (Id. ¶¶ 77–78.) Searches allegedly made by Defendants are summarized as follows:

Entity TOTAL number of accesses
Aitkin County 5
City of Baxter 4
City of Brainerd 7
Cass County 5
City of Crosslake 2
Crow Wing County 81
City of Fridley 2
Hennepin County 1
City of Little Falls 22
City of Long Prairie 1
City of Minneapolis 1
Morrison County 1
City of Pine River 1
Ramsey County 1
Scott County 7
City of St. Cloud 1
St. Louis County 1
City of Staples 2
...

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