Mallak v. Aitkin Cnty.

Decision Date31 March 2014
Docket NumberCivil No. 13–2119 (DWF/LIB).
Citation9 F.Supp.3d 1046
CourtU.S. District Court — District of Minnesota
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.

OPINION TEXT STARTS HERE

Motions granted in part and denied in part. 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 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.

Plaintiff brings her lawsuit against ten Minnesota counties and ten Minnesota cities (including, City Defendants, County Defendants, Hennepin County, Ramsey County and Anoka County). ( Id. ¶¶ 12–32.) Plaintiff also brings suit against the following: “Entity Does,” which are various unknown municipalities ( id. ¶ 33); Jane and John Does, who are law enforcement supervisors, officers, or employees of municipal entities or other federal, state, county, or municipal entities in Minnesota (in their individual capacities) ( id. ¶ 35); Commissioner Michael Campion and Commissioner Ramona Dohman, Commissioners of DPS (in their individual capacities) ( id. ¶¶ 38–39); and “DPS Does,” who are officers, supervisors, employees, independent contractors or agents of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (in their individual capacities) ( id. ¶ 42).

With respect to the Commissioner Defendants, Plaintiff alleges that they directed the creation of the DVS Database that includes the driver's license records and also directed its maintenance and updating. ( Id. ¶¶ 80–81.) She also alleges that they knowingly directed the provision of access to that database, that they should have known the data was being accessed on multiple occasions, and that any unauthorized access could have been prevented, but was not. ( Id. ¶¶ 82–85.) Plaintiff alleges that, as a result, the Commissioner Defendants “knowingly authorized, directed, ratified, approved, acquiesced in, committed or participated in the disclosure of protected data.” ( Id. ¶ 86; see also id. ¶¶ 94–95.) Plaintiff alleges that the Commissioners failed to create effective monitoring of the system and did not implement adequate training for the system. ( Id. ¶¶ 99–100.) Finally, Plaintiff alleges that the Commissioner Defendants knew of impermissible accesses by law enforcement officers, and knew law enforcement officers were viewing private data contained in the database. ( Id. ¶¶ 104–07.)

In her Complaint, Plaintiff asserts the following claims: (1) violation of the DPPA against all Defendants; (2) violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against individual Defendants (excluding supervisors); (3) violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against all City Defendants, County Defendants, Entity Does and supervisors; (4) violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Commissioner Defendants and DPS Does; (5) violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Commissioner Dohman and seeking prospective relief; and (6) state law invasion of privacy against all Defendants. ( Id. ¶¶ 172–268.) Defendants now move to dismiss based on the statute of limitations, failure to state a claim under the DPPA, failure to state a claim under § 1983, and failure to state a claim for invasion of privacy.

DISCUSSION

I. Legal Standard

In deciding a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), a court assumes all facts in the complaint to be true and construes all reasonable inferences from those facts in the light most favorable to the complainant. Morton v. Becker, 793 F.2d 185, 187 (8th Cir.1986). In doing so, however, a court need not accept as true wholly conclusory allegations, Hanten v. Sch. Dist. of Riverview Gardens, 183 F.3d 799, 805 (8th Cir.1999), or legal conclusions drawn by the pleader from the facts alleged. Westcott v. City of Omaha, 901 F.2d 1486, 1488 (8th Cir.1990). A court may consider the complaint, matters of public record, orders, materials embraced by the complaint, and exhibits attached to the complaint in deciding a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6). Porous Media Corp. v. Pall Corp., 186 F.3d 1077, 1079 (8th Cir.1999).

To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007). Although a complaint need not contain “detailed factual allegations,” it must contain facts with enough specificity “to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Id. at 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955. As the United States Supreme Court recently reiterated, [t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements,” will not pass muster under Twombly. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 663, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955). In sum, this standard “calls for enough fact[s] to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence of [the claim].” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556, 127 S.Ct. 1955.

II. The DPPAA. Background and Framework of the DPPA

The DPPA, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2721–2725, regulates the disclosure of personal information contained in records accessible through state departments of motor vehicles (“DMVs”). Maracich v. Spears, ––– U.S. ––––, 133 S.Ct. 2191, 2195, 186 L.Ed.2d 275 (2013). Congress enacted the DPPA in 1994 to address privacy concerns with respect to personal information contained in motor vehicles records, including concerns relating to threatening or criminal use of that information. See Gordon v. Softech Int'l, Inc., 726 F.3d 42, 45 (2d Cir.2013) (citing congressional record); Senne v. Vill. of Palatine, Ill., 695 F.3d 597, 607 (7th Cir.2012) (same). Under the DPPA, a State department of motor vehicles, and any officer, employee, or contractor thereof, shall not knowingly disclose or otherwise make available to any person or entity ... personal information ... about any individual obtained by the department in connection with a motor vehicle record” except as allowed under 18 U.S.C. § 2721(b). 18 U.S.C. § 2721(a). It is also unlawful for “any person knowingly to obtain or disclose personal information, from a motor vehicle record, for any use not permitted under section 2721(b) of this title.” 18 U.S.C. § 2722(a).

The DPPA defines “personal information” as “information that identifies an individual,” and includes a person's “photograph,...

To continue reading

Request your trial
1 cases
  • Mallak v. Aitkin Cnty.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Minnesota
    • 31 Marzo 2014
    ...9 F.Supp.3d 1046Brook MALLAK, Plaintiffv.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 Riv......

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT