Waldorf v. Dayton, Court File No. 17-cv-107 (JRT/LIB)

CourtUnited States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court of Minnesota
PartiesChristopher-James Waldorf, Plaintiff, v. Mark Dayton, et al. Defendants.
Docket NumberCourt File No. 17-cv-107 (JRT/LIB)
Decision Date06 June 2017

Christopher-James Waldorf, Plaintiff,
Mark Dayton, et al.

Court File No. 17-cv-107 (JRT/LIB)


June 6, 2017


This matter came before the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to an order of referral, [Docket No. 51], made in accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B), and upon Defendants' Motions to Dismiss, [Docket Nos. 33 and 39], and Plaintiff's Motion to Amend and Restate the Complaint, [Docket No. 57]. The Motions were taken under advisement on the written submissions to the Court. (See, Orders, [Docket Nos. 55 and 64).

For the reasons set forth below, the Court recommends that Defendants Governor Mark Dayton, Attorney General Lori Swanson, the Honorable William J. Cashman, Rachel Schmidt, and George Lock's Motion to Dismiss, [Docket No. 33], and Defendants Janelle Kendall, Kyle Triggs, John Sanner, John Freihammer, Nate Kyollo, and Cody Vojacek's Motion to Dismiss, [Docket No. 39], be GRANTED.

In addition, for the reasons set forth below, the Court orders that Plaintiff Christopher-James Waldorf's Motion for Request for Leave to Amend and Restate the Complaint, [Docket No. 57], is DENIED.

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On November 26, 2015, Plaintiff Christopher-James Waldorf ("Plaintiff") was driving home after a social engagement when he was pulled over by Officer Cody Vojacek of the Stearns County Sheriff's Department, who asked to see Plaintiff's driver's license and registration. (Amend. Compl., [Docket No. 28], 16-18). Plaintiff complied with the request and produced a driver's license in the name of Christopher James Waldorf.2 (Id. at 18). Plaintiff was placed under arrest and taken into custody. (Id.). When Officer Vojacek requested that Plaintiff take a Breathalyzer test, Plaintiff asked to use the bathroom first. (Id.). Officer Vojacek denied the request and ultimately charged Plaintiff with the crime of test refusal. (Id. at 34).

Between June 10, 2016, and September 18, 2016, Plaintiff asserts that he "execute[d] all necessary actions and documents to establish himself as a foreign sovereign and to establish the Estate for which he is the Occupant of The Office of Executor (hereinafter 'Executor') as Foreign and Exempt."3 (Id. at 11). Plaintiff then purportedly appointed certain public servants—Governor Mark Dayton; Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson; the Honorable William J. Cashman, Minnesota state district court judge; Rachel Schmidt, Clerk of Court for the Stearns County Minnesota state court; Janelle Kendall, Stearns County Attorney; and George Lock; the Stearns County Court Administrator—as trustees and fiduciaries of the purported Estate of

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Christopher James Waldorf "to help ensure the protection of the Estate and the Executor thereof." (Id. at 12-17).

On November 14, 2016, Plaintiff issued an "Executive Order" that "fully [a]ccepted" and thereby asserted to settle all of the criminal charges in Stearns County Case No. 73-CR-16-157 in exchange for an assignment to the United States of unlimited credit owed to the Estate by the United States. (Id. at 13-14; Exh. F, [Docket No. 28-2], 38). Plaintiff also ordered the purportedly appointed trustees to "advise the executor office herein identified of the settlement of this matter . . . such that the executor need not attend the meeting in this matter, currently scheduled for December 9, 2016." (Amend. Compl., [Docket No. 28], 13-14).

However, Plaintiff later became aware that the criminal matter had not been "settled," so Plaintiff went to Stearns County District Court on December 9, 2016. (Id. at 20-21). He asserts that he did not intend to appear in the criminal proceedings; rather, he went to the state district court "to remind the Trustees of their duty to settle and close the matter and advise the Executor of the same." (Id. at 21). Although there was a hearing scheduled for 10:00 a.m., it did not begin until approximately 11:45 a.m. (Id. at 24). During the hearing, Plaintiff refused to acknowledge that he was the defendant in the criminal proceedings, stating instead that he is the Executor for the Estate named or known as Christopher-James Waldorf. (Id. at 21-23). Accordingly, Judge Cashman held Plaintiff in contempt of court and ordered him taken into custody; Plaintiff was booked into the Stearns County Jail. (Id. at 23-24). Later that afternoon, Plaintiff was brought back before Judge Cashman. (Id. at 24). It appears that Plaintiff was released later that afternoon after signing an appearance bond. (Id. at 41-42).

A trial on the criminal matters was scheduled for January 24, 2017.4 (Id. at 39).

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On January 11, 2017, Plaintiff filed his Complaint in this Court, bringing suit against Defendants Mark Dayton; Lori Swanson; the Honorable William J. Cashman; Rachel Schmidt; Janelle Kendall; Kyle Triggs, "an agent of the Stearns County Attorney"; George Lock; John L. Sanner, Sheriff of Stearns County; John Freihammer, "an agent of the office of the Sheriff of Stearns County"; Nate Kyollo, "an agent of the office of the Sheriff of Stearns County"; John and Jane Doe defendants, unnamed agents of the Stearns County Sheriff's Office; and John and Jane Roe defendants, unnamed spouses of the named defendants. (Compl., [Docket No. 1], 1-2). Plaintiff sought to bring claims against the named Defendants in both their official and individual capacities. (Id.).

Although the claims Plaintiff alleges in the present case have changed as he has amended his Complaint, the original Complaint, [Docket No. 1], set forth the following: (1) a claim under 18 U.S.C. § 241 that Defendants conspired to deprive him of "his Rights by continuing the Prosecution of the Matter after the Executor had fully Accepted the Charges and provided for settlement and closure of the Matter"; (2) a claim under 18 U.S.C. § 242 that Defendants deprived Plaintiff of "rights and immunities secured by the Constitution on account of his being alien" when (a) Freihammer and Kyollo possessed deadly weapons when they arrested Plaintiff for contempt of court and (b) Plaintiff was held in custody while in contempt of court; (3) a claim of kidnapping, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1201, based upon his being held in custody while in contempt of court; (4) two charges of subornation of perjury, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1622, based upon his allegedly being coerced into signing a notice to appear and other documents as Christopher James Waldorf; (5) a claim of peonage under 18 U.S.C. § 1581, based upon Plaintiff's arrest for contempt and his remaining in contempt until he signed the papers referenced above; (6) a claim of extortion, pursuant to 25 C.F.R. § 11.417, based upon his being

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charged in the criminal case as Christopher James Waldorf; (7) a claim for misprision of felony under 18 U.S.C. § 4 for failure to stop or report the felonies charged in the prior Counts of the Complaint; (8) a claim of general "malfeasance" for Defendants' failure to comply with their asserted duties to protect the Estate and Plaintiff, as the Executor; (9) a claim for relief for "Breach of Trust and Violation of Oath" by Defendants as trustees; (10) a claim of slander against Defendant Judge Cashman, based upon Judge Cashman referring to Plaintiff as asserting that he is a sovereign citizen; (11) a similarly based claim against Judge Cashman for defamation of character; and (11) a second claim of defamation of character based upon the arrest record generated by Plaintiff's arrest for contempt of court. (Id. at 39-45). In the original Complaint, Plaintiff asked this Court for an order enjoining the prosecution in Minnesota State Court of his criminal case, exemplary damages, punitive damages, restitution, return of property, and declaratory relief. (Id. at 46).

On January 19, 2017, Chief Judge John R. Tunheim issued an Order directing Plaintiff to show why this action should not be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. (Order, [Docket No. 19]). The Order noted that all of Plaintiffs' claims were either federal claims without a private right of action or Minnesota state-law claims for which Plaintiff had not adequately alleged jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332. (Id. at 2-3). Finally, to the extent that Plaintiff sought "equitable relief that might interfere with pending state proceedings, the Court cautions that it is required to abstain from accepting jurisdiction over such claims unless an applicable exception to the abstention doctrine announced in Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971), applies." (Id. at 3).

Also on January 19, 2017, Defendants Dayton, Swanson, Judge Cashman, Schmidt, and Lock (collectively, "State Defendants") filed a joint Motion to Dismiss, [Docket No. 12], for lack

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of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6).

Similarly, on January 24, 2017, Defendants Kendall, Triggs, Sanner, Freihammer, and Kyollo (collectively, "County Defendants") filed a joint Motion to Dismiss, [Docket No. 21], for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6).

On February 2, 2017, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint, adding Officer Vojacek as a named Defendant. (Amend. Compl., [Docket No. 28], 5-6). In the Amended Complaint, Plaintiff bases his claims on the same general facts, but greatly revises the claims he brings. In Count I, Plaintiff now brings a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violation of his Eighth Amendment rights based upon the denial of his request to use the bathroom prior to taking the Breathalyzer test on November 26, 2015. (Id. at 34). Count II asserts a § 1983 claim for "Failure to Implement Appropriate Policies," alleging a policy by the Stearns County Sheriff's Department and the Stearns County Attorney's Office "to abuse...

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