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Scheffler v. Dohman

United States District Court, Eighth Circuit

November 26, 2013

Troy K. Scheffler, Plaintiff,
v.
Ramona Dohman, [1] in her official Capacity as the Commissioner of Public Safety, State of Minnesota; and State of Minnesota, Defendants.

Peter J. Nickitas, Esq., Peter J. Nickitas Law Office, LLC, counsel for Plaintiff.

James E. Haase, Assistant Attorney General, Minnesota Attorney General's Office, counsel for Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

DONOVAN W. FRANK, District Judge.

INTRODUCTION

This matter is before the Court on Defendants' Motion to Dismiss the Complaint against Ramona Dohman and the State of Minnesota (together, "Defendants"). (Doc. No. 5.) For the reasons set forth below, the Court grants the motion to dismiss.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff was arrested for driving while impaired ("DWI") on July 26, 1994, November 1, 1996, and November 17, 1997. (Doc. No. 1, Compl. ¶ 14; Doc. No. 7, Ex. 1.)[2] Each of these incidents resulted in the revocation of Plaintiff's driving privileges. (Doc. No. 7, Ex. 1.) After the November 1997 incident, Plaintiff's driving privileges were cancelled. ( Id. ) As a condition to regaining his driving privileges, Plaintiff was required to complete a one-year abstinence-based alcohol rehabilitation program. ( Id. ) Plaintiff successfully completed the program and was issued a driver's license on December 8, 1998, with the restriction that he abstain from the use of alcohol. ( Id. ) Plaintiff's driving privileges were cancelled again on September 27, 1999. ( Id. ) As a condition to regaining driving privileges, Plaintiff was required to complete a three-year abstinence-based rehabilitation program. ( Id. ) Plaintiff completed the program and on December 11, 2002, was issued a driver's license, again on the condition that he not consume alcohol. ( Id. ) On December 13, 2010, Plaintiff was arrested for DWI. ( Id. ) Plaintiff's driving privileges were cancelled. ( Id. ) Plaintiff was required to complete a six-year abstinence-based rehabilitation program, or, he could elect to participate in the Ignition Interlock Program in order to be issued a restricted driver's license.[3]

Plaintiff filed the present action on January 11, 2013. (Compl.) He asserts two claims, both alleging violations of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq. (the "ADA"). In short, Plaintiff asserts that the Minnesota statute and rule pursuant to which Plaintiff lost his driving privileges due to his DWIs violate the ADA. Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief restoring his driving privileges without restriction.[4] Defendants move to dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint in its entirety.

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, 545 (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. 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, 678 (2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). 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.

II. Motion to Dismiss

In this action, Plaintiff argues that Minnesota Statute section 171.09 and Minn. Rule 7503.1700, subp. 6 (the provisions pursuant to which Plaintiff lost his driving privileges), violate the ADA and seeks a declaration that Plaintiff is eligible to apply for a Minnesota motor vehicle driver's license that does not contain restrictions regarding the use of alcohol.[5] Defendants move to dismiss this action on two primary grounds: first, because Plaintiff fails to adequately allege that he is a qualified individual with a disability under the ADA; and second, that even if Plaintiff is a qualified individual, Minnesota law provides a reasonable accommodation ...


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