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Hoff v. Edwards

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

April 17, 2014

JUDD HOFF, Plaintiff,
v.
DEPUTY JEFF EDWARDS, Defendant.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

LEO I. BRISBOIS, Magistrate Judge.

This matter came before the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge upon Defendant's Motion to Dismiss. [Docket No. 10]. The motion has been referred to the undersigned Magistrate Judge for a report and recommendation, (Order [Docket No. 22]), pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ยง 636(b)(1) and Local Rule 72.1. The Court held a hearing on the Motion on February 12, 2014. (Minute Entry [Docket No. 33]). For reasons outlined below, the Court recommends that Defendant's Motion to Dismiss, [Docket No. 10], be GRANTED, and that Plaintiff's claims be DISMISSED without prejudice.

I. BACKGROUND

Judd Hoff ("Plaintiff"), proceeding pro se, initiated this civil rights action on or about July 24, 2013, by filing his complaint, [Docket No. 1]. Subsequently, pursuant to this Court's Order, [Docket No. 4], on or about September 10, 2013, Plaintiff filed his Amended Complaint, [Docket No. 5], which is the operative complaint in this case, and in which Plaintiff generally alleges that Grant County Sheriff's Deputy Jeff Edwards violated his Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure during a traffic stop on January 26, 2013 (the "traffic stop").

On October 21, 2013, Defendant made his Motion to Dismiss, [Docket No. 10], and filed his Memorandum in Support thereof. (Def.'s Mem. [Docket No. 12]). Plaintiff filed his Response on November 4, 2013. (Pl.'s Resp. [Docket No. 19]). Defendant filed his Reply on November 18, 2013. (Def.'s Reply [Docket No. 20]). Subsequently, on November 26, 2013, and December 18, 2013, respectively, Plaintiff filed two exhibits: Exhibit A, [Docket No. 25-1], a record of the driver's license of Dwayne Michael Sturges ("Mr. Sturges"), the man from whom Plaintiff bought the vehicle he was driving at the time of the traffic stop; and Exhibit B, [Docket No. 30], containing a cover letter and the Grant County Sheriff's Office Incident Report of the investigation of the incident by Grant County Sheriff's Sergeant Jon Combs ("Sgt. Combs").

The Motion was taken under advisement pursuant to this Court's February 12, 2014, hearing.

II. MOTION TO DISMISS [Docket No. 10]

Defendant moves to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6). The Court finds that, on the face of his Amended Complaint, [Docket No. 5], Plaintiff has failed to allege facts sufficient to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

A. Facts

1. The Record Presently Before the Court

When deciding a motion to dismiss, the Court considers "the complaint, matters of public record, orders, materials embraced by the complaint, and exhibits attached to the complaint." PureChoice, Inc. v. Macke, No. 07-cv-1290 (DWF/SRN), 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50284, at *13 (D. Minn. July 10, 2007) (Frank, J.) (citing Porous Media Corp. v. Pall Corp. , 186 F.3d 1077, 1079 (8th Cir. 1999)). "[F]or the purposes of a motion to dismiss [a court] must take all of the factual allegations in the complaint as true...." Ashcroft v. Iqbal , 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).

In the present case, the Court considered only Plaintiff's Amended Complaint, [Docket No. 5], and the dash-cam recording contained on the compact disc that Plaintiff attached to his Amended Complaint.

In particular, the Court did not consider Plaintiff's Exhibit A, [Docket No. 25-1], which appears to be a computer printout showing the driver's license status of Mr. Sturges on February 4, 2013, which presents evidence that is inconclusive as to any material issue presented by the current Motion.[1] Additionally, the Court did not consider Defendant's Exhibit A, [Docket No. 20-2], which appears to be a screen capture of the driver's license data that was available to Defendant at the time of the traffic stop, because the Court's consideration of evidence outside the Complaint would transform the present Rule 12(b)(6) Motion into a ...


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