United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Jeffrey M. Montpetit, Esq., Susan M. Holden, Esq., and Sieben Grose Von Holtum & Carey, Ltd., 901 Marquette Avenue, Suite 500, Minneapolis, MN 55402; Jonathan A. Strauss, Esq., Lorenz F. Fett, Jr., Esq., Mark H. Zitzewitz, Esq., Sonia L. Miller-Van Oort, Esq., Kenneth H. Fukuda, Esq. and Sapientia Law Group PLLC, 12 South Sixth Street, Suite 1242, Minneapolis, MN 55402, counsel for plaintiff.
Jon K. Iverson, Esq., Stephanie A. Angolkar, Esq., Susan M. Tindal, Esq. and Iverson Reuvers Condon, 9321 Ensign Avenue South, Bloomington, MN 55438; Bryan D. Frantz, Esq., and Anoka County Attorney's Office, 2100 Third Avenue, Anoka, MN 55303; Erin E. Benson, Esq., Margaret A. Skelton, Esq., Timothy A. Sullivan, Esq., and Ratwik Roszak & Maloney, P.A., 730 Second Avenue South, Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN 55402; Amelia N. Jadoo, Esq., Helen R. Brosnahan, Esq. and Dakota County Attorney's Office, 1560 Highway 55, Hastings, MN 55033; M. Alison Lutterman, Esq., Nathan N. LaCoursiere, Esq. and Duluth City Attorney's Office, 411 West First Street, Room 410, Duluth, MN 55802; Christopher J, Haugen, Esq., Mark P. Hodkinson, Esq. and Bassford Remele, PA, 33 South Sixth Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402; Toni A. Beitz, Esq., Beth A. Stack, Esq., Daniel D. Kaczor, Esq. and Hennepin County Attorney's Office, 300 South Sixth Street, Minneapolis, MN 55487; Daniel L. Abelson, Esq. and Metropolitan Council, 390 Robert Street North, St. Paul, Minnesota 55101; Sarah C.S. McLaren, Esq. and Office of the Minneapolis City Attorney, 350 South Fifth Street, Room 201, Minneapolis, MN 55415; Ann E. Walther, Esq., Daniel A. Louismet, Esq. and Rice Michels & Walther, LLP, 10 Second Street Northeast, Suite 206, Minneapolis, MN 55413; Gregory J. Griffiths, Esq., Jennifer Marie Peterson, Esq. and Dunlap & Seeger, 206 South Broadway, Suite 505, Rochester, MN 55904; Kimberly R. Parker, Esq., Robert B. Roche, Esq. and Ramsey County Attorney's Office, 121 Seventh Place East, Suite 4500, St. Paul, MN 55101; Nick D. Campanario, Esq., Leslie E. Beiers, Esq., and St. Louis County Attorney's Office, 100 North Fifth Avenue West, Room 501, Duluth, MN 55802; Cheri M. Sisk, Esq. and City of St. Paul Attorney's Office, 15 West Kellogg Boulevard, 750 City Hall, St. Paul, MN 55102; Oliver J. Larson, Esq. and Minnesota Attorney General's Office, 445 Minnesota Street, Suite 1800, St. Paul, MN 55101; Mark Scholle, Esq. and Scholle Law Firm, Ltd., 8742 Leeward Circle, Eden Prairie, MN 55344; Terrence J. Fleming, Esq., Sharda R. Kneen, Esq. and Lindquist & Vennum PLLP, 80 South Eighth Street, Suite 4200, Minneapolis, MN 55402; Kyle R. Hardwick, Esq., Timothy A. Sullivan, Esq. and Best & Flanagan, 225 South Sixth Street, Suite 4000, Minneapolis, MN 55402, counsel for defendants.
DAVID S. DOTY, District Judge.
This matter is before the court upon the motions to dismiss by defendants and the motions to sever by all defendants except Anoka County, the Commissioner Defendants and the Park Board. Based on a review of the file, record and proceedings herein, and for the following reasons, the court grants the motions to dismiss and denies as moot the motions to sever.
This privacy dispute arises out of defendants' access of the motor vehicle record of plaintiff Alix Kendall between 2003 and 2012. Compl. ¶ 2. Kendall is the co-host of the Fox 9 Morning News and The Fox Buzz. Id . ¶¶ 219-20, 222. Kendall asserts claims against numerous counties and cities and various private businesses, as well as against the current and former commissioners of the Minnesota Department of Safety (DPS). This case is just one of many nearly identical cases filed in this district, three of which this court previously dismissed. See Potocnik v. Anoka Cnty., No. 13-1103, 2014 WL 683980 (D. Minn. Feb. 21, 2014); Bass v. Anoka Cnty., No. 13-860, 2014 WL 683969 (D. Minn. Feb. 21, 2014); McDonough v. Al's Auto Sales, Inc., No. 13-1889, 2014 WL 683998 (D. Minn. Feb. 21, 2014).
DPS makes drivers' motor vehicle records available to law enforcement officers through a computerized Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) database. Id . ¶ 231. In 2013, Kendall requested an audit of her DVS motor vehicle record from DPS. Id . ¶ 1100. The audit showed that the record had been accessed 3, 844 times from facilities maintained by defendant agencies, counties and cities. See id. ¶ 1104; see id. Ex. A. The record included her address, photograph, date of birth, weight, height, eye color and driver identification number. Compl. ¶ 1023. Kendall alleges that there was no legitimate purpose for each access, and that the Commissioner Defendants "disclosed... [her] [p]rivate [d]ata... by devising and implementing... the DVS database." Compl. ¶ 1064.
On January 26, 2014, Kendall filed suit, alleging claims (1) under the Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA), (2) under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and (3) for invasion of privacy. All defendants move to dismiss. All defendants except Anoka County, the Commissioner Defendants and the Park Board also move to sever.
I. Standard of Review
To survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, "a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Braden v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. , 588 F.3d 585, 594 (8th Cir. 2009) (quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal , 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)). "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff [has pleaded] factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Iqbal , 556 U.S. at 678 (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly , 550 U.S. 544, 556 (2007)). Although a complaint need not contain detailed factual allegations, it must raise a right to relief above the speculative level. Twombly , 550 U.S. at 555. "[L]abels and conclusions or a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action" are not sufficient to state a claim. Iqbal , 556 U.S. at 678 (citation and internal quotation marks omitted).
II. DPPA Claims
Kendall first asserts a claim against all defendants for violations of the DPPA. The DPPA provides that "[i]t shall be 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. Under the DPPA, any "person who knowingly obtains, discloses or uses personal information, from a motor vehicle record, for a purpose not permitted under this chapter shall be liable to the individual to whom the ...