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Kendall v. Anoka County

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

August 13, 2014

Alix Kendall, Plaintiff,
Anoka County; Beltrami County; Benton County; Blue Earth County; Brown County; Buffalo Automotive, Inc.; Cars-N-Credit, Inc.; Carver County; Cass County; Centennial Lakes Police Department; Chippewa County; Chisago County; City of Albert Lea; City of Amboy; City of Annandale; City of Anoka; City of Apple Valley; City of Arlington; City of Baxter; City of Becker; City of Belle Plaine; City of Biwabik; City of Blackduck; City of Blaine; City of Blooming Prairie; City of Bloomington; City of Brainerd; City of Brooklyn Center; City of Brooklyn Park; City of Buffalo Lake; City of Burnsville; City of Cambridge; City of Cannon Falls; City of Champlin; City of Chaska; City of Columbia Heights; City of Coon Rapids; City of Corcoran; City of Cottage Grove; City of Crosby; City of Crosslake; City of Crystal; City of Deephaven; City of Duluth; City of Eagan; City of Eden Prairie; City of Edina; City of Elk River; City of Elmore; City of Fairmont; City of Faribault; City of Farmington; City of Forest Lake; City of Fridley; City of Glencoe; City of Golden Valley; City of Grand Rapids; City of Green Isle; City of Hastings; City of Henderson; City of Hermantown; City of Hopkins; City of Howard Lake; City of Hutchinson; City of Inver Grove Heights; City of Isanti; City of Isle; City of Jordan; City of Lake City; City of Lake Crystal; City of Lakeville; City of Le Center; City of Le Sueur; City of Lino Lakes; City of Litchfield; City of Mankato; City of Maple Grove; City of Maplewood; City of Marshall; City of Medina; City of Mendota Heights; City of Milaca; City of Minneapolis; City of Minnetonka; City of Minnetrista; City of Moorhead; City of Mora; City of Morris; City of Mound; City of Mounds View; City of New Brighton; City of New Hope; City of New Prague; City of New Ulm; City of North Branch; City of Northfield; City of North St. Paul; City of Oakdale; City of Oak Park Heights; City of Onamia; City of Orono; City of Osakis; City of Owatonna; City of Perham; City of Plymouth; City of Princeton; City of Prior Lake; City of Ramsey; City of Randall; City of Red Wing; City of Richfield; City of Robbinsdale; City of Rochester; City of Rogers; City of Rosemount; City of Roseville; City of Royalton; City of Sartell; City of Sauk Centre; City of Sauk Rapids; City of Savage; City of Shakopee; City of Silver Lake; City of South St. Paul; City of Spring Lake Park; City of St. Anthony; City of St. Cloud; City of St. Francis; City of St. Joseph; City of St. Louis Park; City of St. Paul; City of St. Paul Park; City of St. Peter; City of Staples; City of Starbuck; City of Stillwater; City of Tyler; City of Vernon Center; City of Wabasha; City of Waite Park; City of Waseca; City of Waterville; City of Wayzata; City of Welcome; City of West St. Paul; City of White Bear Lake; City of Willmar; City of Winona; City of Woodbury; City of Wyoming; City of Zumbrota; Cook County; Crow Wing County; Dakota Communications Center; Dakota County; Deml Ford Lincoln, Inc.; Faribault County, Freeborn County; Goodhue County; Grant County; Hennepin County; Hubbard County; Isanti County; Kanabec County; Kandiyohi County; Lakes Area Police Department; Le Sueur County; McLeod County; Meeker County; Metropolitan Council; Mille Lacs County; Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board; Morrison County; Mower County; Olmstead County; Pine County; Ramsey County; Redwood County; Rice County; Sexton-Posch, LLC; Scott County; Sherburne County; South Lake Minnetonka Police Department; St. Louis County; Stearns County; Steele County; Todd County; Tri-City Police Department; Upper Midwest Organ Procurement Organization, Inc.; Waconia Dodge, Inc; Wadena County; Waseca County; Washington County; Watonwan County; Wright County; Michael Campion, in his individual capacity as the Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety; Ramona Dohman, in her individual capacity as the Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety; John and Jane Does (1-100) acting in their individual capacity as supervisors, officers, deputies, staff, investigators, employees or agents of the other governmental agencies; 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 (1-30) including cities, counties, municipalities, and other entities sited in Minnesota, Defendants.

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[1] 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.[2]


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.[3] 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, [4] from a motor vehicle record, for any use not permitted under section 2721(b)[5] of this title." 18 U.S.C. § 2722. Under the DPPA, any "person[6] 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 ...

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