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Delaney v. Beltrami County

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

October 21, 2014

DOUGLAS PAUL DELANEY and NANCY MARIE DELANEY, Plaintiffs,
v.
BELTRAMI COUNTY; CITY OF BLOOMINGTON; CITY OF BRAINERD; CARLTON COUNTY, CROW WING COUNTY; CITY OF EDEN PRAIRIE; CITY OF HANCOCK; KANABEC COUNTY; CITY OF MINNETONKA; CITY OF MOUND; METROPOLITAN AIRPORT COMMISSION; CITY OF ROSEMOUNT; ST. LOUIS COUNTY; CITY OF ST. PAUL; MICHAEL CAMPION, in his individual capacity as Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety; RAMONA DOHMAN, in her individual capacity as Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety; ENTITY DOES (1-30), including cities, counties, municipalities, and other entities sited in Minnesota; DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY DOES (1-30), acting in their individual capacities as officers, supervisors, staff, employees, independent contractors or agents of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety; JOHN AND JANE DOES (1-150), acting in their individual capacities as supervisors, officers, deputies, staff, investigators, employees or agents of the other governmental agencies, Defendants.

Kenneth H. Fukuda, Jonathan A. Strauss, Lorenz F. Fett, Jr., and Sonia Miller-Van Oort, SAPIENTIA LAW GROUP, PLLC, for plaintiffs.

Joseph E. Flynn and Jamie L. Jonassen, JARDINE, LOGAN & O'BRIEN, P.L.L.P., for defendants Beltrami County, Carlton County, Crow Wing County, and Kanabec County.

Jon K. Iverson, Susan M. Tindal, and Stephanie A. Angolkar, IVERSON REUVERS CONDON, for defendant Cities of Bloomington, Brainerd, Eden Prairie, Hancock, Minnetonka, Mound, and Rosemount.

Portia M. Hampton-Flowers, ST. PAUL CITY ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, for defendant City of St. Paul.

Nick D. Campanario, ST. LOUIS COUNTY ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, for defendant St. Louis County.

Ryan O. Vettleson and Timothy R. Schupp, GASKINS BENNETT BIRRELL SCHUPP L.L.P., for defendant Metropolitan Airports Commission.

Oliver J. Larson, MINNESOTA ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE, for defendants Michael Campion and Ramona Dohman.

ORDER

PATRICK J. SCHILTZ, District Judge.

Plaintiffs Douglas and Nancy Delaney bring this action against various public officials, cities, and counties, and the Metropolitan Airport Commission ("MAC"), alleging that defendants unlawfully disclosed or obtained information contained in their driver's-license records. The Delaneys bring claims under the Driver's Privacy Protection Act ("DPPA"), 18 U.S.C. §§ 2721 et seq., constitutional and statutory claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and state-law claims of invasion of privacy.

This matter is before the Court on defendants' motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim or, in the alternative, to sever. For the reasons that follow, the motions to dismiss are granted, and the complaint is dismissed with prejudice.

I. BACKGROUND

The Delaneys live in Cloquet, Minnesota, which is located in Carlton County. Compl. ¶¶ 41, 52. Neither Douglas nor Nancy has ever been charged with or suspected of committing a crime in any of the defendant cities or counties. Nor have they ever been involved in any civil, criminal, administrative, or arbitral proceedings in or involving any of the defendant cities or counties. Compl. ¶¶ 68-148.

Nancy is currently employed as an office manager for a construction company. Compl. ¶ 49. From 1991 until he retired in 1999, Douglas was a law-enforcement officer for MAC. Compl. ¶¶ 44-45. Before working for MAC, Douglas was a deputy sheriff in the state of Wyoming. Compl. ¶ 43. Douglas's ex-wife, whom he divorced in 1993, has friends among lawenforcement personnel in Brainerd, Minnesota. Compl. ¶ 47-48. At some unspecified time, Douglas "voiced his concerns about certain local government actions in a publication that he believes aroused some interest and perhaps antipathy on the part of local government officials...." Compl. ¶ 46.

The Delaneys filed this action after obtaining audits from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety showing multiple accesses of their driver's-license records. Including accesses by unnamed defendants, Douglas's record was accessed a total of 83 times and Nancy's record was accessed a total of 12 times during the period 2003 through 2012. Compl. ¶¶ 150-51 & Exs. A, B. The following chart reflects the number of times personnel from the named cities and counties and from MAC accessed the Delaneys' driver's-license records during that period:


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