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Kolls v. City of Edina

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

November 7, 2014

Jay Clifton Kolls, Plaintiff,
v.
City of Edina; City of Minneapolis; City of Mound; City of Orono; Dakota Communications Center; Renville County; City of Rosemount; City of Savage; City of Shakopee; City of St. Paul; 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 (1-50), 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 (1-50), including cities, counties, municipalities, and other entities sited in Minnesota, Defendants.

Lorenz F. Fett, Jr., Esq., Sonia L. Miller-Van Oort, Esq., and Jonathan A. Strauss, Esq., Sapentia Law Group PLLC, counsel for Plaintiff.

Mark P. Hodkinson, Esq., Bassford Remele, PA, counsel for Defendant City of Edina.

Darla J. Boggs and Gregory P. Sautter, Assistant City Attorneys, Minneapolis City Attorney's Office, counsel for Defendant City of Minneapolis.

Jon K. Iverson, Esq., Stephanie A. Angolkar, Esq., and Susan M. Tindal, Esq., Iverson Reuvers Condon, counsel for Defendants City of Mound, City of Orono, Dakota Communications Center, City of Rosemount, City of Savage, and City of Shakopee.

Jamie L. Jonassen, Esq., and Joseph E. Flynn, Esq., Jardine Logan & O'Brien PLLP, counsel for Defendant Renville County.

Adam M. Niblick, Assistant City Attorney, St. Paul City Attorney's Office, counsel for Defendant City of St. Paul.

Oliver J. Larson, Assistant Attorney General, Minnesota Attorney General's Office, counsel for Defendants Michael Campion and Ramona Dohman.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

DONOVAN W. FRANK, District Judge.

INTRODUCTION

This matter is before the Court on the following motions: (1) Defendant Renville County's ("Renville") Motion to Dismiss or to Sever (Doc. No. 14); (2) Defendant City of St. Paul's ("St. Paul") Motion to Dismiss or to Sever (Doc. No. 19); (3) Defendant City of Minneapolis' ("Minneapolis") Motion to Dismiss or to Sever (Doc. No. 24); (4) Defendants City of Mound, City of Orono, City of Rosemount, City of Savage, City of Shakopee, and Dakota Communications Center's (together, "City and Dakota Defendants") Motion to Dismiss or to Sever (Doc. No. 28); (5) Defendant City of Edina's ("Edina") Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings or to Sever (Doc. No. 43); and (6) Michael Campion and Ramona Dohman's (together, "Commissioners") Motion to Dismiss (Doc. No. 55). For the reasons set forth below, the Court grants the motions to dismiss and does not reach the motions to sever as moot.

BACKGROUND

This case relates to the alleged unlawful access of Plaintiff Jay Clifton Kolls' ("Kolls" or "Plaintiff") information contained in the motor-vehicle records database for Minnesota Drivers (the "Database") and maintained by the Department of Vehicle Services ("DVS").[1] (Doc. No. 1, Compl. ¶¶ 1-10.) Plaintiff alleges that the personnel from various government entities unlawfully accessed his Database information, which includes an individual's "home address, date of birth, height, weight, eye color, color photographs, and driver identification number... [and] social security numbers... and, in some instances, health and disability information." ( Id. ¶ 99.) Many of the allegations in this case are identical to the allegations made in the numerous and substantially similar cases previously filed in this District[2] and are very familiar to the Court. See, e.g., Mallak v. Aitkin Cnty., Civ. No. 13-2119, 2014 WL 1285807, at *1-3, *14-16 (D. Minn. Mar. 31, 2013) (describing plaintiff's allegations relating to the actions by the various government entities and the Commissioner defendants and also describing the background and framework of the Driver's Privacy Protection Act ("DPPA")). Therefore, here, the Court need not restate all of Plaintiff's allegations and, instead, will focus on those alleged facts that are unique to this case.

Plaintiff alleges that he has been a Minnesota television and radio news reporter for approximately twenty-nine years. ( Id. ¶¶ 33, 35.) Plaintiff is currently a reporter for KSTP, an ABC affiliate in the Twin Cities in Minnesota. ( Id. ¶ 34.) Between 2006 and 2010, Plaintiff hosted a morning radio talk show on AM1500 in the Twin Cities. ( Id. ¶¶ 36, 37.) Plaintiff is well known for his reporting and has won awards relating to his reporting. ( Id. ¶ 38.)

Plaintiff sought and obtained the audit report associated with his driver's license records from DVS in April 2013. (Compl. ¶¶ 175-77.) The audit report revealed that Plaintiff's records had been accessed twenty-seven times as follows:

Entity Accessing Kolls' Total Number of Records Lookups Alleged Renville 1 Edina 1 Minneapolis 6 Mound 1 Orono 1 Rosemount 1 Savage 2 Shakopee 1 St. Paul 6 Dakota 1 Communications Center Others 6 TOTAL 27

( See id. at Ex. A.) The audit reflects that each lookup was made by searches using Kolls' name, not his license plate or driver's license number. ( Id. ¶¶ 3, 101, 178.) Plaintiff asserts that he never provided consent for access to his records and never waived his consent. ( Id. ¶¶ 213, 239.) He also alleges that he has never been investigated by the entities listed above and has not committed any crimes that would authorize access to his personal data. ( See, e.g., id. ¶ 181; Id. ¶ 54.)

In his Complaint, Plaintiff asserts the following claims: (1) violation of the DPPA, 18 U.S.C. § 2721, et seq., against all Defendants; (2) violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against all Individual Defendants, including Jane and John Does; (3) violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against all Entity Defendants, Supervisor Defendants, including John, Jane and and Entity Does; (4) violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Commissioner Defendants and DPS Does; and (5) common law invasion of privacy against all Defendants. ( Id. ¶¶ 236-323.)

Defendants now move to dismiss based on the statute of limitations, failure to state a claim under the DPPA, failure to state a claim under § 1983, and failure to state a claim for invasion of privacy. ( See, e.g., Doc. Nos. 14, 16.) ...


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