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Krekelberg v. Anoka County

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

November 7, 2014

Amy Elizabeth Krekelberg, Plaintiff,
v.
Anoka County; City of Anoka; City of Apple Valley; City of Becker; City of Blaine; City of Bloomington; City of Brooklyn Center; Carver County; City of Coon Rapids; City of Deephaven; City of Edina; City of Elk River; City of Glencoe; City of Fridley; City of Hastings; Hennepin County; City of Jordan; City of Columbia Heights; City of Lakeville; City of Maple Grove; City of Maplewood; City of Medina; Metropolitan Council; Mille Lacs County; City of Minneapolis; City of Minnetonka; City of Mounds View; Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board; City of New Brighton; City of Plymouth; Ramsey County; City of Ramsey; City of Richfield; City of Roseville; Sherburne County; City of St. Anthony; City of St. Francis; City of St. Joseph; City of St. Paul; City of Stillwater; City of Woodbury; Wright County; Three Rivers Park District; 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; 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; John and Jane Does (1-1000), acting in their individual capacity as supervisors, officers, deputies, staff, investigators, employees or agents of the other governmental agencies; and Entity Does (1-50), including cities, counties, municipalities, and other entities sited in Minnesota, Defendants.

Jeffrey M. Montpetit, Esq., and Susan M. Holden, Esq., Sieben Gross Von Holtum & Carey, Ltd.; and Lorenz F. Fett, Jr., Esq., Sonia L. Miller-Van Oort, Esq., Jonathan A. Strauss, Esq., and Mark H. Zitzewitz, Esq., Sapentia Law Group PLLC, counsel for Plaintiff.

Bryan D. Frantz, Assistant County Attorney, Anoka County Attorney's Office, counsel for Defendant Anoka County.

Brian Scott Carter and C. Lynne Fundingsland, 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 Anoka, City of Apple Valley, City of Becker, City of Blaine, City of Bloomington, City of Brooklyn Center, City of Coon Rapids, City of Deephaven, City of Elk River, City of Glencoe, City of Fridley, City of Hastings, City of Jordan, City of Columbia Heights, City of Lakeville, City of Maple Grove, City of Maplewood, City of Medina, City of Minnetonka, City of Moundsview, City of New Brighton, City of Plymouth, City of Ramsey, City of Richfield, City of Roseville, City of St. Anthony, City of St. Francis, City of St. Joseph, City of Stillwater, and City of Woodbury.

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

Erin E. Benson, Esq., Margaret A. Skelton, Esq., and Timothy A. Sullivan, Esq., Ratwik Roszak & Maloney, counsel for Defendants Carver County, Mille Lacs County, Sherburne County, Wright County, and Three Rivers Park District.

Toni A. Beitz, Beth A. Stack, and Daniel D. Kaczor, Assistant County Attorneys, Hennepin County Attorney's Office, counsel for Defendant Hennepin County.

Daniel L. Abelson, Esq., Metropolitan Council, counsel for Defendant Metropolitan Council.

Ann E. Walther, Esq., and Daniel A. Louismet, Esq., Rice, Michels & Walther LLC, counsel for Defendant Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board.

Kimberly R. Parker, and Robert B. Roche, Assistant County Attorneys, Ramsey County Attorney's Office, counsel for Defendant Ramsey County.

Judith A Hanson, 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 Anoka County's Motion to Dismiss or to Sever (Doc. No. 27); (2) Defendants Carver County, Mille Lacs County, Sherburne County, Wright County, and Three Rivers Park District's (collectively, "County and Three Rivers Defendants") Motion to Dismiss or to Sever (Doc. No. 32); (3) Defendants City of Anoka, City of Apple Valley, City of Becker, City of Blaine, City of Bloomington, City of Brooklyn Center, City of Coon Rapids, City of Deephaven, City of Elk River, City of Glencoe, City of Fridley, City of Hastings, City of Jordan, City of Columbia Heights, City of Lakeville, City of Maple Grove, City of Maplewood, City of Medina, City of Minnetonka, City of Moundsview, City of New Brighton, City of Plymouth, City of Ramsey, City of Richfield, City of Roseville, City of St. Anthony, City of St. Francis, City of St. Joseph, City of Stillwater, and City of Woodbury's (together, "City Defendants") Motion to Dismiss or to Sever (Doc. No. 37); (4) Defendant City of St. Paul's Motion to Dismiss or Sever (Doc. No. 44); (5) Defendant Metropolitan Council's ("Met Council") Motion to Dismiss or Sever (Doc. No. 48); (6) Defendant City of Minneapolis' Motion to Dismiss or to Sever (Doc. No. 54); (7) Defendant Ramsey County's Motion to Dismiss or to Sever (Doc. No. 57); (8) Defendant Hennepin County's Motion to Dismiss or to Sever (Doc. No. 62); (9) Defendant City of Edina's Motion to Dismiss or to Sever (Doc. No. 66); (10) Michael Campion and Ramona Dohman's (together, "Commissioners") Motion to Dismiss (Doc. No. 73); and (11) Defendant Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board's ("Park & Rec") Motion to Dismiss or to Sever (Doc. No. 107). For the reasons set forth below, the Court grants in part and denies in part the motions to dismiss.

BACKGROUND

This case relates to the alleged unlawful access of Plaintiff Amy Elizabeth Krekelberg's ("Krekelberg" or "Plaintiff") information contained in the Department of Vehicle Services' ("DVS")[1] motor-vehicle records database for Minnesota Drivers (the "Database"). Plaintiff alleges that personnel from various government entities accessed her information in the Database, which includes individuals' "names, dates of birth, driver's license numbers, addresses, driver's license photos, weights, heights, social security numbers, various health and disability information, and eye colors of Minnesota drivers, both current and former information dating back to the driver's first license issued in Minnesota." (Doc. No. 1, Compl. ¶ 86.) 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.

Krekelberg alleges that she has held the following positions in the Twin Cities area: (1) from 2004 to 2007, Krekelberg worked in security and loss prevention for the cities of Roseville, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Blaine, Maple Grove, Maplewood, Apple Valley, Woodbury, and Bloomington; (2) from 2005 to 2008, Krekelberg worked for Park & Rec[3] as a Park Agent for the Minneapolis Park Police Department; (3) from 2008 to 2012, Krekelberg worked as a Park Police Officer for the Minneapolis Park Police Department; and (4) in 2012, Krekelberg joined the Minneapolis Police Department. (Compl. ¶¶ 66, 68-70, 79.) Plaintiff also alleges that in 2010, Minneapolis Park Police Department Chief Linda Bergstrom presented Krekelberg with the Officer of the Year Award. ( Id. ¶¶ 76-77.)

Krekelberg alleges that in 2009 she began dating, and eventually married, a police officer who had previously been her police trainer. ( Id. ¶ 72.)

Krekelberg makes a number of allegations relating to law enforcement's interest in her because of her roles detailed above. First, she alleges that her dating relationship with her now husband led to "an incredible amount of gossip and recrimination... [and] rumors." ( Id. ) Specifically, Krekelberg makes a number of allegations relating to questions about her address and who she was dating. ( Id. ¶¶ 72-73.) Krekelberg alleges she was frequently asked on dates and propositioned by numerous officers and they were reprimanded for that behavior. ( Id. ¶¶ 74-75.) She alleges that she experienced a number of inappropriate sexual advances by law enforcement members. ( Id. ¶ 75.) Krekelberg further alleges that the unwanted attention described above increased after her Officer of the Year Award in 2010. ( Id. ¶ 78.) Krekelberg also points to occasions where officers asked her full name and alleges that data requests and lookups frequently corresponded to those requests. ( Id. ¶¶ 80-81.) In her loss prevention duties, Krekelberg alleges that she had frequent contact with law enforcement personnel. ( Id. ¶ 67.)

Plaintiff sought an audit report associated with her driver's license records from DVS in 2013 and received the audit results on May 1, 2013. ( Id. ¶¶ 350, 352.) Plaintiff alleges that the audit report shows that Krekelberg's records had been accessed approximately 987 times.[4] ( See id. ¶ 354, Ex. A.) Krekelberg alleges that these lookups were made by "officers and personnel from over forty different departments and agencies." ( Id. ¶ 354.) The audit reflects that each access was made by searches using Krekelberg's name, not her license plate number. ( Id. ¶ 362.) Plaintiff asserts that she never provided consent for access to her records and never waived consent. ( Id. ¶¶ 391, 417.) Plaintiff also alleges that she has never been investigated by the entities listed above and has not committed any crimes that would authorize access to her personal data. ( See, e.g., id. ¶¶ 104, 108, 389.) Krekelberg further alleges that she has served honorably as a police officer and has never been disciplined. ( Id. ¶ 82.)

As with other similar cases, Plaintiff alleges that "none of the officers obtained, used or disclosed her information for a purpose permitted under the DPPA." ( Id. ¶ 83.) Finally, Krekelberg asserts that:

[A]ll the above events and circumstances, particularly Krekelberg's relative youth, her gender, her physical attractiveness, her having dated and married a police officer, her entry into a male-dominated profession, and her great success at that profession, and resultant jealousy, curiosity, sexual interest, and other human emotions, were the reasons and purposes why her personal information was obtained and used by other police officers and others so many times, and none of them are permissible purposes under the DPPA.

( Id. ¶ 84.)

In her 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 and Supervisor Defendants, including John, Jane 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. ¶¶ 414-501.)

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. 27, 32, 37.) Defendants also seek severance in the alternative. ( See id. )

DISCUSSION

I. Legal ...


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