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Triemert v. Washington Cunty

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

January 15, 2015

David B. Triemert, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v.
Washington Cunty, et al., Defendants

For David B. Triemert, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff: Joshua R Williams, Timothy M Phillips, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Law Office of Joshua R. Williams, PLLC, Minneapolis, MN.

For Washington, County of, Defendant: Richard D Hodsdon, LEAD ATTORNEY, Washington County Attorney, Stillwater, MN; Susan Steffen Tice, LEAD ATTORNEY, Washington County Attorney's Office, Stillwater, MN.

For Keefe Commissary Network, L.L.C., doing business as Access Corrections, Defendant: Michael T Berger, Russell S Ponessa, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Jessica L Nelson, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, Mpls, MN.

For First California Bank, Outpay Systems, L.L.C., Defendants: Marty E Moore, LEAD ATTORNEY, PRO HAC VICE, Peck Hadfield Baxter & Moore LLC, Logan, UT; Daniel L Payne, Meagher & Geer, PLLP, Mpls, MN.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

Leo I. Brisbois, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

This matter comes before the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge upon Defendant Washington County's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, [Docket No. 57]; Defendant Keefe Commissary Network, LLC's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, [Docket No. 65]; and Defendants First California Bank and Outpay Systems, LLC's Joint Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, [Docket No. 70]. The Honorable Michael J. Davis, Chief United States District Judge for the District of Minnesota, referred the present motions to the undersigned Magistrate Judge for report and recommendation, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Local Rule 72.1, on August 19, 2014, and September 2, 2014. (Orders of Referral [Docket Nos. 63, 75]). A hearing on the motions was held on December 16, 2014.

For reasons articulated herein, the Court recommends GRANTING Defendant Washington County's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, [Docket No. 57]; GRANTING Defendant Keefe Commissary Network, LLC's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, [Docket No. 65]; and GRANTING Defendants First California Bank and Outpay Systems, LLC's Joint Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, [Docket No. 70].

I. STATEMENT OF ALLEGED FACTS

Plaintiff David B. Triemert (" Plaintiff") brings the present action against Defendants Washington County, Keefe Commissary Network, LLC d/b/a Access Corrections (" KCN"), First California Bank (" FCB"), and Outpay Systems, LLC (" Outpay") (collectively, " Defendants"). Plaintiff challenges Washington County's policies of (1) assessing a $25 booking fee from detainees immediately upon arrival at Washington County detention facilities, and (2) upon release from Washington County detention facilities, issuing prepaid debit cards to detainees -- as opposed to returning the actual cash they possessed upon booking or maintained on account during detention. Plaintiff alleges, on behalf of himself and all individuals similarly situated, [1] one count of deprivation of civil rights in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments -- unlawful seizure, denial of property interest, and denial of due process; one count of conspiracy to violate civil rights in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1985(3); one count of common law conversion; one count of civil theft in violation of Minn. Stat. § 604.14; and one count of common law unjust enrichment. (Third Amended Class Action Compl. [Docket No. 43], ¶ ¶ 1, 88, 100-119).

On or about May 29, 2013, Plaintiff was arrested " on, inter alia, suspicion of DUI" and booked into the Washington County Jail. (Id. ¶ ¶ 10, 11). Plaintiff alleges that upon booking, Washington County personnel confiscated $25.59 in cash and coin from Plaintiff. (Id. ¶ 13). Plaintiff alleges that on May 30, 2013, a friend deposited $40 in Plaintiff's jail account. (Id. ¶ 15). During his time in the Washington County Jail, Plaintiff allegedly placed an order for various personal care products and a phone card, and Washington County personnel deducted the cost of the order from Plaintiff's account. (Id. ¶ ¶ 16-17). On May 31, 2013, Washington County released Plaintiff; Washington County did not return the $25.29 in cash and coin confiscated from Plaintiff upon booking or any cash for the balance of the other money deposited into his jail account. (Id. ¶ ¶ 20-21). Rather, Washington County charged Plaintiff a $25 booking fee -- allegedly collected to offset costs associated with the county's booking procedures -- and issued Plaintiff a prepaid debit card valued at $19.59 containing the balance of his jail account. (Id. ¶ ¶ 24, 26, 60). Plaintiff alleges that in lieu of returning cash and coin seized from individuals upon detention, Washington County returns " confiscated" money via prepaid debit cards or checks issued upon release. (Id. ¶ 23).

Plaintiff alleges that on or about January 13, 2012, Defendant Washington County entered into a contract[2] with Defendant KCN to provide prepaid debit cards to individuals released from Washington County detention facilities. (Id. ¶ ¶ 4, 8). Plaintiff alleges that Defendant FCB issues the debit cards and, as a result, acts under the color of law and is " a direct beneficiary" of the KCN/Washington County contract. (Id. ¶ ¶ 5, 28). Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Outpay processes the debit card transactions and also, as a result, acts under the color of law and is " a direct beneficiary" of the KCN/Washington County contract. (Id. ¶ ¶ 6, 29). Plaintiff asserts that " Washington County's policy is to confiscate cash and coin from all persons booked at its detention facilities and return that money in a form other than cash." (Id. ¶ 30).

Plaintiff alleges the debit cards begin to incur a weekly maintenance fee of $1.50 thirty-six (36) hours after issuance, a $2.75 ATM fee, and a $3.00 " card to bank funds transfer" fee, rendering it " impossible" for Plaintiff (and others similarly situated) to recover or otherwise access the amounts of cash seized at booking without incurring a fee. (Id. ¶ ¶ 32-35). Plaintiff alleges that Washington County's debit card policy violates the rights of pretrial detainees held at Washington County detention facilities. (Id. ¶ 40).

Plaintiff recognizes that Washington County assesses the $25 booking fee pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 641.12. (Id. ¶ ¶ 61-65).

II. DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS, [DOCKET NOS. 57, 65, 70]

Defendants move for judgment on the pleadings and an order dismissing Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint with prejudice, pursuant to Rule 12(c) of the Federal Rules of ...


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