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Friedges v. Scott County

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

July 23, 2015

Justin Friedges and Peter Friedges, Plaintiffs,
v.
Scott County, a municipal corporation; Marcus Hoffer, individually and in his official capacity as Deputy Scott County Sheriff; and Dakota County, a municipal corporation, Defendants.

Rene L'Esperance, Esq., L'Esperance Law, LLC, counsel for Plaintiffs.

Jason M. Hiveley, Esq., Iverson Reuvers Condon, counsel for Defendants Marcus Hoffer and Scott County.

Helen R. Brosnahan and Jeffrey A. Timmerman, Assistant County Attorneys, Dakota County Attorney's Office, counsel for Defendant Dakota County.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

DONOVAN W. FRANK, District Judge.

INTRODUCTION

This matter is before the Court on Defendant Dakota County's Motion to Dismiss. (Doc. No. 6.) For the reasons set forth below, the Court grants the motion.

BACKGROUND

On the evening of January 4, 2009, the Scott County Sherriff's Office received a report of domestic abuse at a residence located at 23884 Logan Way in New Market, Scott County, Minnesota. (Doc. No. 1 ("Compl.") ¶ 1.) Two residences are located at 23884 Logan Way. ( Id. ¶ 2.) Plaintiffs allege that the first residence is a single family dwelling, and the other residence is a pole barn located approximately 100-150 yards behind the single family dwelling. ( Id. )

Defendant Marcus Hoffer ("Hoffer") was the first deputy sheriff to respond to the domestic disturbance call. ( Id. ¶ 3.) Hoffer drove to the single family dwelling at 23884 Logan Way in his squad car with its siren and emergency lights off. ( Id. ¶¶ 5-6.) When Hoffer arrived at the scene, Plaintiffs allege that Hoffer did not contact the dispatcher and the Scott County dispatcher did not attempt to contact the caller of the domestic disturbance report. ( Id. ¶¶ 20, 23.)

Upon arriving at the residence, Plaintiffs allege that Hoffer began pounding on the front door with his fist and used profanity in ordering the residents to open the door. ( Id. ¶ 10.) Plaintiffs allege that Hoffer did not introduce himself as a law enforcement officer, did not ring the doorbell, and did not walk around the residence to check the perimeter. ( Id. ¶¶ 14-16.) Plaintiffs further allege that a resident of the pole barn was outside at the time and called out to Hoffer multiple times to direct his attention to the correct residence of the domestic disturbance call. ( Id. ¶ 18.)

Plaintiffs allege that when the residents of the single family dwelling did not respond to Hoffer's banging and profanity, Hoffer kicked open the locked front door of the residence and entered the residence with his firearm drawn. ( Id. ¶¶ 21-22, 27.) Upon Hoffer's entry into the residence, Plaintiffs allege that Justin Friedges, who was with Peter Friedges in the second floor hallway, yelled to Hoffer to get out of his house and stated that he was calling 911, not knowing that Hoffer was a police officer. ( Id. ¶¶ 28, 30.) Plaintiffs allege that they called 911 while Hoffer was in their home. ( Id. ¶ 36.)

Plaintiffs allege that when Justin Friedges looked down at Hoffer from the second floor hallway, Hoffer suddenly, and without warning, discharged his firearm at Justin Friedges approximately five or six times. ( Id. ¶¶ 31-32.) Plaintiffs were then taken into custody. ( Id. ¶ 37.)

The Dakota County Sheriff's Office investigated the incident. ( Id. ¶ 38.) Plaintiffs allege that Dakota County later interrogated Plaintiffs separately in the Lakeville Police Department. ( Id. ¶ 40.) Plaintiffs allege that the interrogation conducted by Dakota County was not a neutral fact-finding investigation and that the tone, substance, and nature of the interrogation conducted by Dakota County was adversarial and an attempt to get Plaintiffs to admit guilt. ( Id. ¶ 43.) Plaintiffs allege that DNA samples were taken from them. ( Id . ¶¶ 44-45.) Plaintiffs further allege that they were never charged with a crime in connection with the incident. ( Id. ¶ 46.)

On January 7, 2009, Dakota County interviewed Hoffer at the Scott County Law Enforcement Center in Shakopee, Minnesota. ( Id. ¶ 47.) Plaintiffs allege that an attorney for law enforcement labor services and an attorney for Hoffer were present at Hoffer's interview. ( Id. ¶ 48.) Plaintiffs allege that the interview of Hoffer was non-adversarial and cordial in nature and was intended to absolve Hoffer of any culpability or wrongdoing. ( Id. ...


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