United States District Court, D. Minnesota
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Wilhelmina M. Wright United States District Judge
matter is before the Court on the May 3, 2017 Report and
Recommendation (R&R) of United States Magistrate Judge
Franklin L. Noel. (Dkt. 30.) Plaintiff Terry Lee Branson, an
individual civilly committed to the Minnesota Sex Offender
Treatment Program (MSOP), alleges that Defendants'
requirement limiting his purchase of a pair of hair clippers
to vendors approved by MSOP violates his constitutional
rights and Minnesota law. The R&R recommends granting
Defendants' motion to dismiss for failure to state a
claim on which relief can be granted. See Fed. R.
Civ. P. 12(b)(6). Branson timely objected to the R&R on
March 16, 2017. Defendants responded to Branson's
objections on May 23, 2017, arguing that the Court should
overrule Branson's objections and adopt the R&R.
party files and serves specific written objections to a
magistrate judge's proposed findings and recommendations,
LR 72.2(b)(1), the district court reviews de novo those
portions of the R&R to which an objection is made, 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). When doing so, the district court
“may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part,
the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate
judge.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C); accord
Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3); LR 72.2(b)(3). The Court reviews
those portions of the R&R to which no objections are made
for clear error. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b) advisory
committee's note to 1983 amendment (“When no timely
objection is filed, the court need only satisfy itself that
there is no clear error on the face of the record in order to
accept the recommendation.”); Grinder v.
Gammon, 73 F.3d 793, 795 (8th Cir. 1996) (per curiam).
argues that the R&R improperly analyzes his claims as
those of a prison inmate subject to penal restrictions and
the Prison Litigation Reform Act, rather than as a pretrial
detainee entitled to more civil liberties. This argument is
unavailing. The R&R properly identifies Branson as a
civilly committed individual-accorded the same rights as a
pretrial detainee-and applies Eighth Circuit precedent to
Branson's claims. See, e.g., Beaulieu v.
Ludeman, 690 F.3d 1017, 1028 (8th Cir. 2012); Serna
v. Goodno, 567 F.3d 944, 948-49 (8th Cir. 2009);
Senty-Haugen v. Goodno, 462 F.3d 876, 886-87 (8th
Cir. 2006). Although Branson contends that the case law on
which the R&R relies is “erroneously litigated,
” Branson fails to provide any legal authority for
disregarding that precedent.
also asserts that Defendants should be required to prove that
the challenged restrictions are reasonably related to
legitimate objectives. But whether a restriction is
reasonably related to a legitimate objective is a legal
conclusion rather than a finding of fact. Cf. Bell v.
Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 540 (1979) (recognizing
legitimate objectives beyond those the government asserted).
Moreover, Branson's complaint expressly acknowledges that
maintaining a secure facility is the justification for the
policy under which Defendants confiscated the hair clippers.
Ensuring a secure facility and prohibiting the introduction
of contraband that may undermine MSOP's therapeutic
environment are legitimate MSOP objectives. See,
e.g., Beaulieu, 690 F.3d at 1028-29. For these
reasons, the R&R properly concludes that maintaining a
secure facility by regulating the introduction of outside
products is a restriction that is reasonably related to a
legitimate MSOP objective.
does not object to the remaining portions of the R&R, and
the Court finds no clear error as to those recommendations.
Accordingly, the Court overrules Branson's objections,
adopts the R&R, and dismisses Branson's complaint for
failure to state a claim on which relief can be granted.
Because Branson's claims under the Fifth Amendment to the
United States Constitution and Minnesota statutes are futile
for the reasons identified in the R&R, those claims are
dismissed with prejudice. See Pet Quarters, Inc. v.
Depository Tr. & Clearing Corp., 559 F.3d 772, 782
(8th Cir. 2009). The remaining claims are dismissed without
on the R&R, the foregoing analysis and all of the files,
records and proceedings herein, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:
Plaintiff Terry Lee Branson's objections to the R&R,
(Dkt. 32), are OVERRULED.
May 3, 2017 R&R, (Dkt. 30), is ADOPTED.
Defendants' motion to dismiss, (Dkt. 11), is GRANTED as
a. Plaintiff's Section 1983 claims based on alleged
violations of the First Amendment, Fourth Amendment, and
Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution are
DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.
b. Plaintiff's Section 1983 claim based on alleged
violations of the Fifth Amendment to the United States
Constitution and Plaintiff's claims based on alleged
violations of Minn. Stat. § 146.651 and Minn. ...