United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Jessica Leah Kampschroer and Cory Patrick Kampschroer, Plaintiffs,
Anoka County, et al., Defendants.
Miller-Van Oort, Jonathan A. Strauss, Lorenz F. Fett, Jr.,
and Robin W. Wolpert, Sapientia Law Group PLLC, Jeffrey M.
Montpetit, Marcia K. Miller, Susan M. Holden, SiebenCarey,
P.A., for Plaintiffs.
Stephanie A. Angolkar, Jon K. Iverson, and Susan M. Tindal,
Iverson Reuvers Condon, for Defendants Cities of Anoka, Apple
Valley, Arlington, Baxter, Belle Plaine, Blaine, Bloomington,
Braham, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Brownton, Burnsville,
Cambridge, Cannon Falls, Champlin, Chaska, Chisago City,
Columbia Heights, Coon Rapids, Corcoran, Cottage Grove,
Crosby, Crystal, Deephaven, Dundas, Eagan, Eden Prairie, Elk
River, Fairmont, Faribault, Farmington, Foley, Forest Lake,
Fridley, Glencoe, Golden Valley, Goodview, Hastings, Hopkins,
Howard Lake, Hutchinson, Inver Grove Heights, Isanti, Jordan,
Lakeville, Litchfield, Mankato, Maple Grove, Maplewood,
Medina, Mendota Heights, Minnetoka, Montgomery, Moorhead,
Morristown, Mounds View, New Brighton, New Hope, New Prague,
Newport, North Saint Paul, North Mankato, Northfield,
Owatonna, Prior Lake, Ramsey, Richfield, Robbinsdale,
Rochester, Rosemount, Roseville, Sartell, Savage, Shakopee,
Spring Lake Park, Saint Anthony Village, Saint Cloud, Saint
Francis, Saint Louis Park, Saint Paul Park, Saint Peter,
Staples, Stillwater, West Saint Paul, Waite Park, Wayzata,
White Bear Lake, and Woodbury, and Defendants Centennial
Lakes Police Department, Dakota Communications Center, and
Lakes Area Police Department.
Walther and Erik Bal, Rice, Michels & Walther, LLP, for
Defendant Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.
A. Beitz, Daniel D. Kaczor, Beth A. Stack, Hennepin County
Attorney for Defendant Hennepin County.
M. Sisk, City of St. Paul Attorney for Defendant City of St.
Douglas A. Boese, Gregory J. Griffiths, and Jennifer Marie
Peterson, Dunlap & Seeger, P.A., for Defendant Olmsted
E. Flynn and Robert I. Yount, Jardine, Logan &
O'Brien, PLLP, for Defendants Counties of Beltrami,
Benton, Blue Earth, Carver, Cass, Chisago, Crow Wing,
Faribault, Fillmore, Goodhue, Grant, Hubbard, Isanti,
Kanabec, Le Sueur, McLeod, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Nicollet,
Pine, Rice, Scott, Sherburne, Stearns, Steele, Wadena,
Washington, Winona, and Yellow Medicine.
D. Frantz, Anoka County Attorney for Defendant Anoka County.
P. Hodkinson, Bassford Remele, P.A. for Defendant City of
Kristin R. Sarff, Lindsey E. Middlecamp, and Gregory P.
Sautter, Minneapolis City Attorney for Defendant City of
RICHARD NELSON, United States District Judge
matter is before the Court on Defendants' Motions for
Summary Judgment (“Mots. for Summ. J.”) [Doc.
Nos. 334, 339]. For the reasons set forth below, the Motions
for Summary Judgment are granted and Plaintiffs' claims
based on accesses that occurred prior to September 15, 2009
Jessica Leah Kampschroer and Cory Patrick Kampschroer
(collectively, the “Kampschroers”) assert claims
under the Driver's Privacy Protection Act (the
“DPPA”) against Defendants. (See Second
Am. Compl. [Doc. No. 20].) In relevant part, the DPPA
prohibits accessing an individual's private motor vehicle
records without a permissible purpose. 18 U.S.C. §§
2721(b), 2722(a). The Kampschroers allege that Defendants
accessed Jessica's private records approximately 1, 400
times, and Cory's records 92 times, for impermissible
reasons between 2003 and 2013. (See Second Am.
Compl. at ¶¶ 2-3.) Defendants are state and
municipal entities-or divisions or agencies of those
entities-such as counties, cities, police departments, and
sheriffs' departments. Notably, the Driver and Vehicle
Services Division (“DVS”) of the Minnesota
Department of Public Safety (“DPS”) is not a
previously moved to dismiss the Kampschroers' claims.
(See Mots. to Dismiss [Doc. Nos. 54, 93, 99, 110,
116, 121, 126, 130, 131, 138, 141, 151, 155, 164].) The Court
granted in part and denied in part these motions. See
Kampschroer v. Anoka Cty., 57 F.Supp.3d 1124 (D. Minn.
2014), aff'd, 840 F.3d 961 (8th Cir. 2016). In
relevant part, the Court held that the DPPA's four-year
statute of limitations barred all of the Kampschroers'
claims related to accesses that occurred prior to September
15, 2009, unless equitable tolling applied. Id. at
1136. The Kampschroers alleged that Pat McCormack
(“McCormack”), the director of DVS, made
“intentional and fraudulent” misrepresentations
to them about the extent of Defendants' improper
accesses, which caused the Kampschroers not to investigate
the issue further. (See Second Am. Compl. at
¶¶ 410-26.) Notably, the Kampschroers did not
allege that anyone other than McCormack misled them on this
subject. Based on these allegations, the Court allowed
limited discovery on the issue of equitable
tolling. Kampschroer, 57 F.Supp.3d at
parties engaged in equitable tolling-related discovery and
Defendants now move for summary judgment, arguing that
equitable tolling does not apply and thus the
Kampschroers' claims based on accesses before September
15, 2009 are time-barred. (See Mots. for Summ. J.)
The Kampschroers contend that disputed material facts
preclude summary judgment, or that the Court should decline
to rule on the equitable tolling issue until additional
discovery is completed. (See Pls.' Mem. in Opp.
to Mots. for Summ. J. (“Pls.' Mem. in Opp.”)
at 1-2 [Doc. No. 344].)
Kampschroer, who before her marriage to Cory Kampschroer was
Jessica Miles (“Miles”), has been a broadcast
journalist since 1999. (Aff. of Stephanie A. Angolkar
(“Angolkar Aff.”) [Doc. No. 337], Ex. 1
(“Miles Dep.”) at 11-13 [Doc. No. 337-1].) Since
2003, Miles has been a news anchor and reporter for KSTP and
KSTC, which are both owned by Hubbard Broadcasting.
(Id. at 13-14.) Cory Kampschroer
(“Cory”) has also been a journalist since 1999.
(Angolkar Aff., Ex. 2 (“Cory Dep.”) at 15 [Doc.
No. 337-2].) From 2006 until 2010, he was a news anchor and
reporter for WCCO. (Id. at 16.) Since 2010, Cory has
worked for Hubbard Broadcasting as its Digital Media
Director. (Id. at 14.) The Kampschroers began dating
in 2006 and were married in 2009. (Miles Dep. at 8-9.) They
were living together in 2008. (Id. at 9.)
DVS, the Databases, and Audits
previously described, DVS is a division of DPS and McCormack
was at all relevant times its director. (See
Angolkar Aff., Ex. 4 (“McCormack Dep.”) at 14-15,
18- 19 [Doc. No. 337-4].) In 2008, DPS maintained two
databases-E-Support (sometimes referred to as the “DVS
Database”) and LE-Support-that contained personal
information about Minnesota citizens such as name, address,
driving record, motor vehicle records, warrants, etc.
(See Id. at 11-14, 26-27, 90.) The databases
contained some of the same information, but the agencies and
entities accessing these databases did so for different
purposes. (Id. at 12, 21.) DVS employees used
E-Support in connection with their duties related to
drivers' licenses and vehicle records, while state,
county, and municipal law enforcement agencies used
LE-Support, but also had access to E-Support. (Id.
at 14, 27-28, 35, 159.) In 2008, an information technology
(“IT”) department within DPS was responsible for
overseeing the technical aspects of the E-Support and
LE-Support databases. (Id. at 19, 89.) This IT
department did not report to McCormack or DVS, but rather to
the Commissioner of DPS. (Id. at 20.)
responsibilities included supervising DVS employees and
handling discipline-related issues. (Id. at 19.)
Part of her responsibilities included monitoring and auditing
DVS employees' use of the E-Support database to ensure
that their accesses were only for permissible purposes (i.e.,
job related and not out of personal curiosity). (See
Id. at 29, 32, 36, 51-52, 140.) McCormack did not
conduct the audits herself, but rather asked the IT
department to run audits. (Id. at 29, 91-92.)
McCormack would then review summaries of the audits, but not
the audits themselves. (Id. at 112-14.)
the DPS Commissioner would ask McCormack to assist with
auditing law enforcement's use of the databases. (See
Id. at 30-31, 35.) For example, if DPS received a
complaint about a law enforcement agency's accesses and
wanted to audit that agency's use of E-Support, the
Commissioner would ask McCormack to perform that audit.
(See Id. at 34-35, 134.) However, McCormack would
only audit law enforcement accesses under such “special
circumstances”-she had no authority to undertake such
an audit on her own. (Id. at 35-36, 40.) McCormack
explained that in 2008 she “didn't deal with law
enforcement data” and that “law enforcement data
was a whole different issue that was handled through . . .
the Commissioner's office.” (Id. at 75.)
As a general matter, McCormack did not oversee law
enforcement agencies' use of the databases and did not
receive audit reports on such use. (Id. at 75-76.)
Although law enforcement agencies had access to E-Support,
DVS did not monitor their use of that database. (Id.
The 2008 DVS Audit
early 2008, McCormack had an “internal audit”
done as part of her efforts to supervise and monitor her
employees' use of E-Support. (McCormack Dep. at 43-44,
47-49.) For instance, this audit looked at whether DVS
employees were accessing the database outside of work hours-a
strong indication that such accesses were improper. (See
Id. at 141-42.) The internal audit revealed that two DVS
employees had accessed Miles' records. (See Id.
at 50, 59-60, 95, 169-71.) These accesses were investigated
and McCormack testified that the accesses of one employee
were deemed to be improper. (See Id. 96-97, 100,
169-74.) The employee who improperly accessed Miles'
records was disciplined. (See Id. at 56-58, 137-38.)
scope of this internal audit is important to the parties'
arguments. The audit did not encompass law
enforcement or non-DVS county and municipal agencies.
(See id. at 169 (confirming that the audit was
limited to DVS staff).) The following exchange from
McCormack's deposition describes the scope of the audit:
Q: Okay. So do you recall specifically whether you then took
the subjects of the accesses done by that particular employee
and [sic] to see all of the accesses done by anyone of that
employee including state and county law enforcement
A: No, we have no authority over law enforcement. We
wouldn't be doing anything to do with law enforcement.
Q: Let me restate that. So any subject - any audit of the
subject of that employee's access would not have
encompassed any county or state employee unless they
worked for the deputy registrar's office or the drivers
A: Well, I wouldn't because that's the only people
that I had any type of oversight on. I certainly
wouldn't have been able to do that or made that
Q: Okay. So when you ran these internal audits, you would
not look at any accesses from any non-DVS
employees except for the deputy registrars and drivers
license people, correct?
(Id. at 45-46 (emphasis added).)
McCormack Contacts Miles
May of 2008, McCormack sent a letter to Miles regarding the
DVS employee's accesses of her information. (Angolkar
Aff., Ex. 3 (“May 2008 DVS Letter”) [Doc. No.
337-3]; McCormack Dep. at 41-42.) The letter was on DPS