United States District Court, D. Minnesota
N. ERICKSEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Liban Sharif Omar alleges violations of his constitutional
rights in an investigation that led to his indictment by a
federal grand jury and subsequent arrest. He sues Defendants
Heather Weyker, a police officer for the St. Paul Police
Department in Minnesota; John Bandemer, a St. Paul Police
Department sergeant who is alleged to have been Weyker's
supervisor; John Does 3-4, who are allegedly supervisory St.
Paul police officers; and the City of St. Paul (“St.
Paul”). Weyker and Bandemer move to dismiss L.
Omar's complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim and on
absolute and qualified immunity grounds. Dkt. No. 41. St.
Paul moves on behalf of the City of St. Paul and John Does
3-4 for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Rule 12(c).
Dkt. No. 47.
investigation at the core of L. Omar's civil complaint
targeted a suspected venture involving the sex-trafficking of
minor girls across Minnesota, Tennessee, and Ohio. The
investigation resulted in the criminal indictment of thirty
people, mostly Somali, in the Middle District of Tennessee in
2010-2011 (“Tennessee Case”). L. Omar alleges
that Weyker and Bandemer fabricated evidence about him and
others throughout the investigation, resulting in a tainted
indictment that was further corrupted by Weyker's
continuing deception, and causing his arrest and detention
without probable cause.
of L. Omar's co-defendants in the Tennessee Case bring
separate suits similarly alleging constitutional violations,
and a twenty-first person brings another related civil suit.
The parties agreed to coordinated briefing on the
Defendants' motions. The Court assumes familiarity with
its fuller opinion in one of the related cases, Osman v.
Weyker, et al., No. 16cv908 (“Osman
Opinion”) (filed simultaneously herewith), and will not
repeat that opinion's discussion verbatim here. L. Omar,
coordinating with the other plaintiffs represented by his
counsel, opposed the motions. See GBBS Pls.'
Opp. to St. Paul Mot., Dkt. No. 52; GBBS Pls.' Opp. to
DOJ Mot. to Dismiss, Dkt. No. 55.
Court held a hearing on the motions on May 3, 2017, and now
grants both motions.
motion to dismiss or a motion for judgment on the pleadings
is appropriately granted “only when there is no dispute
as to any material facts and the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a [m]atter of law.” Greenman v.
Jessen, 787 F.3d 882, 887 (8th Cir. 2015) (citation
omitted). To survive a Rule 12 motion, “a complaint
must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to
‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009) (citation omitted); Haney v. Portfolio
Recovery Assocs., LLC, 837 F.3d 918, 924 (8th Cir.
2016), as amended (Dec. 27, 2016). See also
Osman Op. 3-4.
the allegations are similar to those alleged by Osman and
summarized and analyzed in the Court's order in that
case. See, e.g., Osman Op. 4-8. The Court briefly
recounts some allegations in L. Omar's Second Amended
Complaint and some facts gleaned from the Tennessee Case
October 20, 2010, L. Omar was indicted in the Tennessee Case.
SAC ¶ 11. He was charged in ten counts. See
Indictment (“Ind't”), United States v.
Omar, No. 3:10cr260, Dkt. No. 3 (M.D. Tenn. Oct. 20,
2010); see also SAC ¶ 15 (alleging that he was
charged with, “among other things, conspiracy to engage
in sex trafficking of a minor . . . ”). Two counts
alleged participation in a sex-trafficking conspiracy in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1591(a) (Counts 1 and 2). Two
counts alleged recruitment or attempted recruitment of a
minor (Jane Doe Two) for sex trafficking (Counts 12 and 13).
Two counts, Counts 3 and 4, alleged obstruction of justice.
Count 15 alleged that from May 20, 2006, through September
15, 2006, L. Omar conspired to transport stolen money and
goods across state lines in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
2314. Ind't ¶¶ 100, 102-06. Count 16 alleged
that he conspired to transport a stolen vehicle in interstate
commerce in February 2010. Ind't ¶¶ 107, 110.
Count 17 alleged that in February 2010, he conspired to use a
false identification in connection with stealing and
transporting a vehicle. Ind't ¶ 113. Finally, Count
18 alleged that from 2007 through September 2010, he
conspired to commit credit card fraud. E.g.,
Ind't ¶¶ 117, 123-24, 137. A first superseding
indictment included the same charges against him.
See SAC ¶ 16.
was arrested on December 10, 2010, and detained until his
release in March 2016. SAC ¶ 11.
sex-trafficking-related counts as against L. Omar exclusively
involved the supposed witness-victim Jane Doe Two. SAC ¶
17. “Jane Doe Two was the centerpiece of Weyker's
fabricated case against Omar and others . . . .” SAC
¶ 18. Weyker was the lead investigator on the case, and
Bandemer was her supervisor in the St. Paul Police
Department. SAC ¶ 14. The indictment included
allegations that L. Omar rented a hotel room in Brooklyn
Center, Minnesota on April 24, 2009, “to facilitate the
prostituting of Jane Doe Two.” SAC ¶ 19;
see Ind't ¶¶ 33-34. “It was
alleged that Omar was present in the room.” SAC ¶
19; see Ind't ¶ 34. “In the initial
interviews with Weyker, Jane Doe Two stated she did not know
Omar, ” but “[s]ubsequent interviews with Weyker
resulted in Jane Doe Two stating Omar ‘looked
familiar.” SAC ¶ 21. “After more
collaboration with Weyker, Jane Doe Two stated Omar was with
her, drunk, and lying with her on her bed in the AmericInn
hotel room on April 24, 2009.” Id. L. Omar did
not know Jane Doe Two before the indictment and was never in
any hotel room with Jane Doe Two. SAC ¶ 22. “Omar
never conspired with anyone to have Jane Doe Two engage in
commercial sex. . . . Fabricated evidence formed the basis of
this false allegation against Omar.” SAC ¶ 27.
“There was never any such conspiracy and Omar never
engaged in any attempt to have Jane Doe Two engage in
commercial sex.” SAC ¶ 20.
addition, the charges that L. Omar “attempted to
influence witnesses or victims to impede the case” were
baseless. SAC ¶ 19. “There was no influencing of
witnesses. Fabricated evidence formed the basis of false
allegations against Omar.” SAC ¶ 20.
early 2012, as the parties in the Tennessee Case prepared for
trial to begin in March, the district court granted a motion
to sever some of the counts, including Counts 15 through 18,
to be tried later. United States v. Omar, No.
3:10cr260, Dkt. No. 1395 (M.D. Tenn. Feb. 16, 2012). In
addition, L. Omar and some other defendants elected to be
severed from the defendants who were preparing for trial on
sex-trafficking-related charges. United States v.
Adan, 913 F.Supp.2d 555, 559 (M.D. Tenn. 2012); see
also SAC ¶ 37.
Spring 2012 criminal trial, the jury acquitted six defendants
fully but convicted three defendants on some counts. SAC
¶ 38. The district court then granted Federal Rule of
Criminal Procedure 29 motions for judgments of acquittal by
the three convicted defendants, on the basis of a variance.
See SAC ¶ 38; Adan, 913 F.Supp.2d at
the trial, L. Omar moved for release from custody, and in
February 2013, he was released on conditions. SAC ¶ 51.
The district court's detention decision, however, was
reversed on appeal. SAC ¶ 52; see United States v.
Fahra, No. 13-5296, Dkt. No. 61-1 (6th Cir. Dec. 18,
2013) (submitted in this case at DOJ Reply Ex. BB). L. Omar
“was consequently falsely imprisoned again on March 26,
2014.” SAC ¶ 52. The appeals court found that,
among other facts, the weight of the evidence-including
testimony and evidence presented at the detention hearings,
and testimony at the Spring 2012 trial-and L. Omar's
history and characteristics supported his continued
detention. See DOJ Reply Ex. BB at 6-8. In March
2016, the Sixth Circuit decided an appeal of the ...