United States District Court, D. Minnesota
N. ERICKSEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Abdifitah Jama Adan alleges violations of his constitutional
rights in an investigation that led to his indictment by a
federal grand jury and his 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; Robert Roes 1-3, who are allegedly
supervisory St. Paul police officers; and the City of St.
Paul (“St. Paul”). Weyker and Bandemer move to
dismiss Adan'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. 36. St.
Paul moves on behalf of the City of St. Paul and Robert Roes
1-3 for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Rule 12(c).
Dkt. No. 45.
investigation at the core of Adan'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”). Adan alleges that
Weyker 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. Adan
pleaded guilty to one of the counts of the First Superseding
Indictment on which he was arrested. The count on which he
was convicted pursuant to his guilty plea was unconnected to
any alleged sex-trafficking.
of Adan'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, given the
overlap in allegations and arguments. Adan is represented by
the same attorneys as the plaintiff in that case, and their
attorneys filed consolidated opposition papers to the
Defendants' motions. See Osman Pls.' Opp. to
St. Paul Mot., Dkt. No. 50; Osman Pls.' Opp. to DOJ Mot.
to Dismiss (“Osman DOJ Opp.”), Dkt. No. 56.
Court held a hearing on Defendants' motions on May 3,
2017, and now grants both motions.
motion to dismiss or a motion for judgment on the pleadings
is appropriate to grant “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) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 570 (2007)); Haney v. Portfolio Recovery
Assocs., LLC, 837 F.3d 918, 924 (8th Cir. 2016), as
amended (Dec. 27, 2016). See also Osman Op.
the salient 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 Adan's First Amended
Complaint and other facts gleaned from the Tennessee Case
2010, Adan lived in Nashville, Tennessee, with his then-wife
Faduma Mohamed Farah and their children. FAC ¶¶
Superseding Indictment was filed in the Tennessee Case on
November 3, 2010, naming 29 defendants. The indictment
alleged that Adan was an associate of members of
Minneapolis-based gangs referred to as the Somali Outlaws and
the Somali Mafia. FSI ¶¶ 1(a)-(b), 1(e) & 1(f).
It charged Adan with three counts: two counts of
participation in a sex-trafficking conspiracy in violation of
18 U.S.C. § 1591(a) (Counts 1 and 2); and one count of
making and using a false writing in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 1001 (Count 22). See First Superseding
Indictment (“FSI”), United States v.
Adan, No. 3:10cr260, Dkt. No. 36 (M.D. Tenn. Nov. 3,
2010) (submitted as Ex. V in support of Weyker and
Bandemer's Reply in this civil case). The indictment
charged that “in or about 2000 through in or about
2006, ” Adan “transported and caused the
transportation and harbored Somali females who had not
attained the age of 14 years and had not attained the age of
18 years for the purpose of commercial sex acts . . .
.” FSI ¶ 61; see also FAC ¶ 17. Adan
alleges that the indictment's “bare and
conclusory” allegation in Paragraph 61 “is and
always was false” and unsupported. FAC ¶¶
17-18. His then-wife F. Farah was also indicted in Counts 1
and 2, among others, and overt acts were pleaded to connect
F. Farah to the prostitution of alleged sex-trafficking
victim Jane Doe One in 2005 through 2008. See, e.g.,
FSI ¶¶ 5-6, 96.
allegations as to Adan in Count 22 of the First Superseding
Indictment were more detailed: “On or about November
17, 2009, ” Adan made or used a false document in a
matter within the jurisdiction of a United States agency,
knowing the document to contain a materially false statement.
FSI 53. More precisely, he “filed, in
Nashville, Tennessee, a signed I485 Application to Register
Permanent Residence or Adjust Status with the United States
Citizenship and Immigration Services.” Id. The
indictment alleged that in the I-485 application, Adan
falsely stated, among other things, that he had never been
arrested for a criminal offense and had not received public
assistance in the United States, even though he knew that he
had been convicted on a drug-possession felony in the fifth
degree on September 28, 2004 in Ohio, that he had been
arrested on September 26, 1999 by Border Patrol in Montana,
and that he had received public assistance in the form of
Section 8 housing for almost a year in 2003-2004.
Id. at 53-54. Adan alleges that he “was
charged with this count in order to pressure him into
providing evidence about the fabricated sex-trafficking
ring.” FAC ¶ 43.
“thrust” of the sex-trafficking conspiracy counts
was that Adan “was engaged in a conspiracy to recruit
and transport minors for the purpose of engaging in
commercial sex acts.” FAC ¶ 14. “No such
conspiracy existed, and Defendants knew it.”
Id. Adan alleges upon information and belief that he
“was only roped into this conspiracy because his
ex-wife, Farah, once had an argument with the woman
identified in the Indictment as ‘Jane Doe
Five.'” FAC ¶ 19. It was “well-known in
the Nashville Somali community that Jane Doe Five was, to put
it lightly, an unstable woman, and that any statements given
by her could never be worthy of belief.” FAC ¶ 20.
Weyker was the lead investigator on the case. FAC ¶ 26.
Because of the argument with F. Farah, “when Weyker
approached the unstable Jane Doe Five to solicit patently and
knowingly false statements implicating any Somalis in
Nashville in this non-existent sex-trafficking conspiracy,
Jane Doe Five agreed to falsely implicate Farah, her husband
Adan, and some of their community acquaintances in