United States District Court, D. Minnesota
N. ERICKSEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Abdigadir Ahmed Khalif alleges violations of his
constitutional rights in an investigation that led to his
indictment by a federal grand jury and his eventual 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 Khalif'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. 47. 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 Khalif's civil complaint
primarily targeted a suspected venture involving the
sex-trafficking of minor girls. The investigation resulted in
the criminal indictment of thirty people, mostly Somali, in
the Middle District of Tennessee in 2010-2011
(“Tennessee Case”). Khalif alleges that Weyker
fabricated evidence about the fictional sex-trafficking ring
throughout the investigation, resulting in a tainted
indictment and causing Khalif's arrest and detention.
Unlike many of his co-defendants in the Tennessee Case,
Khalif was not indicted in any of the sex-trafficking-related
charges, only on a fraud-related charge. Moreover, unlike
many of his co-defendants, Khalif was not arrested in Fall
2010 after an indictment and a First Superseding Indictment
were returned, because he went into hiding until July 2012,
when he turned himself in and was released on electronic home
of Khalif's co-defendants in the Tennessee Case bring
separate suits also 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. Khalif 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. 51; Osman Pls.' Opp. to DOJ Mot. to Dismiss
(“Osman DOJ Opp.”), Dkt. No. 57.
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 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) (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.
Khalif's 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 Khalif's First
Amended Complaint and facts from the Tennessee Case record
October 20, 2010, an Indictment was filed in the Tennessee
Case, charging Khalif with two counts. Count 18 charged
Khalif with violating 18 U.S.C. §§
1029(a)(1)-(a)(3) by conspiring to commit credit card fraud
from around 2007 through September 2010. Indictment
(“Ind't”), United States v. Khalif,
No. 3:10cr260, Dkt. No. 3 ¶¶ 117-50 (M.D. Tenn.
Oct. 20, 2010); see also FAC ¶ 12. Count 19
charged him with violating 18 U.S.C. §§ 1512(c)(1)
and 1512(b)(3) by conspiring to destroy evidence in
connection with the acts alleged as to Count 18. Ind't
November 2010, a First Superseding Indictment was filed in
the Tennessee Case, after which many of Khalif's
co-defendants were arrested. See FAC ¶ 13.
Because Khalif “was not present in Minnesota at the
time the sex-trafficking arrests were being conducted,
” FAC ¶ 15, “knew that the sex-trafficking
charges and the overarching allegation of massive conspiracy
were false, ” FAC ¶ 16, and “was concerned
that his portrayed connection to the sex-trafficking ring
could create a possibility of detention, ” he
“did not turn himself in to authorities immediately,
” FAC ¶ 18. Instead, he went into hiding for
approximately 20 months. FAC ¶ 38.
Khalif's co-defendants in the Tennessee Case eventually
went to trial on four sex-trafficking-related charges in a
Second Superseding Indictment, none of which were counts in
which Khalif was named. FAC ¶ 36; see also United
States v. Adan, 913 F.Supp.2d 555 (M.D. Tenn. 2012). The
Second Superseding Indictment, like the previous indictments,
charged Khalif in Counts 18 and 19. See DOJ Br. Ex.
B, Dkt. No. 42-1. In May 2012, the jury acquitted six
defendants of all charges on which they were tried, and
post-trial, the district court granted the other three
defendants' Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 29 motions
on the basis of a variance. FAC ¶ 37; see also
Adan, 913 F.Supp.2d at 560, 579.
jury's acquittals prompted Khalif to turn himself in on
July 10, 2012. FAC ¶ 38. “Likely due to the trial
revelations (i.e., that Weyker had fabricated
evidence and that the witnesses were unworthy of belief),
” the district court “did not retain Khalif in