United States District Court, D. Minnesota
N. ERICKSEN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Muhiyadin Hussein Hassan 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 Hassan'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. 39. 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. 45.
investigation at the core of Hassan'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”). Hassan 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 Hassan'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. Hassan, coordinating
with the other plaintiffs represented his counsel, opposed
the motions. See GBBS Pls.' Opp. to St. Paul
Mot., Dkt. No. 50; GBBS Pls.' Opp. to DOJ Mot. to
Dismiss, Dkt. No. 53.
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.
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 Hassan's Amended Complaint
and some facts gleaned from the Tennessee Case
October 20, 2010, Hassan was indicted in the Tennessee Case.
AC ¶ 13. He was charged in six counts. See
Indictment (“Ind't”), United States v.
Hassan, No. 3:10cr260, Dkt. No. 3 (M.D. Tenn. Oct. 20,
2010); see also SAC ¶ 13 (alleging that he was
indicted on “charges including conspiracy to
engage in sex trafficking minor females for profit and for
attempting to obstruct the investigation of that alleged
crime”) (emphasis added). Two counts alleged participation
in a sex-trafficking conspiracy in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 1591(a) (Counts 1 and 2). Two counts, Counts 3 and 4,
alleged obstruction of justice. These counts implicated
Hassan in co-defendant Haji Osman Salad's alleged attempt
to hide his cell phone from authorities in order to repress
evidence; alleged that Hassan “had called” the
sister of alleged victim-witness Jane Doe Two “and
attempted to talk to her;” and alleged that he
“discussed a fabricated story” for Salad to tell
his attorney about a trip to Nashville that Salad, Jane Doe
Two, and others took in April 2009. See Ind't
¶¶ 71, 78-80. Additionally, Count 15 alleged that
from May 20, 2006, through September 15, 2006, Hassan
conspired to transport stolen money and goods across state
lines in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2314. Ind't
¶¶ 100, 104-06. Finally, Count 18 alleged that from
2007 through September 2010, he conspired to commit credit
card fraud. E.g., Ind't ¶¶ 117, 125,
150. First and second superseding indictments were filed that
all included the same charges against Hassan. See AC
¶ 16; United States v. Hassan, No. 3:10cr260,
Dkt. Nos. 36, 591 (M.D. Tenn. Nov. 3, 2010 & May 4,
indictment included “scant allegations relating
directly to Hassan.” AC ¶ 17. “Hassan never
conspired, engaged, or attempted to engage to have any Jane
Doe perform commercial sex. . . . Fabricated evidence formed
the basis for these false allegations against Hassan.”
AC ¶ 19. Weyker and other defendants “concoct[ed]
stories for putative victims like Jane Doe Two and coach[ed]
them to testify-albeit unbelievably and inconsistently-in
support of the Indictment.” AC ¶ 24.
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 and 18, to
be tried later. United States v. Hassan, No.
3:10cr260, Dkt. No. 1395 (M.D. Tenn. Feb. 16, 2012). In
addition, Hassan and some other defendants elected to be
severed from the defendants preparing for trial on
sex-trafficking-related charges. United States v.
Adan, 913 F.Supp.2d 555, 559 (M.D. Tenn. 2012); see
also AC ¶ 33 (“Hassan's trial was to
begin after theirs.”).
Spring 2012 criminal trial, the jury acquitted six defendants
fully and acquitted three defendants on some counts but
convicted them on other counts. AC ¶ 35. 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 AC
¶ 35; Adan, 913 F.Supp.2d at 579.
the trial, a Third Superseding Indictment was filed that
named Hassan in eight counts, including for conspiracy to
transport stolen goods (renumbered Count 16), conspiracy to
commit credit card fraud (renumbered Count 19), and
obstruction of justice (Count 3 and renumbered Count 6). In
addition to the sex-trafficking conspiracy charges in Counts
1 and 2, this indictment for the first time also charged
Hassan with substantive violations of 18 U.S.C. § 1591
for recruiting and attempting to recruit Jane Doe Two, a
minor, to engage in commercial sex (Counts 13 and 14).
See United States v. Hassan, No. 3:10cr260, Dkt. No.
2701 (M.D. Tenn. Aug. 22, 2012).
moved for release from custody, and on September 25, 2012, a
magistrate judge released him on bond with conditions.
See AC ¶ 31; United States v. Hassan,
No. 3:10cr260, Dkt. No. 2855 (M.D. Tenn. Sept. 25, 2012).
March 2016, the Sixth Circuit decided an appeal of the
district court's order granting the Rule 29 motions.
See AC ¶ 36; see also United States v.
Fahra, 643 Fed.Appx. 480 (6th Cir. Mar. 2, 2016). On
March 8, 2016, the government moved to dismiss all remaining
charges against all remaining defendants, and on March 10,
the district court granted the motion and vacated all terms
and conditions of supervised release that had been imposed.
See AC ¶¶ 37-38; United States v.
Hassan, No. 3:10cr260, Dkt. Nos. 3796, 3798 (M.D. Tenn.
Mar. 8 & 10, 2016).
Osman, Hassan alleges that the charges of a wide-ranging
sex-trafficking conspiracy were baseless and that Weyker
fabricated “the overwhelming majority of material
evidence supporting [his] indictment for sex trafficking,
” AC ¶ 22; that Weyker manipulated and coerced
Jane Doe witnesses, including Jane Doe Two, into lying,
e.g., AC ¶¶ 20, 24, 39; and that
indications of Weyker's fabrication included her rough
notes, AC ¶¶ 27, questions surrounding Jane Doe
Two's age, e.g., AC ¶¶ 28-30,
questions surrounding Jane Doe Two's April 2009 trip to
Nashville, AC ¶¶ 21, 27, and the district
court's post-trial grant of the Rule 29 motions, AC