United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Dean Meyer, pro se, Naewna Newspaper, Ladapa Tiwasingha,
Richard S. Reeves, for Defendant Virginia Ekola
Virginia K. Ekola, for Defendants Allan Lindsay and Diane
RICHARD NELSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on the Report and Recommendation
(“R&R”) of Magistrate Judge Bowbeer dated May
26, 2017 [Doc. No. 524]. Plaintiff Harley Dean Meyer
(“Meyer”) filed Objections to the Report and
Recommendation (“Objs.”) [Doc. No. 525]. For the
reasons set forth below, the Court overrules Meyer's
Objections, adopts the R&R in its entirety, and grants
Defendant Ekola's, Allan Lindsay's, and Diane
Lindsay's Motions for Summary Judgment.
before the Court is the Report & Recommendation of
Magistrate Judge Bowbeer dated December 19, 2016 [Doc. No.
435]. In the December 19, 2016 R&R, Magistrate Judge
Bowbeer recommended that all claims against Defendant Jean
Peterson be dismissed without prejudice. (Dec. 19, 2016
R&R at 2.) Meyer did not file any objections to that
Report and Recommendation in the time period permitted.
Accordingly, based on the December 19, 2016 R&R, and all
of the files, records and proceedings herein, the Court
adopts the December 19, 2016 R&R and dismisses without
prejudice all claims against Defendant Jean Peterson.
addition, before the Court is Plaintiff's Objection [Doc.
No. 444] to the Order of Magistrate Judge Bowbeer dated
December 15, 2016 [Doc. No. 434]. In the December 15, 2016
Order, Magistrate Judge Bowbeer denied without prejudice
Meyer's Motion to Appoint Counsel [Doc. No. 417] and his
Motion for an Extension of Time [Doc. No. 418]. In light of
the Court's summary judgment ruling, addressed below,
Meyer's Objection to the December 15, 2016 Order is
denied as moot.
background of this case was set forth in previous orders and
is only recounted here to the extent necessary to rule on
Meyer's Objections. This action involves Meyer's
eighty-two state and federal claims against twenty-seven
named Defendants-including Defendants Virginia Ekola
(“Ekola”), Allan Lindsay (“A.
Lindsay”), and Diane Lindsay (“D. Lindsay”)
(collectively, “Defendants”)-and seventy-seven J.
Doe Defendants- including those J. Doe Defendants referenced
in the caption of this Order. (See First Am. Compl.
(“FAC”) [Doc. No. 136]; Order dated 8/5/2016
(“August 5 Order”) at 5 [Doc. No. 341].) Meyer
was allowed to amend his complaint once-wherein he added more
defendants and claims-but his second attempt, where he again
sought to add more defendants and claims, was denied based on
futility, undue delay and prejudice, and his repeated
failures to abide by this Court's orders, the Local
Rules, and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
(Id. at 4-5, 16-19.)
Meyer's claims stem from a 2003 child custody dispute
between Meyer and his former wife (V.M.) over their son
(J.M.) and related proceedings in Minnesota state court.
(See Id. at 7.) Ekola is an attorney who represented
V.M. in the divorce and custody proceedings. In those
proceedings, V.M. was granted sole legal and physical custody
over J.M. (Decl. of Allan and Diane Lindsay (“Lindsay
Decl.”) [Doc. No. 507], Ex. 3 [Doc. No. 507-3].)
Sometime after 2004, Meyer moved to Thailand, where he
resides to this day.
named her brother, A. Lindsay, as J.M.'s guardian in her
will in 2006. (R&R at 2-3; Lindsay Decl., Ex. 4 [Doc. No.
507-4].) D. Lindsay is A. Lindsay's wife. Later, in 2011,
after V.M. was diagnosed with cancer and began treatment, she
asked A. Lindsay to help care for J.M. (Aff. of Allan Lindsay
at ¶ 5 [Doc. No. 506].) In January of 2012, V.M. and A.
Lindsay executed a “Designated Temporary Custodian
Agreement” (the “Designation Agreement”)
that sought to appoint A. Lindsay as co-custodian of J.M.
pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 257B. (Lindsay Decl., Ex. 5
[Doc. No. 507-5].) In it, V.M. stated that she was suffering
from a physically incapacitating disease. (See Id.
at 2.) V.M. explained that she believed Meyer was in
Thailand, but did not know his address or how to contact him
other than through an email address, and that Meyer had not
seen J.M. since 2003. (Id. at 1.) The Designation
Agreement purported to give A. Lindsay the authority to make
custodial and legal decisions related to J.M. and suggests
that the parties intended it to be effective immediately.
(Id. at 2.) It also stated that V.M. intended for A.
Lindsay to be appointed as J.M.'s guardian upon her
death, pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 524.5-201 and other
related statutes. (Id.)
after the Designation Agreement was signed, V.M. died.
(Lindsay Decl., Ex. 6 [507-6].) There is no indication that
A. Lindsay ever petitioned a court to have the Designation
Agreement approved. Instead, on January 20, 2012, he accepted
the guardianship appointment contained in V.M.'s will.
(Lindsay Decl., Ex. 7 at 5 [Doc. No. 507-7].)
than thirty days after A. Lindsay accepted the appointment in
V.M.'s will, Ekola filed a Petition for Appointment (the
“Guardianship Petition”) in Hennepin County
district court. (Id. at 1-3.) The Guardianship
Petition was served on Meyer. (Id. at 14- 15;
see Lindsay Decl., Ex. 9 [Doc. No. 507-9].) A
hearing on the Guardianship Petition was held in April of
2012 and Meyer attended the hearing and objected to A.
Lindsay's appointment, arguing that he should be given
full legal and physical custody over J.M. (See
Lindsay Decl., Ex. 10 [Doc. No. 507-10].) The district court
granted the Guardianship Petition, appointed A. Lindsay to
serve as guardian “alongside” Meyer, and
explained that Meyer would need to raise his custodial
challenges in family court. (See id. at
3-4.) Importantly here, the court made the appointment
pursuant to Minnesota's guardianship statutes, Minn.
Stat. § 524.5-202 et seq., with no mention of
the custodianship statutes, Minn. Stat. § 257B et
seq., or the Designation Agreement. (See Id. at
appealed the decision and the Minnesota Court of Appeals
reversed and remanded. (Lindsay Decl., Ex. 13 [Doc. No.
507-13].) Specifically, the court found that although
V.M.'s appointment of A. Lindsay in her will was valid
and effective upon her death, that appointment terminated by
operation of law when Meyer objected and thus the probate
court could not confirm an appointment that no longer
existed. (Id. at ¶¶ 4-5.) The court of
appeals remanded the case to the district court to consider
the appointment of an emergency or temporary guardian for
J.M. (Id. at ¶¶ 6-7.) On remand, the
district court appointed A. Lindsay as J.M.'s temporary
guardian pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 524.5-204(b).
((Lindsay Decl., Ex. 15 [507-15].) Meyer did not appeal this
speaking, Meyer now contends that all of the state court
proceedings surrounding the 2003 custody dispute and 2012
guardianship dispute were fraudulent, procedurally deficient,
involved negligence, and amounted to a civil conspiracy
against him perpetrated by nearly every individual who had
any involvement with those proceedings and the events they
addressed. (See FAC; August 5 Order at 7-8.) Meyer
also raises constitutional challenges to the federal
government's provision of financial incentives to the
states, Minnesota's statutory scheme for appointing
guardians, and the “continuing jurisdiction”
provision of Minnesota's Uniform Child Custody
Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. (See FAC at ¶
R&R recommends granting Defendants' Motions for
Summary Judgment because Meyer's claims suffer from one
or more of the following deficiencies: (1) they are based on
criminal statutes that do not provide a civil cause of
action; (2) Meyer failed to produce competent admissible
evidence that supports one or more elements of the claim; (3)
the claim is time barred and there is no basis for equitable
tolling; (4) the Court is prohibited from considering the
claim under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine; or (5) the
claim suffers from a fundamental legal deficiency (e.g., the
claim may only be asserted against a state actor and the
Defendant at issue is not a state actor). (R&R at 5-19.)
The R&R also recommends that Meyer's claims against
the unserved J. Doe Defendants be dismissed without prejudice
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(m).
(Id. at 19-24.) The reasons for this recommendation
of dismissal are that Meyer failed to show good cause as to
why the J. Doe Defendants remain unserved more than two years
after the case began and because he has not stated plausible