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Favors v. Kneisel

Court of Appeals of Minnesota

September 25, 2017

Joseph Anthony Favors, Appellant,
v.
Terry Kneisel, et al., Respondents.

         Carlton County District Court File No. 09-CV-16-761

          Joseph Anthony Favors, Moose Lake, Minnesota (pro se appellant)

          Lori Swanson, Attorney General, Brandon Boese, Assistant Attorney General, St. Paul, Minnesota (for respondents)

          Considered and decided by Reyes, Presiding Judge; Schellhas, Judge; and Reilly, Judge.

         SYLLABUS

         Minnesota Statutes section 144.651 (2016) does not create a private cause of action in favor of a civilly committed patient at an inpatient facility against employees of the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

          OPINION

          REILLY, JUDGE

         Appellant Joseph Anthony Favors challenges the district court's dismissal of his claim against respondent-employees of the Minnesota Department of Human Services, arguing that the district court erred by holding that (1) Minnesota Statutes section 144.651 does not create a private cause of action and (2) appellant cannot establish a substantive due-process violation. Because Minnesota Statutes section 144.651 does not create a private cause of action and appellant failed to assert a cognizable substantive due-process claim, we affirm.

         FACTS

         Appellant Joseph Anthony Favors is civilly committed to the Minnesota Sex Offender Program (MSOP) for an indeterminate period of time as a sexually dangerous person and a sexually psychopathic person. In April 2016, appellant filed a complaint against respondent-employees of the Minnesota Department of Human Services/MSOP, alleging that respondents violated his constitutional and statutory rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Minnesota Statutes section 144.651, by denying his request for a cassette recorder. Respondents sought dismissal of the complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, arguing that section 144.651 does not create a private cause of action and that appellant failed to support his constitutional claim. The district court agreed and dismissed appellant's claims with prejudice; this appeal follows.

         ISSUES

         I. Does Minnesota Statutes section 144.651 create a private cause of action?

         II. Did appellant state a viable ...


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