United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Dion C. Pennywell, Plaintiff,
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Defendant.
C. Pennywell, pro se, for Plaintiff.
Dahlin for Defendant.
ORDER AND REPORT & RECOMMENDATION
FRANKLIN L. NOEL, United States Magistrate Judge.
MATTER came before the undersigned United States
Magistrate Judge on Defendant's motion for judgment on
the pleadings (ECF No. 22). This matter was referred to the
undersigned for Report and Recommendation pursuant to 29
U.S.C. § 636 and Local Rule 72.1. See Order,
ECF No. 27. For the reasons set forth below, the undersigned
recommends that Defendant's motion for judgment on the
pleadings be GRANTED, and the undersigned
orders Plaintiff to show cause why Defendant's request
for a pre-filing injunction should not be granted.
FINDINGS OF FACT
alleges that on September 4, 2014, Saint Paul Police
approached him while he was in the park across from the
Dorothy Day Center, in Saint Paul, Minnesota. ECF No. 1 at
¶ 7. According to Plaintiff, an officer informed him
that a Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and
Minneapolis (“Defendant”) employee informed the
officer that they saw Plaintiff consuming alcohol in the
park. Id. at ¶ 8. Plaintiff informed the
officer that he was sober and does not drink alcohol.
Id. at ¶ 10. Plaintiff, nevertheless, alleges
that he was ticketed and charged with drinking in public and
loitering with criminal intent. Id. at ¶ 15.
Plaintiff subsequently filed multiple complaints with
Defendant asking for an explanation from Defendant for the
false, slanderous. and retaliatory statements he alleges were
directed at himself, his girlfriend, and his family.
Id. at ¶ 17. Plaintiff has not received an
answer from the Defendant. Id. at ¶ 18.
Plaintiff alleges, as a result, he has suffered damage to his
reputation, embarrassment, and emotional distress, and seeks
damages in the amount of 10 million dollars. Id. at
STANDARD OF LAW
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) permits a party, after the
pleadings have closed, to move for a judgment on the
pleadings. Judgment of the pleadings is appropriate when the
movant has shown that “no material issue of fact
remains to be resolved and the movant is entitled to judgment
as a matter of law.” Poehl v. Countrywide Home
Loans, Inc., 528 F.3d 1093, 1096 (8th Cir. 2008)
(quotation omitted). “An issue of fact is deemed to be
material if the outcome of the case might be altered by its
resolution one way rather than another.” Iowa Beef
Processors, Inc. v. Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher
Workmen of N. Am., 627 F.2d 853, 855 (8th Cir. 1980)
(quotation omitted). When considering a motion for judgment
on the pleadings, a court must “view all facts pleaded
by the nonmoving party as true and grant all reasonable
inferences in favor of that party.” Poel, 528
F.3d at 1096.
motion for judgment on the pleadings is evaluated under the
same standard as a motion to dismiss for failure to state a
claim under Rule 12(b)(6). Bass v. Anoka Cnty., 998
F.Supp.2d 813, 818-19 (D. Minn. 2014). “To survive a
motion to dismiss for failure to a state a claim, a complaint
must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to
state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Id. at 819 (quoting Braden v. Wal-Mart Stores,
Inc., 588 F.3d 585, 594 (8th Cir. 2009)) (quotation
omitted). “A claim has facial plausibility when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS (ECF No. 22)
moves for judgment on the pleadings arguing that
Plaintiff's Complaint fails to state a claim for relief.
See e.g., ECF No. 22. Defendant asserts that even if
all of Plaintiff's allegations are true, they do not
sufficiently put Defendant on notice of the nature of
Plaintiff's claims against it. Id. To the extent
that Plaintiff's claims can be construed as a claim for
defamation, that such a claim is barred by the two-year
statute of limitations. Id.
the facts pleaded by Plaintiff as true, and granting
Plaintiff all reasonable inferences in his favor, Plaintiff
has failed to assert a claim for which relief can be granted.
Plaintiff has presented no facts which would entitle him to
relief. It is unclear from the Complaint, and this Court will
not endeavor to speculate, as to Plaintiff's claims
against the Defendant. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant's
employees made false, slanderous, and retaliatory statements
directed at Plaintiff, his girlfriend, and his family.
Plaintiff, however, does not state the nature of those
statements or when such statements were made. Plaintiff has
not established that there are any material issues of fact
yet to be resolved. Plaintiff's claim stems from a ticket
he received from Saint Paul Police, it is unclear how this
single incident, occurring more than two-years before
Plaintiff filed this matter, evidences the continued
harassment Plaintiff alleges. See e.g.,
Poel, 528 F.3d 1093. As such, this Court finds that
Defendant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
DEFENDANT'S REQUEST FOR A PRE-FILING INJUNCTION
conjunction with its motion for judgment on the pleadings,
Defendant has requested the Court enjoin Plaintiff from
filing any lawsuits against Defendant for any fact that
occurred up to, and including, October 3, 2016, the date this
action was filed, unless Plaintiff first ...