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Khan v. City of Minneapolis

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

February 20, 2018

MAHMOOD KHAN, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF MINNEAPOLIS, a municipal corporation; DOES 1-10, Defendants.

          Edward F. Rooney and James D. Heiberg, for plaintiff.

          Tracey N. Fussy, MINNEAPOLIS CITY ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, for defendants.

          ORDER

          Patrick J. Schiltz United States District Judge

         Plaintiff Mahmood Khan is a landlord who has been granted multiple rental- dwelling licenses by defendant City of Minneapolis (“the City”). In this action, Khan challenges the City's revocation of his licenses, alleging that the City deprived him of substantive due process and violated the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”), 42 U.S.C. § 3601 et seq.

         This matter is before the Court on the City's motion for judgment on the pleadings. For the reasons that follow, the motion is granted, and Khan's lawsuit is dismissed.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Khan is the owner of 43 licensed rental properties in Minneapolis. Compl. ¶ 13. Khan has approximately 350 tenants, all but two of whom are members of classes protected under the FHA. Compl. ¶¶ 14-15. Most of Khan's properties are located on the City's north side. Compl ¶ 19.

         In 2010, the City revoked one of Khan's rental licenses due to two instances of illegal occupancy of the basement. In re Khan, 804 N.W.2d 132, 136 (Minn.Ct.App. 2011). A few years later, the City revoked another of Khan's rental licenses, this time for multiple garbage-disposal violations. Khan v. Minneapolis City Council, No. A14-0455, 2014 WL 7237193, at *1 (Minn.Ct.App. Dec. 22, 2014). In February 2015, after the Minnesota Court of Appeals rejected Khan's challenges to the second revocation, the City began the process of revoking all of Khan's remaining rental licenses under Minneapolis City Ordinance § 244.1910(a)(13). That ordinance permits the revocation of all of a landlord's rental licenses when that landlord has had two or more rental licenses revoked or canceled.[1] Compl. ¶¶ 33-34.

         Khan's challenges to the revocation of his remaining licenses were rejected by an administrative hearing officer, the Minneapolis City Council, and the Minnesota Court of Appeals. In re Khan, No. A16-0633, 2017 WL 1376379 (Minn.Ct.App. Mar. 20, 2017), rev. denied, (Minn. Mar. 30, 2017), cert. denied, 2017 WL 3839456 (U.S. Nov. 6, 2017) (No. 17-324). While the state proceedings were pending, Khan filed this federal action challenging the revocation of his remaining licenses. The parties stipulated to a stay pending the outcome of the state proceedings. ECF Nos. 16, 17. After the Minnesota Supreme Court denied Khan's petition for further review, the Court lifted the stay and Khan moved for a temporary restraining order (“TRO”). The Court denied Khan's motion following a hearing. ECF No. 41. Defendants now move for judgment on the pleadings.

         II. ANALYSIS

         A. Standard of Review

         A motion for judgment on the pleadings under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c) is assessed under the same standards as a motion to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). Ashley Cty. v. Pfizer, Inc., 552 F.3d 659, 665 (8th Cir. 2009). In reviewing a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), a court must accept as true all of the factual allegations in the complaint and draw all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor. Aten v. Scottsdale Ins. Co., 511 F.3d 818, 820 (8th Cir. 2008). Although the factual allegations need not be detailed, they must be sufficient to “raise a right to relief above the speculative level . . . .” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). The complaint must “state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Id. at 570.

         Ordinarily, if the parties present, and the court considers, matters outside of the pleadings, a Rule 12(c) motion must be treated as a motion for summary judgment. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(d). Here, Khan submitted various materials in opposition to defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings. See ECF Nos. 45, 47. But the Court has not considered those materials, and thus the Court will not convert defendants' motion into one for summary judgment.

         B. ...


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