United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Katelyn Rae Cartier, Consumer Justice Center, P.A., counsel
Jeffrey Kent Boman, counsel for defendants.
S. Doty, Judge
matter is before the court upon the motion to dismiss by
defendants Kathy Daley and Kim Jacobson. Based on a review of
the file, record, and proceedings herein, and for the
following reasons, the court grants the motion.
privacy dispute arises out of plaintiff Jane Doe's
ongoing efforts to escape the threats and abuse of her
ex-husband. Doe divorced her husband in 1999 after suffering
years of physical abuse. Am Compl. ¶¶ 3-7, 26-27.
In March 2000, Doe's ex-husband was convicted of
assaulting her and sentenced to five years' imprisonment;
however, he was granted a stay of imposition provided that he
remain law abiding and successfully complete treatment.
Id. ¶ 28. In July 2000, the Dodge County Court
granted Doe's request to change her name so that she and
her daughter could be safe from her ex-husband. Id.
¶¶ 29-30. The court ordered all documents in the
matter sealed. Id. ¶ 30. Soon thereafter, the
state issued Doe a driver's license under her new name.
Id. ¶¶ 31-32. The federal government also
issued her a new social security number. Id. ¶
34. In the meantime, a warrant was issued for Doe's
ex-husband's arrest following an undisclosed probation
violation. Id. ¶ 33. It appears that he remains
October 2009, a police officer contacted Doe by letter in an
effort to locate her ex-husband. Id. ¶ 38. Doe
asked the officer how he found her address. Id.
¶ 39. He responded that her contact information was
available on the Department of Vehicle Services (DVS)
database. Id. Doe then contacted the
Department of Public Safety (DPS) to complain that her
previous and assumed names were linked in the database in
violation of the Dodge County order, but she alleges that
nothing was done to correct the problem. Id. ¶
42. Thereafter, between December 2009 and July 2017, Doe has
been physically attacked several times either by her
ex-husband or his associates, has been stalked, and has
received numerous threatening phone calls and
letters. Id. ¶¶ 43, 45-46,
50-51, 55, 61-62, 64-65, 69-71, 81.
vaguely alleges that the link between her names in the
database “otherwise made [her identity]
available” to her ex-husband. Id. ¶ 60.
She does not allege, however, that either her ex-husband or
his associates have direct or indirect access to the DVS
database or that the law enforcement officials who accessed
her data communicated her location to her ex-husband or his
associates or otherwise used the data for an improper
October 2016, Doe requested an audit from DPS to determine
who had accessed her DVS motor vehicle record since June 1,
2008. Id. ¶ 53. The audit showed that the
record had been accessed 43 times between October 4, 2009,
and October 14, 2016, by various sheriff's and police
departments and unidentified DVS users. Id. Doe then
spoke with Defendant Kim Jacobson, the DPS data practices
program administrator, regarding the audit and expressed
concern that her previous and assumed identities were still
linked in the database. Id. ¶¶ 10, 53, 56.
Jacobson assured Doe that she would “break the
link” between Doe's two identities and expressed
surprise that they were still connected. Id.
¶¶ 56-57. Despite this assurance, Doe alleges that
her identities remained linked.
Id. ¶ 58.
28, 2017, Doe contacted defendant Kathy Daley, supervisor of
the DPS issuing department, about her DVS record.
Id. ¶ 73. Daley explained that Doe's
previous and assumed identities should never have been linked
and told Doe that she would erase all reference to Doe's
previous identity in the DVS database and issue her a new
driver's license unaffiliated with her previous identity.
Id. ¶¶ 74-75. Doe received a new license,
but she alleges that her identities remain linked in the DVS
database. Id. ¶¶ 77-78.
commencing this suit on September 7, 2017, Doe filed an
amended complaint under seal on December 1, 2017, alleging
that Jacobson, Daley, and unnamed DPS employees violated the
Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) by maintaining a
link between her previous and assumed identities. She also
alleges that defendants' acts and/or omissions constitute
invasion of privacy under Minnesota law. Defendants now move