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Hazley v. Roy

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

March 20, 2018

Glenn Kevin Hazley, Plaintiff,
v.
Tom Roy, and Becky Dooley, Defendants.

          Glenn Kevin Hazley, Pro S.

          Steven Forrest, Esq. for Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          SUSAN RICHARD NELSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This matter is before the Court for consideration of the objections of Defendants Tom Roy and Becky Dooley [Doc. No. 45] (“Defs.' Objs.”) to the November 2, 2017 Report and Recommendation [Doc. No. 43] (“R&R”) of Magistrate Judge Tony N. Leung. The magistrate judge recommended granting in part and denying in part Defendants' Motion to Dismiss [Doc. No. 13]; denying Plaintiff's Motion to Proceed with Complaint [Doc. No. 23][1]; and granting in part and denying in part Plaintiff's Motion to Amend Complaint [Doc. No. 26].

         Pursuant to statute, this Court reviews de novo any portion of the magistrate judge's opinion on dispositive motions to which specific objections are made, and “may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations” contained in that opinion. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3); D. Minn. LR 72.2(b)(3).[2] The magistrate judge also recommended rulings on Plaintiff's Motion to Amend the Complaint, a non-dispositive motion. Ordinarily, a district court reviews a magistrate's order on a non-dispositive motion under a clearly erroneous or contrary to law standard. Reko v. Creative Promotions, Inc., 70 F.Supp.2d 1005, 1007 (D. Minn. 1999); see also 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(a); D. Minn. LR 72.2(a). However, when a motion to amend is denied as futile, as is the case here, it is reviewed de novo. See United States ex rel. Gaudineer & Comito, L.L.P. v. Iowa, 269 F.3d 932, 936 (8th Cir. 2001) (noting that the district court's denial of leave to amend based on futility was reviewed de novo on appeal). As a result, based on a de novo review and for the reasons set forth herein, the Court overrules Defendants' objections and adopts the R&R, with some clarification and further direction to the parties.

         II. BACKGROUND

         The R&R sets forth the facts relevant to this matter. (See R&R at 2-6.)[3]Accordingly, to avoid unnecessary repetition, the Court will incorporate the facts of the R&R's background section by reference here, and it will briefly set forth only those facts necessary to provide context for its discussion of the Defendants' objections.

         Plaintiff Glenn Kevin Hazley (“Hazley”) brings this ' 1983 action against Becky Dooley, Warden of the Minnesota Correctional Facility located in Moose Lake, Minnesota (“MCF-Moose Lake”), and Tom Roy, Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Corrections (“DOC”). In his Amended Complaint, [4] Hazley alleges that MCF-Moose Lake staff “denied [me] an opportunity to bail out from jail after my case was overturned by the courts May 2016, MCF-Moose Lake purposely held my money so I could not post my bail.” (Am. Compl. [Doc. No. 8], at 4.) He further alleges that

I was held illegally until the day of my trial which was in July 2015 [sic]. So I claim negligence by Becky Dooley because she was in charge of my custody as acting Warden at MCF-Moose Lake at the time of the incident and Commissioner Tom Roy, because he is the boss of Ms. Dooley and as well in charge of my custody as stated by law in MN.

(Id.) Hazley states that he is “seeking monetary damages for the civil rights [violations] that have occurred.” (Id. at 5.)

         In their Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion to Dismiss and supporting documents, Defendants state that Hazley pleaded guilty to a count of burglary in Hennepin County District Court. State v. Hazley, No. 27-CR-14-25709 (Hennepin Cnty. Dist. Ct.) (Kemp Aff. [Doc. No. 15], Ex. A [Doc. No. 15-1]). Hazley's sentence was initially stayed, but he was incarcerated upon violating the terms of his probation. (Id.) He appealed. On March 14, 2016, the Minnesota Court of Appeals reversed his original conviction, finding an error in the sentence, and remanded the case to the district court. State v. Hazley, No. A15-1418 (Minn.Ct.App. Mar. 14, 2016) (Kemp Aff., Ex. B). Six weeks later, at a hearing in the district court, Hazley was allowed to withdraw his guilty plea. The Court then set interim conditions of release, which included, inter alia, posting a bond of “$8, 000 bond w/cond. or $800 cash alternative with conditions.” (Kemp Aff., Ex. B, at 4, 6.)

         Plaintiff also filed numerous documents that were incorporated by reference in the Amended Complaint.[5] Accepting the facts asserted in the Amended Complaint and the incorporated documents as true, and construing them in the light most favorable to the Plaintiff, Hazley appears to have made every effort to pay the $800 cash alternative bond. The record at this stage, however, shows no indication of what happened to the funds. Hennepin County District Court does not appear to have ever received the funds. Hazley remained in custody until he went to trial. He was tried and convicted, served his sentence, and, since the inception of this case, has been released. He brings this action to recover monetary damages from his alleged wrongful imprisonment and the mental distress it has caused him.

         Defendants Roy and Dooley moved to dismiss “all claims against them” under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), claiming that the Amended Complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. (Mem. of Law in Supp. of Mot. to Dismiss of Defs. Tom Roy & Becky Dooley [Doc. No. 14] (“Defs.' Mem. in Supp.”), at 1.)

         In response to the Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, Hazley filed two documents titled as motions. First, he filed a “Motion to Proceed with Complaint, ” along with a memorandum in support [Doc. Nos. 23-24]. The magistrate judge properly construed these filings as a response to the Motion to Dismiss.

         Second, Hazley filed a Motion to Amend his Complaint, seeking to clarify that his claims against Roy and Dooley were being brought in both their official and individual capacities [Doc. No 26].[6] Additionally, in his Motion to Amend, Hazley sought to add a third defendant, Kristi Cisar, in both her official and individual capacities. (Id. at 2.) Ms. Cisar is an employee at MCF-Moose Lake, and was in direct contact with Hazley, his attorney, and his family members about the status of the funds in his prisoner account. (Id.) Hazley's memorandum in support of his Motion to Amend claims that he did not learn of Ms. Cisar's name until after the filing of his Amended Complaint. (Id.) Finally, Hazley, in his Proposed Second Amended Complaint as well as in his Motion to Proceed with Complaint [Doc. No. 25] also appears to be adding a state tort claim for false imprisonment. (See Prop. Second Am. Compl. [Doc. No. 26-1], at 3.)

         In response to the Motion to Amend, Defendants argued that the motion should be dismissed for failure to comply with the Court's rules (by not attaching a redlined copy showing the changes between the original and proposed complaints) and because the proposed amendments are futile. The defendants specifically address “the additional defendant” in Plaintiff's Proposed Second Amended Complaint, arguing that the additional defendant “fails to remedy” the alleged deficiencies of the Complaint “and therefore is futile.” (Defs.' Responsive Mem. to Pl.'s Mot. to Amend the Am. Compl. [Doc. No. 29] (“Defs.' Mem. in Opp'n”), at 3.)

         A. The Report and Recommendation

         Magistrate Judge Leung recommended that this Court grant the Motion to Dismiss the claims against all defendants in their official capacities and the claims against Commissioner Roy in his individual capacity. He further recommended that this Court deny the Motion to Dismiss as to the proposed claims against Warden Dooley in her individual capacity and the proposed claims against Kristi Cisar in her individual capacity. The magistrate judge also recommended that Plaintiff's Motion to Amend be granted as to claims against Warden Dooley and Kristi Cisar in their individual ...


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