United States District Court, D. Minnesota
DANIEL J. KLUDT, Plaintiff,
MCF-RUSH CITY; OFC. KUNZE, Indiv. & Offic. capacity; A-W, Indiv. & Offic. capacity; RUSH CITY MUNICIPAL WATER SOURCE; MCF-RUSH CITY MED. SERVICES; JEFF TITUS, Indiv. & Offic. capacity; TOM ROY, Indiv. & Offic. capacity; RUSH CITY, MN; EDWARD J. CLEARY; TRINA HENDRICKSON, Indiv. & Offic.; and BECKY GROSS, Indiv. & Offic.; Defendants.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
KATHERINE M. MENENDEZ UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court on a motion to dismiss Daniel J.
Kludt's Third Amended Complaint. [Defs.' Mot., ECF
No. 38; Third Am. Compl., ECF No. 28.] The motion was filed
by the following defendants: MCF-Rush City, Officer Kunze,
Jeff Titus, Tom Roy, A-W, MCF-Rush City Medical Services, the
State of Minnesota, Chief Judge Edward J. Cleary, Trina
Hendrickson, and Becky Gross (collectively “State
Defendants”). The State Defendants raise several
arguments in favor of their motion to dismiss. [Defs.'
Mem., ECF No. 41.] Mr. Kludt has not responded to the motion.
For the reasons that follow, the Court recommends that the
State Defendants' motion be granted and the Third Amended
Complaint be dismissed in its entirety.
Third Amended Complaint includes a concise list of
allegations in six paragraphs. First, the Third Amended
Complaint appears to assert a discrimination claim pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and two Minnesota
statutes. Mr. Kludt alleges that “in June
2017, Jeff Titus, OFC. Kunze, Tom Roy, A/W, State of
Minnesota, discriminated against [Mr. Kludt] while actively
preforming in Plaintiffs' invalid capacity, while exiting
& or entering a medical detector. The discrimination
resulted in injury[, ]” which is physical, emotional,
and mental. [Third Am. Compl. ¶ I.]
the Third Amended Complaint alleges a violation of Mr.
Kludt's constitutional rights based on the poor quality
of the water at the MCF-Rush City prison facility. The
pleading asserts that throughout 2017 “MCF-Rush City,
Rush City MN, Jeff Titus, Tom Roy, Rush City Municipal Water
Source, State of Minnesota, Edward J. Cleary, provided
excessively contaminated H2O without access to an
alternative, resulting in injury to Plaintiff.” [Third
Am. Compl. ¶ II.]
Mr. Kludt asserts what appears to be a § 1983
claim that he was denied access to the courts.
He asserts that on November 3, 2017, “Jeff Titus, Tom
Roy, Dept. of Corrections, State of Minnesota, interfered
with legal help I depend on to exercise my rights, violations
consistent with this occurred in Oct. of 2017 as well.”
[Third Am. Compl. ¶ III.]
the Third Amended Complaint includes a § 1983 claim for
retaliation based on religion. Mr. Kludt alleges that on
September 21, 2017, “Hendrickson Trina, Dept. of
Corrections, Tom Roy, retaliated against [Mr. Kludt] for
reasons consistent with religious belief, in relations to
treatment choices.” [Third Am. Compl. ¶ IV.]
Mr. Kludt asserts a § 1983 claim that appears to be
based on a requirement that he engage in labor despite the
fact that he is disabled. He alleges that throughout 2017,
“the State of Minnesota, Dept. of Corrections, Tom Roy,
Becky Gross, MCF-Rush City Med. Services, Edward J. Cleary,
forced [Mr. Kludt] to perform labor although [he] has been
deemed 100 percent disabled, amongst other things.”
[Third Am. Compl. ¶ V.]
Mr. Kludt brings a §1983 claim based on an allegation
that he was exposed to harmful inhalants while in the prison.
Specifically, he states that on September 20, 2017,
“the State of Minnesota, Dept. of Corrections, Tom Roy,
Jeff Titus, gassed [Mr. Kludt] via the prison's
ventilation system.” [Third Am. Compl. ¶ VI.]
State Defendants raise five arguments in their motion to
dismiss the Third Amended Complaint. First, they contend that
the pleading should be dismissed because it fails to state a
claim upon which relief can be granted. Second, they argue
that Mr. Kludt's claims against the State of Minnesota
and its agencies, as well as any official-capacity claims
against individual State officers, should be dismissed based
on Eleventh Amendment immunity. Third, the State Defendants
argue that State agencies and officials cannot be sued in
their official capacities under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 because
they are not “persons” who are subject to suit
under that statute. Fourth, they contend that the Third
Amended Complaint should be dismissed because it fails to
comply with Rule 20's proscription on joining disparate
claims against different defendants in a single lawsuit.
Finally, the State Defendants argue that if all the federal
claims in this case are dismissed, the Court should decline
to exercise jurisdiction over Mr. Kludt's state law
Kludt filed the Third Amended Complaint in response to this
Court's October 30, 2017 Order explaining that the
earlier efforts he and his former co-plaintiff, Desean Lamont
Thomas, had made at pleading their claims were deficient.
[Order (Oct. 30, 2017), ECF No. 26.] Mr. Thomas is no longer
a named plaintiff in this litigation. However, it appears Mr.
Thomas, going by the name “Young Black Lion, ”
assisted Mr. Kludt with the preparation of the Third Amended
Complaint. [Third Am. Compl. at 1 (“Please Take
Notice: that Young Black Lion is before the Court as
Plaintiff's Fiduciary Guardian.”); id. at
3 (signature block indicating that Desean Thomas identifies
himself as Young Black Lion and holds himself out to be the
representative of Mr. Kludt).]
defendants point out, there is no support in the record for
the Court to conclude that Mr. Thomas has been appointed as
Mr. Kludt's legal guardian. [Defs.' Mem. at 1 n.1,
ECF No. 41.] Mr. Thomas is a non-lawyer, and as such, he
cannot appear on Mr. Kludt's behalf. See Knoefler v.
United Bank of Bismarck, 20 F.3d 347, 348 (8th Cir.