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Parada v. Anoka County

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

July 30, 2018

ANOKA COUNTY; JAMES STUART, Anoka County Sheriff; NICOLAS OMAN, Coon Rapids Police Officer; COON RAPIDS POLICE DEPARTMENT; JOHN DOE, unknown/unnamed defendant; and JANE DOE, unknown/unnamed defendant Defendants.

          Alain M. Baudry and Amanda R. Cefalu, KUTACK ROCK LLP, Ian Bratlie, and Teresa J. Nelson, for plaintiff.

          Ryan M. Zipf, LEAGUE OF MINNESOTA CITIES, for Defendants Nicolas Oman and the City of Coon Rapids.



         A substantial number of Latinos - both U.S. citizens and foreign-born residents - are less likely to contact the police or report crimes, even when they are victims, because they fear that police will inquire about their immigration status.[1] While the U.S. immigrant population is extremely vulnerable to crime, [2] police mistrust is common within immigrant communities.[3] In Minnesota, law-enforcement agencies fear that the immigrant community's distrust of police results in increased crime against immigrants and decreased reporting of such crimes.[4]

         The law-enforcement conduct alleged in this case is precisely the type of conduct that further sows the Minnesota immigrant community's distrust of law-enforcement agencies. Plaintiff Myriam Parada resides in Ramsey, Minnesota. In July 2017, Parada was the victim of an automotive accident. Coon Rapids Police Officer Nicolas Oman arrested Parada for driving without a license. While detained at the Anoka County jail, Defendants contacted Immigration & Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) and transferred Parada into ICE custody. Parada is now in removal proceedings.

         Parada alleges that she was unlawfully arrested and detained by Defendants because of her race, nationality, and immigration status. She brings this § 1983 action against Anoka County, Anoka County Sheriff James Stewart, the City of Coon Rapids, [5] Oman, and two unknown defendants for violations of her Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Parada also brings state-law claims for violations of the Minnesota Constitution and false imprisonment.

         Coon Rapids and Oman (collectively, “Coon Rapids Defendants”) move to dismiss Parada's claims pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). The Court will deny the Coon Rapids Defendants' motion with respect to Parada's Fourth Amendment claims, equal-protection claim, Minnesota Constitution claims, and false-imprisonment claim. However, the Court will grant the Coon Rapids Defendants' motion with respect to Parada's due-process claims, because it will conclude that they are duplicative of her Fourth Amendment claims.


         Parada alleges the following facts. (Compl., March 22, 2018, Docket No. 1.)

         Parada - a Mexican citizen - resides in Ramsey, Minnesota.[6] (Id. ¶ 13, 34-35.) On July 25, 2017, Parada was driving her siblings and cousins home from her younger sister's birthday party. (Id. ¶ 23.) Around 6:40 p.m., a Caucasian driver rear-ended Parada. (Id. ¶ 26.) The other driver called the police, and Oman arrived at the scene around 6:46 p.m. (Id. ¶¶ 28-29.) Parada called her parents, who came to the scene. (Id. ¶ 27.)

         Oman asked Parada for her driver's license, which she did not have. (Id. ¶¶ 33-34.) Parada gave Oman her proof of insurance and her Matrícula Card - an official identification card issued by the Mexican Consulate. (Id. ¶¶ 34-35.) The Matrícula Card lists Parada's full name, date of birth, and U.S. address. (Id. ¶ 35.) It also has a recent photo of Parada and security features to ensure its authenticity. (Id.) Parada confirmed that all the information on her card was true and accurate, as did her step-father. (Id. ¶¶ 37-38.) Her step-father told Oman that he was the registered owner of the car and gave Oman his name, which Oman ran through his database. (Id. ¶¶ 37-38.)

         Oman went to his vehicle and spoke with Anoka County staff on his personal phone for several minutes. (Id. ¶ 39.) When Oman returned, he told Parada that his supervisor told him that he needed to “bring her in to get her prints.” (Id. ¶¶ 40-41.) In the police report, Oman wrote that he “transported Parada to jail since I was also unable to positively identify her.” (Id. ¶ 44.)

         Oman brought Parada to the Anoka County Jail around 7:20 p.m. (Id. ¶ 48.) Officers handcuffed Parada, patted her down, took her mugshot, and placed her in a cell. (Id. ¶¶ 49-52.) According to the jail records, Parada was free to leave on that same day, July 25. (Id. ¶¶ 54, 57.)

         However, Defendants did not release Parada that day. (Id. ¶ 59.) At approximately 11:00 p.m. on July 25, the Anoka County Sheriff's Office brought Parada to one of the unknown defendants, who questioned her for several minutes. (Id. ¶ 60.) At approximately 11:30 p.m., Parada was again brought to the unknown defendant to speak with ICE officers. (Id. ¶ 61.) Defendants did not advise Parada that she could refuse to speak with the ICE officers. (Id. ¶ 84.) The ICE officers questioned Parada about her immigration status. (Id. ¶ 62-63.) Parada asked the unknown defendant whether she needed an attorney, and he told her to ask ICE. When Parada asked ICE the same question, an ICE officer replied that “it goes faster without a lawyer.” (Id. ¶¶ 64-66.) Parada answered the ICE officers' questions about how she entered the United States. (Id. ¶ 67.) Parada was then taken back to her cell. (Id. ¶ 68.) An hour later, they took her fingerprints. (Id. ¶ 68.)

         The next day, July 26, ICE sent Anoka County an I-200 Warrant for Arrest of an Alien (“ICE Warrant”) and an I-247 ICE Detainer. (Id. ¶¶ 69-70.) The ICE Warrant was unsigned and the ICE Detainer was stamped with “Draft Not Complete” on every page. (Id. ¶¶ 70, 87.) Neither ICE nor Defendants served Parada with copies of these documents. (Id. ¶ 97.)

         At approximately 2:00 a.m. on July 26, Defendants brought Parada out of her cell, handed her a citation for driving without a license, and handed her over to two ICE agents. (Id. ¶¶ 74-75.) The ICE agents took her to Sherburne County Jail. (Id. ¶¶ 75-76.) An hour after transferring custody of Parada to ICE, Anoka County Defendants notified her family. (Id. ¶ 79.) Parada is currently in removal proceedings. (Id. ¶¶ 79-80.)

         Parada alleges that Coon Rapids and the Anoka County Sheriff's Office have policies and customs which require officers to detain foreign-born persons while awaiting transfer to immigration authorities. (Id. ¶¶ 112, 123, 137, 143, 145, 147, 149, 158, 163, 170.) She also alleges that Coon Rapids and the Anoka County Sheriff's Office have failed to train their employees on the Fourth Amendment and the rights of immigrants (Id.)



         In reviewing a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the Court views the complaint in “the light most favorable to the nonmoving party.” Lonaker v. Bos. Sci. Corp., 872 F.Supp.2d 816, 819 (D. Minn. 2012). The Court considers all facts alleged in the complaint as true to determine whether the complaint states “a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Braden v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 588 F.3d 585, 594 (8th Cir. 2009) (quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)). “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.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. “Where a complaint pleads facts that are ‘merely consistent with' a defendant's liability, it ‘stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility, '” and therefore must be dismissed. Id. (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 554, 557 (2007)). Although the Court accepts the complaint's factual allegations as true, it is “not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (quoting Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986)). Therefore, to survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must provide more than “‘labels and conclusions' or a ‘formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).

         Both parties have submitted evidence outside the pleadings in support of their arguments. “If, on a motion under Rule 12(b)(6) or 12(c), matters outside the pleadings are presented to and not excluded by the court, the motion must be treated as one for summary judgment under Rule 56.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(d). Because discovery has not yet begun, the Court concludes that summary judgment is premature. The Court will exclude the submitted evidence and will consider the motion under Rule 12(b)(6).

         A. 42 U.S.C. § 1983

         As to each of Parada's claims against Oman, the Court must decide whether Parada states a claim under § 1983 claim and whether Oman is entitled to qualified immunity for claims brought against him in his individual capacity. As to the claims against Coon Rapids, the Court must decide whether Parada can maintain each of her § 1983 claims against the municipality pursuant to Monell v. Department of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658, 690 (1978).

         Under § 1983,

Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State . . . subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or proper proceeding for redress.

42 U.S.C. § 1983.

         B. ...

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