United States District Court, D. Minnesota
In Re the Matter of John Doe, by and through his parents, James Doe and Jane Doe, Plaintiff,
Saint Paul Conservatory for the Performing Arts,  Defendant.
Margaret O'Sullivan Kane, Esq., Kane Education Law, LLC,
counsel for Plaintiff.
Christian R. Shafer, Esq., and Timothy A. Sullivan, Esq.,
Ratwik, Roszak & Maloney, PA, counsel for Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
DONOVAN W. FRANK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on a Motion to Dismiss, brought by
Defendant St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists
(“SPCPA”). (Doc. No. 66.) In addition, the Court
considers Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Amend
Complaint. (Doc. No. 81.) For the reasons set forth below,
the Court denies Plaintiff's motion for leave to amend
and grants SPCPA's motion to dismiss.
background of this case has been set forth in prior orders.
The Court briefly summarizes the relevant facts. SPCPA is a
public charter school. (Doc. No. 63 (“Am.
Compl.”) ¶ 7.) At all relevant times, Plaintiff
John Doe (“Plaintiff”), by and through his
parents, James Doe and Jane Doe, was a student enrolled at
SPCPA. (Id. ¶¶ 4-5.) SPCPA prohibits
harassment or violence on the basis of sex and its policy
imposes a 5-day suspension for a first offense. (Pl's Ex.
3 at 25, 29.)
October 9, 2017, SPCPA's dean informed Plaintiff that
three female students complained that he had touched them
inappropriately. (Am. Compl. ¶ 12; Pl's Ex. 8
(Notice of Suspension).) Plaintiff denied the allegations.
(Am. Compl. ¶ 12.) The dean noted that Plaintiff
eventually admitted to “touching multiple female
students, ” while he denied other aspects of the
students' allegations and said he was not aware his
behavior had bothered them. (Pl's Ex. 7 (Dean Raleigh
Notes).) That day, SPCPA informed Plaintiff and his parents
that he would be suspended for three days. (Am. Compl. ¶
his suspension, Plaintiff was the target of bullying on
social media. (Id. ¶ 21.) One week later, on
October 16, 2017, Plaintiff returned to school. (Id.
¶ 26.) He was “ostracized by his peers . . .
because of the stigmatizing allegations.” (Id.
¶ 32.) On the morning of October 25, 2017, Plaintiff was
confronted by protesters on his way into school.
(Id. ¶ 33.) The next day, he stopped attending
SPCPA. (Id. ¶ 35.)
commenced this action on November 6, 2017. (Doc. No. 1.) He
originally brought two claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for
the denial of due process, and one invasion of privacy claim.
On February 8, 2018, Plaintiff moved to amend his complaint,
seeking to add (1) a Title IX claim alleging that he was
denied due process because of his sex, and (2) a state
common-law negligence claim. (Doc. No. 29.) Magistrate Judge
Franklin L. Noel denied Plaintiff leave to bring the Title IX
claim and granted Plaintiff leave to bring a negligence
claim. (Doc. No. 58 (the “Magistrate Judge's
Order”).) On June 25, 2018, this Court dismissed
Plaintiff's original complaint with prejudice while
noting that Plaintiff's negligence claim remained. (Doc.
17, 2018, Plaintiff filed his Amended Complaint, asserting a
single count of negligence against SPCPA. (Am. Compl.
¶¶ 55-58.) On July 27, 2018, Defendants filed the
present motion to dismiss. And despite the Magistrate
Judge's Order, on October 1, 2018, Plaintiff again sought
leave to add a Title IX claim. (Doc. No. 81.)
Motion to Amend
Court has discretion to grant a plaintiff leave to amend a
complaint and “should freely give leave when justice so
requires.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2). However, there is no
absolute right to amend, and the Court may deny leave to
amend where there is “undue delay, bad faith on the
part of the moving party, futility of the amendment or unfair
prejudice to the opposing party.” Sanders v. Clemco
Indus., 823 F.2d 214, 216 (8th Cir. 1987). An amendment
is considered futile if “the amended complaint could
not withstand a motion to dismiss under ...