Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Larsen v. Isanti County

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

January 25, 2019

KAITLIN M. LARSEN, Plaintiff,
v.
ISANTI COUNTY; and TARAN LEIGHT and JACOB ZIGAN, in their individual and official capacities, Defendants.

          Zorislav R. Leyderman, THE LAW OFFICE OF ZORISLAV R. LEYDERMAN, for plaintiff.

          Cally R. Kjellberh-Nelson and Dyan J. Ebert, QUINLIVAN & HUGHES, PA, for Defendant Isanti County.

          Ryan L. Kaess, KAESS LAW LLC, for Defendant Taran Leight.

          Michael T. Rengel, PEMBERTON SORLIE RUFER & KERSHNER, for Defendant Jacob Zigan.

          ORDER GRANTING PLAITIFF'S MOTION TO DISMISS OR STRIKE DEFENDANT LEIGHT'S COUNTERCLAIM

          JOHN R. TUNHEIM CHIEF JUDGE

         Plaintiff Kaitlin Larsen filed this action on July 26, 2018, alleging that Defendant Taran Leight engaged in acts of sexual misconduct against her while she was an inmate at the Isanti County Jail. (Compl. ¶¶ 9-16, July 26, 2018, Docket No. 1.) Larsen alleges, among other things, that: (1) in July 2017, Leight initiated sexual conversations with her through text message and the jail intercom system; (2) on July 27, 2017, Leight came into her cell, asked her to “spread her legs” so that he could see her vagina, and encouraged her to manually stimulate her vaginal area while he watched; (3) on July 28, 2017, Leight forcibly placed Larsen's hand on his genital area; and (4) Leight told Larsen to keep these acts and advances a secret, threatening that she would lose her job as the jail trustee if she told anyone. (Id.) Larsen complied with Leight's demands because she feared for her safety, feared that she would be reprimanded, disciplined, or otherwise punished, and feared that she would lose her job as the jail trustee. (Id. ¶¶ 9, 12.)

         Leight was served with a copy of the Summons and Complaint on August 24, 2018. (Decl. of Zorislav R. Leyderman (“Leyderman Decl.”) ¶ 6, Ex. 5, Nov. 14, 2018, Docket No. 14.) Leight did not file an answer or otherwise respond to the Complaint within the 21 days required by law. Rather, Leight filed his answer on October 24, 2018, 40 days after the deadline. (Def. Leight's Answer, Oct. 24, 2018, Docket No. 9.) Leight's filing included a counterclaim alleging that Larsen defamed him by reporting to a male corrections officer at Isanti County Jail that he had sexually assaulted and harassed her. (Id. at 4.) He alleged that Larsen's statement was false and that she knew it was false. (Id.) Leight did not seek leave of the Court to file a late pleading, nor did his Answer and Counterclaim contain any explanation for his late filing.

         Presently before the Court is Larsen's Motion to Dismiss or Strike Leight's Counterclaim. (Pl.'s Mot. to Dismiss, Nov. 14, 2018, Docket No. 12.) Larsen asks the Court to dismiss Leight's Counterclaim on the grounds that it fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted or to strike it because it was untimely. (Pl.'s Mem. Supp. at 3, Nov. 14, 2018, Docket No. 13.) Leight declined to respond to the motion.

         Leight's Counterclaim was untimely, and he has neither provided justification for the late filing nor opposed Larsen's Motion. As such, the Court will grant Larsen's Motion and will strike Leight's Counterclaim.

         Larsen also seeks to supplement the record with the Order and Warrant of Commitment that was entered in Leight's criminal prosecution. (Pl.'s Mot. to Supp., Jan. 22, 2019, Docket No. 25.) Because the Court can grant Larsen's Motion to Dismiss or Strike without considering this additional evidence, the Court will deny her Motion to Supplement the Record as moot.

         DISCUSSION

         Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(a)(1)(A), responsive pleadings must be filed within 21 days of service on the defendant. Leight filed his Answer and Counterclaim 61 days after he was served, or 40 days late.

         District courts have considerable discretion when ruling on motions to strike. See Nationwide Ins. Co. v. Cent. Mo. Electric Coop., Inc., 278 F.3d 742, 748 (8th Cir. 2001). Pleadings may be stricken when they are untimely. See, e.g., United States v. Lot 65 Pine Meadow, 976 F.2d 1155, 1156-57 (8th Cir. 1992); Semmelman v. Mellor, No. CIV. 05-644 MJD/AJB, 2006 WL 90094, at *3 (D. Minn. Jan. 13, 2006).

         Leight could have availed himself of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 6(b), which allows a court to extend the time for filing pleadings upon either a motion filed before the original deadline or a motion filed after the deadline if the filer shows “excusable neglect” for the delay. But Leight has filed no such motions and has ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.