United States District Court, D. Minnesota
KAITLIN M. LARSEN, Plaintiff,
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.
R. Kjellberh-Nelson and Dyan J. Ebert, QUINLIVAN &
HUGHES, PA, for Defendant Isanti County.
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
R. TUNHEIM CHIEF JUDGE
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.)
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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).
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 ...