United States District Court, D. Minnesota
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION AS
Wilhelmina M. Wright United States District Judge
matter is before the Court on the January 23, 2019 Report and
Recommendation (R&R) of United States Magistrate Judge
Steven E. Rau. (Dkt. 47.) Plaintiffs Russel John Hatton and
Lloyd Robert Desjarlais filed this action alleging statutory
and constitutional claims against 25 Defendants in their
individual and official capacities. Plaintiffs allege that,
when placed on the Minnesota Sex Offender Program's
disciplinary “Restrictive Status, ” they were
denied the opportunity to participate in communal Native
American religious ceremonies and that this denial violated
their rights. Defendants move to dismiss for lack of
subject-matter jurisdiction and failure to state a claim on
which relief can be granted. The R&R recommends granting
Defendants' motion to dismiss Plaintiffs' complaint
with prejudice. The R&R also recommends granting
Plaintiffs' motion to accept their late reply and denying
Plaintiffs' motion to amend their complaint. No.
objections to the R&R have been filed.
absence of timely objections, a district court reviews an
R&R for clear error. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)
advisory committee's note to 1983 amendment (“When
no timely objection is filed, the court need only satisfy
itself that there is no clear error on the face of the record
in order to accept the recommendation.”); Grinder
v. Gammon, 73 F.3d 793, 795 (8th Cir. 1996) (per
curiam). Having conducted a careful review, the Court finds
no clear error as to the R&R's recommendation that
the Court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction over
Plaintiffs' request for monetary damages from
official-capacity defendants and injunctive relief from
individual-capacity defendants. Plaintiffs also fail to state
a claim on which relief can be granted under the American
Indian Religious Freedom Act (AIRFA), 42 U.S.C. § 1996;
the Minnesota Constitution, Minn. Const. art. I, § 16;
the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act
(RLUIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc-1(b); and the First,
Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States
Constitution. And the Court finds no clear error as to the
R&R's recommendation to grant Plaintiffs' motion
to accept their late reply and to deny Plaintiffs' motion
to amend their complaint.
Court modifies the R&R, however, as it pertains to the
R&R's recommendation that this matter be dismissed
with prejudice. A dismissal with prejudice operates as an
adjudication on the merits. Semtek Int'l Inc. v.
Lockheed Martin Corp., 531 U.S. 497, 505 (2001). The
dismissal of a complaint typically is without prejudice
unless the complaint is so deficient or defective that it
cannot be cured. See, e.g., Wolff v. Bank of New
York Mellon, 997 F.Supp.2d 964, 980 n.8 (D. Minn. 2014).
And claims over which the Court lacks subject-matter
jurisdiction must be dismissed without
prejudice. See Hart v. United States, 630 F.3d 1085,
1091 (8th Cir. 2011). Here, only Plaintiffs' claims under
AIRFA and the Minnesota Constitution are fatally flawed.
Neither AIRFA nor the freedom-of-conscience provision in the
Minnesota Constitution provides a private cause of action.
See Eggenberger v. W. Albany Twp., 820 F.3d 938, 941
(8th Cir. 2016); Lockhart v. Kenops, 927 F.2d 1028,
1036 (8th Cir. 1991). For these reasons, the Court dismisses
with prejudice only Plaintiffs' claims pursuant to AIRFA
and the Minnesota Constitution, and dismisses without
prejudice the remaining claims.
on the R&R, the foregoing analysis, and all of the files,
records and proceedings herein, IT IS HEREBY
January 23, 2019 R&R, (Dkt. 47), is ADOPTED AS
Defendants' motion to dismiss, (Dkt. 17), is
GRANTED, and Plaintiffs' complaint is
DISMISSED as follows:
a. Plaintiffs' claims under the American Indian Religious
Freedom Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1996, and the Minnesota
Constitution, Minn. Const. art. I, § 16, are
DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.
b. Plaintiffs' remaining claims are DISMISSED
Plaintiffs' motion for the Court to accept their late
reply, (Dkt. 31), is GRANTED.
Plaintiffs' motion to amend their complaint, ...