United States District Court, D. Minnesota
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION AS
E. Brasel United States District Judge
who are civilly committed to the Minnesota Sex Offender
Program, have brought various claims because Defendants
denied their request to be roommates at the program based on
safety concerns. In a Report and Recommendation dated
December 14, 2018 [ECF No. 32 (“R&R”)],
United States Magistrate Judge Tony N. Leung recommended that
Defendants' motion be granted in part and denied in part.
Both parties filed objections to the R&R and replies to
the objections. [ECF Nos. 36 (“Pl.'s Obj.”),
38 (“Def. Reply”), 34 (“Def. Obj.”),
39 (“Pl. Reply”).] For the reasons set forth
below, the Court now overrules Plaintiffs' objection,
accepts Defendants' objection and adopts the R&R, as
modified, consistent with this order.
facts are clearly set forth in the R&R and are
incorporated by reference for purposes of the Plaintiffs'
and Defendants' objections. In short, Plaintiffs Daywitt
and Parks are civilly committed to the Minnesota Sex Offender
Program (“MSOP”). [ECF No. 1
(“Compl.”) ¶¶ 5-6, 22.] Plaintiffs were
previously, but are no longer, involved in a romantic
relationship. (Compl. ¶ 24.) Plaintiffs would like
to and have requested to become roommates, but Defendants
denied the request. (Compl. ¶¶ 29,
27-2.) Plaintiffs filed this action seeking
monetary and injunctive relief, alleging that Defendants'
decision to deny Plaintiffs' request to be roommates
violates their civil rights. Specifically, Plaintiffs allege
that Defendants' denial of their roommate request
violated (1) the Minnesota Human Rights Act, Minn. Stat.
§§ 363A.01, et seq. and (2) the Equal
Protection Clause of the United States Constitution, U.S.
Const. amend. XIV, § 1, and the equivalent protections
under the Minnesota Constitution, Minn. Const. art. I, §
2. (See gen. Compl.) Plaintiffs also seek injunctive
and declaratory relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 2000a-3.
previously brought a similar action, which was ultimately
dismissed. See Daywitt v. Minnesota Dep't of Human
Services, No. 16-cv-648, 2017 WL 8947245, at *1 (D.
Minn. Jan. 27, 2017), report and recommendation adopted
as modified by 2017 WL 1406374 (D. Minn. Apr. 20, 2017).
In the prior case, the Court dismissed Plaintiffs' Civil
Rights Act claims and declaratory judgment claim with
prejudice and dismissed Plaintiffs' equal protection
claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 without prejudice. (See
id.) The Court declined to exercise jurisdiction over
Plaintiffs' state law MHRA claim and dismissed that claim
without prejudice. (See id.)
Standard of Review
magistrate judge's report and recommendation is filed, a
party may “serve and file specific written objections
to the proposed findings and recommendations.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(2); D. Minn. LR 72.2(b). If a party
objects to a magistrate judge's report and
recommendation, the Court “shall make a de novo
determination of those portions of the report or specified
proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is
made.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). This court may
accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings
or recommendations made by the magistrate judge. Id.
If no party has objected to the R&R the Court reviews it
for clear error. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b);
Grinder v. Gammon, 73 F.3d 793, 795 (8th Cir. 1996)
(per curiam). The Court has conducted a de novo
review of the record for those specific portions of the
R&R to which objection has been made, including a review
of the arguments and submissions of counsel, pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(2), and Local
Rule 72.2(b). The Court reviews the sections of the R&R
to which no objection has been made for clear error.
The Parties' Objections
accept the majority of Judge Leung's R&R recommending
dismissal of their claims, but make the following objections:
(1) Plaintiffs contend Judge Leung erred in failing to
sanction the Defendants (by dismissing their motion) for a
failure to meet and confer prior to the motion; and (2)
Plaintiffs contend the R&R addresses a claim brought
pursuant to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which Plaintiffs
argue they did not raise in their complaint. Plaintiffs state
that they “would not disagree with the remainder of the
R&R's conclusions given the case law cited for
reasoning of dismissal.” (See Pl.'s Obj.
their part, Defendants request that the Court adopt the
R&R in its entirety, with the exception of Judge
Leung's recommendation to deny Defendants' motion to
dismiss Plaintiffs' Section 1983 Equal Protection Claim
against the individual Defendants in their official capacity.
(Def. Obj. at 1 n.1.)
initial matter, having reviewed the R&R for clear error
with respect to the sections to which no objection has been
made, the Court finds no clear error as to the Judge
Leung's recommendation that the Eleventh Amendment bars
Plaintiffs' state and federal claims against MSOP and the
Minnesota Department of Human Services, Plaintiffs' MHRA
claim against the individual Defendants in their official
capacity, Plaintiffs' MHRA claim for monetary relief
against the individual Defendants in their individual
capacities, Plaintiffs' federal law claims against the
individual Defendants in their official capacity for monetary
relief, and Plaintiffs' federal law claims against the
individual Defendants in their individual capacity for
injunctive and declaratory relief. (See R&R at
Court also finds no clear error in the R&R's
recommendation that the doctrine of qualified immunity bars
Plaintiffs' claim under Section 1983 for monetary relief
against the individual Defendants acting in their individual
capacity, and Plaintiffs' Section 1983 claim, to the
extent it alleges a violation of the Equal Protection Clause
of the Minnesota Constitution, also fails because Section
1983 does not provide a cause of action for violations of the
Minnesota Constitution. (See id.)
to the extent that Plaintiffs assert a claim for injunctive
and declaratory relief under Title II of the Civil Rights Act
of 1964, the Court finds no clear error in the R&R's
recommendation to dismiss that claim. The Court below addresses
each of the objections made.
Local Rule 7.1's Meet ...