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Sayen v. Schurrer

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

April 4, 2019

Michael S. Sayen, Plaintiff,
v.
Gary R. Schurrer, John C. Hoffman, and Tad V. Jude, all in their individual capacities, Defendants.

          Michael S. Sayen, pro se.

          Kathryn I. Landrum, Minnesota Attorney General's Office, for Gary R. Schurrer, John C. Hoffman, and Tad V. Jude.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          HILDY BOWBEER, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on Defendants Gary R. Schurrer, John C. Hoffman, and Tad V. Jude's Motion to Dismiss [Doc. No. 9]; and Plaintiff Michael S. Sayen's Motion to Suspend Criminal Cases of Harassment Restraining Order Associated with Case Until Completion of Federal Lawsuit [Doc. No. 6]. The motions were referred to this Court for report and recommendation by the Honorable Nancy E. Brasel in an Order of Reference dated January 17, 2019 [Doc. No. 16].

         I. Background

         Plaintiff Michael S. Sayen is suing state court judges Gary R. Schurrer, John C. Hoffman, and Thaddeaus V. Jude in their individual capacities, challenging several orders entered in state-court marital dissolution and child custody proceedings. (Compl. ¶¶ 7-10 [Doc. No. 1].) On July 27, 2017, Judge Schurrer entered Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, Order for Judgment, and Judgment and Decree (“Judgment and Decree”) in Washington County District Court, dissolving Plaintiff's marriage, awarding his ex-wife sole legal and physical custody of their child, and setting the amount and conditions of visitation and child support. (See Landrum Aff. Ex. B [Doc. No. 13-1].)[1]On October 29, 2018, Judge Jude granted a petition for an ex parte harassment restraining order (“HRO”) filed by Plaintiff's ex-wife. (Landrum Aff. Ex. G.) On November 15, 2018, after a hearing on the petition, Judge Hoffman issued an HRO effective until November 15, 2020. (Landrum Aff. Ex. H.) Plaintiff was charged with violating the HRO on December 24, 2018 (Landrum Aff. Ex. J), and a Criminal Domestic Abuse No. Contact Order was issued forbidding Plaintiff from being outside his vehicle within 100 yards of his ex-wife's residence (Landrum Aff. Ex. K).

         In this action, Plaintiff brings claims pursuant to the First and Fourteenth Amendments, via 42 U.S.C. § 1983; a claim challenging the constitutionality of Minn. Stat. § 518.06, Minnesota's dissolution of marriage statute; and a disability discrimination claim under 42 U.S.C. § 12101. (Compl. ¶¶ 4, 7.) Plaintiff seeks declaratory relief, inter alia, rendering Minn. Stat. § 518.06 unconstitutional and vacating the Judgment and Decree. (Compl. Req. Relief.) He also “seeks injunctive relief to prohibit state judges from operating under color of law, ” as well as $300, 000 in damages from Judge Schurrer. (Id.) Plaintiff attached an exhibit to his Complaint in which he expounds on his claims. (See Compl. Ex. 1 [Doc. No. 1-1].)

         On January 16, 2019, Plaintiff filed a motion to stay the state criminal proceeding brought against him for allegedly violating the HRO. (Pl.'s Mot. Suspend [Doc. No. 6].) On January 17, 2019, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and for failure to state a claim pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6). (Defs.' Mot. Dismiss [Doc. No. 9].) Defendants also opposed Plaintiff's motion to stay the state criminal proceeding. (Defs.' Mem. Supp. Mot. Dismiss and Opp'n Mot. Suspend at 1 [Doc. No. 12].) Plaintiff filed a memorandum in opposition to the motion to dismiss [Doc. No. 21], but Plaintiff did not attend the motion hearing on March 4, 2019 (see Ct. Mins. [Doc. No. 31]).

         II. Legal Standards

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) permits a party to move to dismiss a complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. A party contesting subject matter jurisdiction may mount either a facial challenge or a factual challenge to a court's jurisdiction. See Osborn v. United States, 918 F.2d 724, 729-30 & n.6 (8th Cir. 1990). On a facial attack, the court limits its consideration to the allegations of the complaint. Id. at 729 & n.6. On a factual attack, the court may consider matters outside the pleadings without converting the motion to one for summary judgment. Id. Here, Defendants mount a facial challenge to the Court's subject matter jurisdiction.

         On a motion to dismiss brought pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), the Court “must take the well-pleaded allegations of the complaint as true, and construe the complaint, and all reasonable inferences arising therefrom, most favorably to the pleader.” Morton v. Becker, 793 F.2d 185, 187 (8th Cir. 1986). “To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim is facially plausible “when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. A court has the duty to construe liberally a pro se party's pleadings. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976).

         Generally, a court may not consider matters outside the pleadings in assessing the sufficiency of a complaint under the Rule 12(b)(6) standard. Porous Media Corp. v. Pall Corp., 186 F.3d 1077, 1079 (8th Cir. 1999) (citations omitted). A court may make exceptions to this rule for matters of public record, materials “necessarily embraced by” the complaint, and exhibits submitted with the complaint. Id. (citations omitted).

         III. Discussion

         A. ...


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