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Stahlmann v. Ramsey County Community Corrections

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

April 9, 2019

Edward D. Stahlmann, Plaintiff,
v.
Ramsey County Community Corrections, Ramsey County Sheriff's Office, County of Ramsey, Ramsey County Adult Detention Center Defendants.

          Edward D. Stahlmann, pro se

          Kimberly Parker, Ramsey County Attorney's Office, for Ramsey County Defendants

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          HILDY BOWBEER, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on Defendants Ramsey County Community Corrections, Ramsey County Sheriff's Office, County of Ramsey, and Ramsey County Adult Detention Center (collectively the “County Defendants”) Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff Edward Stahlmann's Complaint (“Motion to Dismiss”) [Doc. No. 4]. The motion has been referred to the undersigned pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636 and District of Minnesota Local Rule 72.1. See (Order for Referral [Doc. No. 8].) For the reasons stated below, the Court recommends granting the County Defendants' Motion to Dismiss to the extent it seeks dismissal of Plaintiff's claims, but recommends the dismissal as to Ramsey County be without prejudice.

         I. Background

         Plaintiff alleges four counts against the County Defendants: (1) violation of his right to counsel, (2) cruel and unusual punishment, (3) failure to provide adequate mental health care, and (4) failure to provide adequate medical care. (Notice of Removal Ex. A [Doc. No. 1-1 ¶¶ 21-24].[1]) As discussed below, given the liberal treatment afforded pro se submissions, the Court construes these allegations as Monell claims[2] under 42 U.S.C. 1983.

         A. Procedural History

         On July 10, 2018, Plaintiff filed a Complaint in Ramsey County District Court seeking damages against the Minnesota Department of Corrections and the County Defendants. The Complaint alleged various constitutional violations and a failure to provide adequate mental health and medical care while he was being held at the Ramsey County Adult Detention Center. See (Compl.) On October 8, 2018, and based on a stipulation reached by the Plaintiff and the Minnesota Department of Corrections, Ramsey County District Court Judge Leonardo Castro dismissed all claims against the Minnesota Department of Corrections with prejudice. (Notice of Removal Ex. B [Doc. No. 1-1 at 10].)

         The County Defendants subsequently removed the case to federal court on November 7, 2018, see (Notice of Removal [Doc. No. 1]), and moved for dismissal pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (Motion to Dismiss.) On November 14, 2018, the undersigned ordered that Plaintiff's response to Defendant's motion to dismiss be filed no later than December 7, 2018, and Defendant's reply be filed no later than fourteen days after Plaintiff's response. No. response was filed by Plaintiff, and on December 27, 2018, the Court took Defendant's motion under advisement on the papers. (Dec. 27, 2018, Order [Doc. No. 10].)

         B. Allegations in the Complaint

         Plaintiff alleges that on June 26, 2018, he was on supervised release in the community and became “very suicidal.” (Compl. ¶ 6.) Two days later, Plaintiff's Supervising Agent from Ramsey County Community Corrections issued a warrant for Plaintiff in response to a violation of his supervised release. (Compl. ¶ 7.) Plaintiff turned himself in on the warrant at the Sherburne County Jail and was transported to Mercy Hospital due to his unstable mental condition and ingestion of approximately 100 Excedrin pills. (Compl. ¶¶ 9-10.) Plaintiff was then transferred to Unity Hospital, at which time Minnesota Department of Corrections officers began supervising Plaintiff.

         Plaintiff asserts that the next day, the Department of Corrections overrode Unity Hospital's desire to admit Plaintiff for a psychological evaluation and transported Plaintiff to the Ramsey County Adult Detention Center. (Compl. ¶ 12.) Plaintiff was booked and placed in a suicide cell, on suicide watch, and was not allowed to use a telephone to contact legal counsel or notify his family of his location. (Compl. ¶ 13.) The following day, Plaintiff began to bang his head against the wall of his cell. (Compl. ¶ 14.) When this behavior was noticed by staff, Adult Detention Center deputies placed Plaintiff in a restraint chair, but did not evaluate him for a possible concussion despite Plaintiff's complaints of nausea, headache, light-headedness, and blurred vision. (Compl. ¶¶ 15-16.)

         Plaintiff states that he was returned to his cell on suicide watch and was not allowed access to a telephone until July 3, 2018-five days after turning himself in to the Sherburne County Jail. (Compl. ¶ 18.) A few days later, on July 7, 2018, Plaintiff was placed on “23-hour restriction” for using another inmate's PIN number in violation of the jail's telephone policy. (Compl. ¶ 19.) Plaintiff states he was not allowed out of his cell until July 9, 2018, amounting to over 36 hours in a cell with no access to a shower or recreational activities. (Compl. ¶ 20.)

         Plaintiff alleges that the County Defendants violated his “right to counsel, ” inflicted cruel and unusual punishment on him, failed to provide adequate mental health care, and failed to provide adequate medical care. (Compl. ¶¶ 21-24.) Plaintiff seeks five million dollars “in pain and suffering, for having to endure days of un-treated mental ...


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