United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Jessica Monique Rowell, (pro se Plaintiff).
Matthew Hart, Assistant Attorney General, Office of the
Minnesota Attorney General, (for Respondent Tara L. Lassen in
her official capacity only).
REPORT & RECOMMENDATION
N. Leung United States Magistrate Judge.
matter is before the Court, United States Magistrate Judge
Tony N. Leung, on Defendant's Motion to Dismiss
Plaintiff's Complaint. ECF No. 13. This motion has been
referred to the undersigned magistrate judge for a Report
& Recommendation to the Honorable Michael J. Davis,
United States District Judge for the District of Minnesota,
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Local Rule 72.1.
Based on all the files, records, and proceedings herein, and
for the reasons that follow, the Court recommends that
Defendant's motion be GRANTED.
was civilly committed as Mentally Ill. and Dangerous to the
custody of the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of
Human Services on March 30, 2018. ECF No. 1-1, p. 4. She
resides at the Minnesota Security Hospital
(“MSH”). Id. On July 31, 2018, following
reports that Plaintiff acted aggressively towards hospital
staff and other patients, the State sought judicial
authorization to administer neuroleptic medications to
Plaintiff without her consent. See id. at 3-19;
In the Matter of the Civil Commitment of Jessica Monique
Rowell, Ramsey County Court File No. 62-MH-PR-17-494
(“Ramsey County Court File”), Index No. 70. The
Ramsey County District Court held a court trial on the issue
on August 29, 2018. See Ramsey County Court File.
That day, following the trial, the court issued a one-page
order permitting the State to administer various atypical
neuroleptics to Plaintiff. Order, Ramsey County Court File,
Index No. 88.
days later, Plaintiff filed a complaint with this Court
seeking an order prohibiting the State from giving Plaintiff
medication without her consent, her release from MSH, and
$937, 000 in damages. ECF No. 1, p. 4. The complaint
names only Tara L. Lassen, the Advanced Practice Registered
Nurse treating Plaintiff, as Defendant. ECF No. 1, pp. 1-2.
Shortly after Plaintiff filed the complaint, the Ramsey
County District Court issued an amended order modifying the
medications the state was allowed to administer to Plaintiff.
Amended Order, Ramsey County Court File, Index No. 91. Then,
approximately two weeks later, the Ramsey County District
Court issued its “Findings and Order for Treatment with
Neuroleptic Medications” which contained the
court's findings from the August 29, 2018 court trial and
an order permitting the state to administer the same
medications as those authorized by the Amended Order.
Findings and Order for Treatment with Neuroleptic
Medications, Ramsey County Court File, Index No. 93.
has moved to dismiss under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6). ECF No. 15, p. 2. When considering a
Rule 12(b)(1) motion, courts “distinguish between a
‘facial attack' and a ‘factual attack' on
jurisdiction.” Carlsen v. Game Stop, Inc., 833
F.3d 903, 908 (8th Cir. 2016) (quotation omitted). “In
a facial attack, the court restricts itself to the face of
the pleadings, and the non-moving party receives the same
protections as it would defending against a motion brought
under Rule 12(b)(6).” Id. (citation and
internal quotations omitted). “In a factual attack, the
court considers matters outside the pleadings, and the
non-moving party does not have the benefit of 12(b)(6)
12(b)(6) allows dismissal for failure to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted. For the purpose of determining
Defendant's motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) this
Court must take the Plaintiff's factual allegations as
true. Braden v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 588 F.3d 585,
594 (8th Cir. 2009). In order to meet the 12(b)(6) pleading
standard, “a complaint must contain sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face.'” Id.
(internal quotation marks omitted) (quoting Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)). The Court is not,
however, “bound to accept as true a legal conclusion
couched as a factual allegation.” Bell Atl. Corp.
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting
Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986)). A
complaint that merely “offers ‘labels and
conclusions' or ‘a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action . . .'” or that makes
“‘naked assertions' devoid of ‘further
factual enhancement'” fails to meet the Rule
12(b)(6) facial plausibility standard. Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 557
(2007)). “A claim has facial plausibility when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S.
pro se complaint is to be liberally construed, but
still must plead facts that support its legal conclusions.
See Stone v. Harry, 364 F.3d 912, 914 (8th Cir.
2004); Kaylor v. Fields, 661 F.2d 1177, 1183 (8th
Cir. 1981). This Court cannot supply additional facts nor can
it construct a legal theory for relief that is not alleged in
the complaint when deciding a motion to dismiss against a
pro se plaintiff. Stone, 364 F.3d at 915.
But in deciding a motion to dismiss, the Court “may
consider the complaint, matters of public record, orders,
materials embraced by the complaint, and exhibits attached to
the complaint . . . .” Wickner v. McComb, No.
09-cv-966 (DWF/JJK), 2010 WL 610913, at *3 (D. Minn. Feb. 19,
2010) (citing Porous Media Corp. v. Pall Corp., 186
F.3d 1077, 1079 (8th Cir. 1999)).
Eleventh Amendment Bars Plaintiff's Claim for Monetary
Eleventh Amendment prohibits lawsuits against a state in
federal court by citizens of that or other states.
See U.S. Const. amend. XI; Hans v.
Louisiana, 134 U.S. 1, 11-21 (1890). It further bars
claims for damages in actions brought against state officials
in their official capacity. Kentucky v. Graham, 473
U.S. 159, 169 (1985) (citing Corey v. White, 457
U.S. 85, 90 (1982)). This is because claims against state
officials in their official ...