United States District Court, D. Minnesota
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
R. THORSON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Wilbert Glover, a Minnesota state prisoner, brought this
action alleging violations of his constitutional rights by
officials at the county jail where he was previously
incarcerated. Glover also alleges that Tom Roy, the former
Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Corrections,
wrongfully denied grievances related to those constitutional
violations. Glover was previously ordered to pay an initial
partial filing fee of at least $4.50, see 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(b), and was warned that, as pleaded, his
Complaint failed to state a claim as to the state Defendants
(Roy and the Minnesota Department of Corrections).
See Doc. No. 3.
has now paid the required initial partial filing fee.
See Doc. No. 6. By separate order, this Court will
grant Glover's application to proceed in forma
pauperis with respect to Defendants Richard Rodriquez,
Albert Ross, R. Paul, Matt Bostrom, Greg Croucher, Joe Paget,
and Officer Hendrikt in both their individual capacities and
their official capacities as agents of Ramsey County,
explained to Glover previously, however, the Complaint does
not include an actionable claim for relief with respect to
Roy or the Minnesota Department of Corrections. See
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B); 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. As an
initial matter, the Minnesota Department of Corrections is a
state agency immune from suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
See, e.g., Allen v. Lopez, Civil No.
15-1860 (JRT/JJK), 2015 WL 13746677, at *5 (D. Minn. Dec. 1,
2015) (citing Glick v. Henderson, 855 F.2d 536, 540
(8th Cir. 1988)). The Minnesota Department of Corrections
must therefore be dismissed without prejudice on
contrast, is an appropriate Defendant under § 1983.
Still, though, Glover must include sufficient factual
allegations that, if proved true, would establish that Roy
himself acted unlawfully in order to succeed on claims
against Roy in his personal capacity. The sole conduct
alleged against Roy is that he was responsible for the denial
of grievances filed after Glover's transfer from county
jail to state prison. But the denial of grievances does not
amount to a substantive constitutional claim. See Lomholt
v. Holder, 287 F.3d 683, 684 (8th Cir. 2002) (per
curiam). There is no basis in the Complaint upon which to
find that Roy himself acted unlawfully. It is therefore
recommended that the individual-capacity claims against Roy
be dismissed from this action without prejudice.
Glover names each of the Defendants in both their personal
and official capacities. The Complaint seeks only monetary
relief. With respect to the county officials, Glover's
official-capacity claim amounts to an attempt to seek relief
directly from Ramsey County, Minnesota, a
“person” for purposes of § 1983 and an
entity not immune from suit. See Monell v. Department of
Social Services, 436 U.S. 658 (1978). With respect to
Roy, however, Glover's official-capacity claim amounts to
an attempt to seek relief directly from the State of
Minnesota, which, like the attempt to seek relief from the
Minnesota Department of Corrections, is thwarted by the
state's sovereign immunity from claims under § 1983.
See, e.g., McCoy v. Carter-Jones Timber
Co., 352 Fed. App'x 119, 121 (8th Cir. 2009) (per
curiam). Accordingly, the claims against Roy in his official
capacity as an agent of the State of Minnesota must be
dismissed without prejudice as well.
on the foregoing, and on all of the files, records, and
proceedings herein, IT IS HEREBY RECOMMENDED
that Defendants Tom Roy and the Minnesota Department of
Corrections be DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.
Objections: This Report and Recommendation is not an
order or judgment of the District Court and is therefore not
appealable directly to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Local Rule 72.2(b)(1), “a party may file and serve
specific written objections to a magistrate judge's
proposed finding and recommendations within 14 days after
being served a copy” of the Report and Recommendation.
A party may respond to those objections within 14 days after
being served a copy of the objections. See Local