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Ball v. Nilsson

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

June 27, 2019

Jeannie F. Ball, Plaintiff,
v.
James A. Nilsson, Defendant.

          JEANNIE F. BALL, PRO SE.

          JAMES ARTHUR NILSSON, PRO SE.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER ON REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          SUSAN RICHARD NELSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Jeannie F. Ball's Objections [Doc. No. 20] to the Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) of Magistrate Judge Leo I. Brisbois [Doc. No. 19] recommending that this Court grant Defendant James A. Nilsson's Motion to Dismiss [Doc. No. 3]. For the reasons set forth below, this Court overrules Plaintiff's Objections, adopts the R&R in its entirety, and grants Defendant's Motion to Dismiss.

         I. Background

         Plaintiff and Defendant are neighboring property owners in Duluth, Minnesota. (Def.'s Mot. to Dismiss at 3.) In October 2015, Defendant filed a lawsuit against Plaintiff over a property line dispute in St. Louis County District Court. (Def.'s Reply, Ex. 23 [Doc. No. 14-2].) A little over a year later, on November 23, 2016, the state court judge entered judgment in favor of Defendant finding that he was the exclusive owner of the disputed property, that there were no issues of material fact on his trespass and ejectment claims, and awarded him damages on his trespass claim. (Id. at 3.)

         Plaintiff appealed. On January 20, 2019, the Minnesota State Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the case. (Pl.'s Resp. in Opp. to Mot. to Dismiss, Ex. 1 [Doc. No. 9].) The parties were set to appear again in St. Louis County District Court on March 7, 2019. (Def.'s Mot. to Dismiss at 3.)

         On December 21, 2018, Plaintiff filed this case in federal court. Plaintiff makes several allegations against Defendant, which liberally construed, are claims that Defendant violated her substantive due process rights and the takings clause under the Fifth Amendment, violated her procedural due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment, and state law claims for invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress, trespass, conversion, and defamation.[1] (Compl. at 3-4.)

         Defendant now moves to dismiss, arguing that the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction and that Plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (Def.'s Mot. to Dismiss. at 3.)

         On April 5, 2019, Magistrate Judge Brisbois recommended granting Defendant's Motion to Dismiss. (R&R at 13.) Plaintiff timely objected. Defendant responded to Plaintiff's Objections [Doc. No. 23]. In his response, Defendant asserts the R&R correctly recommended that this Court grant his Motion to Dismiss because Plaintiff's claims are without merit. (Def.'s Resp. to Plaintiff's Obj. at 1-2.)

         II. Discussion

         Upon issuance of an R&R, a party may “serve and file specific written objections to the proposed findings and recommendations.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(2). “The objections should specify the portion of the magistrate judge's [R&R] to which objections are made and provide a basis for those objections.” Mayer v. Walvatne, No. 07-cv-1958 (JRT/RLE), 2008 WL 4527774, at *2 (D. Minn. Sept. 28, 2008). Then, the district court will review de novo those portions of the R&R to which an objection is made, and it “may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3); D. Minn. LR 72.2(b)(3).

         “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 complaint states a plausible claim for relief if its ‘factual content . . . allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.'” Braden v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 588 F.3d 585, 594 (8th Cir. 2009) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678).

         Success need not be probable to survive a motion to dismiss, but there must be more than the “sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. However, “legal conclusions or ‘formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action'. . . may properly be set aside.” Braden, 588 F.3d at 594 (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). When considering a 12(b)(6) motion, the district court accepts as true all factual allegations in the ...


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