United States District Court, D. Minnesota
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
BRISBOIS U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter comes before the undersigned United States Magistrate
Judge pursuant to a general assignment made in accordance
with the provision of 28 U.S.C. § 636, and upon
Plaintiff's Complaint, [Docket No. 10],  as well as, his
Applications to Proceeds in District Court Without Prepaying
Fees or Costs. [Docket No. 6].
is civilly committed at the Minnesota Sex Offender Program
(MSOP), based on a judicial finding that he is a
“sexual psychopathic personality.” In re
Civil Commitment of Thomas, No. A15-0192, 2015
WL 4508338, at *1 (Minn.Ct.App. July 27, 2015). The Minnesota
Court of Appeals described the proceedings leading to that
commitment as follows:
[Thomas] has a history of sexual-assault convictions,
including a 1987 conviction for the rape and beating of two
15-year-old girls, two 1994 convictions for the rape of
13-year-old and 14-year-old girls, and a 2008 conviction for
the rape of a woman, who suffered from Parkinson's
disease, while in the presence of Thomas's seven-year-old
niece. He also has “at least eight parole revocations,
” including four instances of absconding.
While incarcerated, Thomas participated intermittently in
sex-offender treatment programs, but never completed any of
them. A summary of Thomas's treatment history reported
that “Thomas admitted that he felt entitled to sex, and
‘the more the better.' He also indicated he chose
victims he thought would be willing to engage in sexual
behavior with him with little resistance.”
In June 2014, the state petitioned the district court to
commit Thomas as a sexually dangerous person and a sexual
psychopathic personality. The district court convened a
hearing in November 2014, receiving three expert reports
addressing whether Thomas met the criteria for commitment.
Two of the experts also testified at the hearing.
Each of the experts recommended that Thomas be committed as a
sexually dangerous person and a sexual psychopathic
personality. They agreed that Thomas was “highly likely
to reoffend” and that there was no suitable
less-restrictive alternative to commitment. After finding
each of their opinions to be credible, the district court
considered the six factors listed in In re Linehan,
518 N.W.2d 609 (Minn. 1994) (Linehan I), and the
five factors from In re Linehan, 594 N.W.2d 867
(Minn. 1999) (Linehan IV), concluding that each
factor supported commitment.
The district court also considered Thomas's argument that
his existing criminal sentence of lifetime supervised release
could operate as a less-restrictive alternative to
commitment. Based on Thomas's “extensive history of
failures under corrections supervision [and] continued sexual
offenses despite treatment and corrections consequences,
” it found that Thomas “may not be safely placed
in the community at this time.” The district court
concluded that Thomas had not shown “clear and
convincing evidence that a less restrictive treatment program
is available which is consistent with [Thomas's]
treatment needs and the requirements of public safety.”
Accordingly, it ordered that Thomas be indeterminately
committed to the [MSOP].
Id. Thomas appealed the district-court order
committing him to the MSOP, but the Minnesota Court of
Appeals affirmed his commitment. See, Id.
convictions noted above implicated various legal
consequences, two of which are critical to this action.
First, under Minnesota law, courts sentencing persons
convicted of sexual offenses must impose (depending on the
conviction's circumstances) either a ten-year or a
lifetime term of conditional release. See, Minn.
Stat. § 609.3455, subds. 6-7. Second, Minnesota law
requires that those convicted of sexual offenses register
with the state and regularly provide information
regarding-among other things-addresses, work location, and
vehicles owned; failure to register or provide accurate
information is a criminal offense. See, Minn. Stat.
present action, Thomas challenges the legality of
Minnesota's conditional-release and registration
statutes. (See, Compl., [Docket No. 10], at 1).
Thomas contends that various Defendants (1)
“[t]hreatened, intimidated or coerced [him] to enter
MSOP subject to violation of conditional release”; (2)
“imposed upon [him] a conditional release term [for]
which . . . [he] was never indicted under the proper
statute”; and (3) “unreasonably direct[ed] . . .
Minnesota Department of Human Services employees to inform
[Thomas's] supervising agent of noncompliance with the
terms of conditional release, ” with the result of such
a report being a revocation of conditional release.
(Id. at 5). Thomas asserts that this alleged conduct
violates his federal constitutional rights, as well as, the
“Bane Act.” (See, Id. at 5,
34-35). Thomas also suggests that various provisions of the
registration statute are themselves unconstitutional, at
least in part due to their allegedly retributive character.
(See, Id. at 23-25).
did not pay the filing fee for this matter, but instead
applied for in forma pauperis (hereinafter “IFP”)
status. (See, e.g., IFP Appl. [Docket No.
11]). Thomas's IFP Applications are now
before the Court, and they must be considered before any
other action may be taken in this matter.
review, this Court concludes that Thomas qualifies
financially for IFP status. However, an IFP application will
be denied, and an action dismissed, when an IFP applicant has
filed a complaint that fails to state a cause of action on
which relief may be granted. See, 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii); Atkinson v. Bohn, 91 F.3d 1127,
1128 (8th Cir. 1996) (per curiam); Carter v.
Schafer, 273 Fed.Appx. 581, 582 (8th Cir. 2008) (per
curiam) (“[C]ontrary to plaintiffs' arguments on
appeal, the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e) apply to
all persons proceeding IFP and are not limited to prisoner
suits, and the provisions allow dismissal without
reviewing whether a complaint states a claim on which relief
may be granted, a court accepts the complaint's factual
allegations as true and draws all reasonable inferences in
the plaintiff's favor. See, Aten v.
Scottsdale Ins. Co., 511 F.3d 818, 820 (8th Cir. 2008).
Although the complaint's factual allegations need not be
detailed, they must be sufficient to “raise a right to
relief above the speculative level . . . .” Bell
Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). The
complaint must “state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Id. at 570. In
assessing the complaint's sufficiency, the court may
disregard legal conclusions couched as factual allegations.
See, Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 ...