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Day v. State

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

July 26, 2019

Roy A. Day, Plaintiff,
v.
State of Minnesota et al., Defendants.

          ORDER ADOPTING MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          WILHELMINA M. WRIGHT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on the March 22, 2019 Report and Recommendation (R&R) of United States Magistrate Judge Leo I. Brisbois. (Dkt. 11.) The R&R recommends dismissing Plaintiff Roy A. Day's federal claims as frivolous and dismissing his state claims for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. Day filed timely objections to the R&R. For the reasons addressed below, Day's objections are overruled, the R&R is adopted, and Day's complaint is dismissed.

         BACKGROUND

         The R&R contains a detailed recitation of the factual and procedural background of this case. As relevant here, Day alleges that Defendants Target Corporation and Starbucks Corporation fraudulently deprived him of four dollars. When Day commenced a lawsuit in Minnesota state court arising from this alleged fraud, the state district court denied Day's petition to proceed in forma pauperis (IFP), finding that Day's lawsuit was frivolous, and closed the case for failure to pay the filing fee. The Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed, and the Minnesota Supreme Court denied Day's petition for further review. See Day v. Target Corp., No. A18-0611, 2018 WL 6729772 (Minn.Ct.App. Dec. 24, 2018), review denied (Minn. Feb. 19, 2019).

         Day subsequently commenced this federal lawsuit against the State of Minnesota, the Minnesota Supreme Court, and the Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court (collectively, “the state defendants”), as well as Target Corporation, Starbucks Corporation, and the attorney and law firm that represented Target Corporation in Day's state-court lawsuit (collectively, “the private defendants”). Count One and Count Two of Day's amended complaint allege that Defendants conspired to deprive him of his rights to due process and equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution (hereinafter, “federal claims”). Count Three and Count Four of the amended complaint allege state-law tort claims for infliction of emotional distress and fraud (hereinafter, “state claims”). Day seeks injunctive and declaratory relief, as well as damages, costs, and attorneys' fees in excess of $1 million.

         The R&R recommends dismissing Day's federal claims with prejudice as frivolous and dismissing Day's state claims without prejudice for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. As such, the R&R also recommends denying as moot Day's pending IFP application. Day filed timely objections to the R&R.

         ANALYSIS

         A district court reviews de novo those portions of an R&R to which an objection is made and “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); accord Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3); LR 72.2(b)(3). A district court reviews for clear error any aspect of an R&R to which no objection is made. See Grinder v. Gammon, 73 F.3d 793, 795 (8th Cir. 1996) (per curiam); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b) advisory committee's note to 1983 amendment (“When no timely objection is filed, the court need only satisfy itself that there is no clear error on the face of the record in order to accept the recommendation.”). Because the R&R recommends dismissing Day's federal claims and state claims on different bases, the Court addresses the federal claims and state claims separately.

         I. Day's Federal Claims

         Day's amended complaint alleges that Defendants violated his constitutional rights to due process and equal protection, see 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and conspired to deprive Day of his rights to equal protection, privileges, and immunities, see 42 U.S.C. § 1985(3). The Court separately addresses Day's claims under Section 1983 and Section 1985(3).

         A. Day's Section 1983 Claims

         Day's amended complaint first alleges that Defendants are liable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violating his rights to due process and equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment. As relevant here, Section 1983 provides:

Every person who, under color [of law] . . . subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States . . . to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress . . . .

42 U.S.C. § 1983. Although Section 1983 does not establish any substantive rights, it may be invoked to vindicate federal rights conferred by the United States Constitution and federal statutes that Section 1983 describes.[1]Henley v. Brown, 686 F.3d 634, 640 (8th Cir. 2012). The R&R ...


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