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Goodman v. Dakota County

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

December 6, 2019

ANTOINE GOODMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
DAKOTA COUNTY; CORRECTIONAL OFFICER SIMPSON, in his individual and official capacities; and SGT. PETERSON, in his individual and official capacities, Defendants.

          Zorislav R. Leyderman for plaintiff.

          Helen R. Brosnahan, DAKOTA COUNTY ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, for defendants.

          ORDER

          Patrick J. Schiltz United States District Judge

         Plaintiff Antoine Goodman brings constitutional and state-law claims against defendants Dakota County and two Dakota County correctional officers arising out of a death threat allegedly made to him by one of the officers. Defendants move to dismiss. For the reasons that follow, defendants' motion is granted.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Goodman alleges the following in his amended complaint: In August 2017, Goodman was detained at the Dakota County Jail. Am. Compl. ¶ 7. On the morning of August 15, 2017, Goodman was leaving his unit to attend class. Am. Compl. ¶ 8. Because he had forgotten to sign up for the class, Goodman asked defendant Officer Simpson to add his name to the roster. Am. Compl. ¶ 8. Simpson responded, “Don't let it happen again or you will be shot repeatedly until I kill you.” Am. Compl. ¶ 8.

         Fearing for his life, Goodman immediately filed a grievance about Simpson's threat. Am. Compl. ¶¶ 8-9. A couple of days later, Goodman spoke to defendant Sergeant Peterson about his grievance. Am. Compl. ¶ 10. Goodman told Peterson that he feared for his life and was uncomfortable around Simpson. Am. Compl. ¶ 10. Goodman requested protection from Simpson and asked that he not have any further contact with Simpson due to the emotional trauma such contact would cause. Am. Compl. ¶ 10. Peterson told Goodman that Simpson would still be working at the jail, but that Peterson would speak to the administration about the incident. Am. Compl. ¶ 10.

         That afternoon, as Goodman was returning from class, he saw Simpson pat- searching inmates. Am. Compl. ¶ 11. Goodman feared for his life and asked Simpson if a different officer could conduct his pat-search; Simpson told Goodman that no other officers were available and ordered him to submit to a search. Am. Compl. ¶ 11. Throughout the search, Goodman feared for his life and suffered severe emotional and psychological trauma. Am. Compl. ¶ 11. Goodman began having nightmares about being killed and sought help from the health-services unit. Am. Compl. ¶ 12. Goodman also became chronically stressed, paranoid, afraid for his life, and suicidal. Am. Compl. ¶ 12. Goodman requested records pertaining to Simpson's threat and its aftermath, but Dakota County refused his requests. Am. Compl. ¶¶ 14-15.

         Goodman now brings claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state law based on Simpson's threat, Peterson's failure to protect him from Simpson, and Dakota County's failure to turn over his records.

         II. ANALYSIS

         A. Standard of Review

         In reviewing a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), a court must accept as true all of the factual allegations in the complaint and draw all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor. Aten v. Scottsdale Ins. Co., 511 F.3d 818, 820 (8th Cir. 2008). Although the 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.

         B. ...


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