Omar v. Weyker et al
ORDER: (1) Defendants Heather Weyker and John Bandemer's Motion to Dismiss [Dkt. No. 41 ] is GRANTED. (2) Defendant City of Saint Paul's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings [Dkt. No. 47 ] is GRANTED. (3) Plaintiff Liban Sharif Omar's Second Amended Complaint is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. (Written Opinion) Signed by Judge Joan N. Ericksen on August 9, 2017. (CBC)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF MINNESOTA
LIBAN SHARIF OMAR,
HEATHER WEYKER, in her individual
capacity as a St. Paul Police Officer;
JOHN BANDEMER, in his individual
and official capacities as a St. Paul
Police Sergeant; JOHN DOES 3-4, in
their individual and official capacities as
supervisory members of the St. Paul
Police Department; THE CITY OF ST.
Case No. 16cv1113 (JNE/TNL)
Plaintiff Liban Sharif Omar alleges violations of his constitutional rights in an
investigation that led to his indictment by a federal grand jury and subsequent arrest. He sues
Defendants Heather Weyker, a police officer for the St. Paul Police Department in Minnesota;
John Bandemer, a St. Paul Police Department sergeant who is alleged to have been Weyker’s
supervisor; John Does 3-4, who are allegedly supervisory St. Paul police officers; and the City of
St. Paul (“St. Paul”). Weyker and Bandemer move to dismiss L. Omar’s complaint pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim and on absolute and qualified
immunity grounds. Dkt. No. 41. St. Paul moves on behalf of the City of St. Paul and John Does
3-4 for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Rule 12(c). Dkt. No. 47.
The investigation at the core of L. Omar’s civil complaint targeted a suspected venture
involving the sex-trafficking of minor girls across Minnesota, Tennessee, and Ohio. The
investigation resulted in the criminal indictment of thirty people, mostly Somali, in the Middle
District of Tennessee in 2010-2011 (“Tennessee Case”). L. Omar alleges that Weyker and
Bandemer fabricated evidence about him and others throughout the investigation, resulting in a
tainted indictment that was further corrupted by Weyker’s continuing deception, and causing his
arrest and detention without probable cause.
Nineteen of L. Omar’s co-defendants in the Tennessee Case bring separate suits similarly
alleging constitutional violations, and a twenty-first person brings another related civil suit. The
parties agreed to coordinated briefing on the Defendants’ motions. The Court assumes
familiarity with its fuller opinion in one of the related cases, Osman v. Weyker, et al., No.
16cv908 (“Osman Opinion”) (filed simultaneously herewith), and will not repeat that opinion’s
discussion verbatim here. L. Omar, coordinating with the other plaintiffs represented by his
counsel, opposed the motions. See GBBS Pls.’ Opp. to St. Paul Mot., Dkt. No. 52; GBBS Pls.’
Opp. to DOJ Mot. to Dismiss, Dkt. No. 55.
The Court held a hearing on the motions on May 3, 2017, and now grants both motions. 1
A motion to dismiss or a motion for judgment on the pleadings is appropriately granted
“only when there is no dispute as to any material facts and the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a [m]atter of law.” Greenman v. Jessen, 787 F.3d 882, 887 (8th Cir. 2015) (citation
omitted). To survive a Rule 12 motion, “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) (citation omitted); Haney v. Portfolio Recovery Assocs., LLC, 837 F.3d
918, 924 (8th Cir. 2016), as amended (Dec. 27, 2016). See also Osman Op. 3-4.
The United States also filed a Motion to Substitute and Dismiss, which was mooted by
stipulation as recognized by the April 12, 2017 Order Permitting the GBBS Plaintiffs to Amend
Complaints. Dkt. No. 62. Pursuant to that order, L. Omar filed a Second Amended Complaint
[Dkt. No. 63] (“SAC”), which is thus the operative complaint subject to these Rule 12 motions.
Most of the allegations are similar to those alleged by Osman and summarized and
analyzed in the Court’s order in that case. See, e.g., Osman Op. 4-8. The Court briefly recounts
some allegations in L. Omar’s Second Amended Complaint and some facts gleaned from the
Tennessee Case record. 2
On October 20, 2010, L. Omar was indicted in the Tennessee Case. SAC ¶ 11. He was
charged in ten counts. See Indictment (“Ind’t”), United States v. Omar, No. 3:10cr260, Dkt. No.
3 (M.D. Tenn. Oct. 20, 2010); see also SAC ¶ 15 (alleging that he was charged with, “among
other things, conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of a minor . . . ”). Two counts alleged
participation in a sex-trafficking conspiracy in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1591(a) (Counts 1 and 2).
Two counts alleged recruitment or attempted recruitment of a minor (Jane Doe Two) for sex
trafficking (Counts 12 and 13). Two counts, Counts 3 and 4, alleged obstruction of justice.
Count 15 alleged that from May 20, 2006, through September 15, 2006, L. Omar conspired to
transport stolen money and goods across state lines in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2314. Ind’t ¶¶
100, 102-06. Count 16 alleged that he conspired to transport a stolen vehicle in interstate
commerce in February 2010. Ind’t ¶¶ 107, 110. Count 17 alleged that in February 2010, he
conspired to use a false identification in connection with stealing and transporting a vehicle.
Ind’t ¶ 113. Finally, Count 18 alleged that from 2007 through September 2010, he conspired to
commit credit card fraud. E.g., Ind’t ¶¶ 117, 123-24, 137. A first superseding indictment
included the same charges against him. See SAC ¶ 16.
L. Omar was arrested on December 10, 2010, and detained until his release in March
2016. SAC ¶ 11.
The Court may take judicial notice of public documents in the Tennessee Case record.
Greenman, 787 F.3d at 887.
The sex-trafficking-related counts as against L. Omar exclusively involved the supposed
witness-victim Jane Doe Two. SAC ¶ 17. “Jane Doe Two was the centerpiece of Weyker’s
fabricated case against Omar and others . . . .” SAC ¶ 18. Weyker was the lead investigator on
the case, and Bandemer was her supervisor in the St. Paul Police Department. SAC ¶ 14. The
indictment included allegations that L. Omar rented a hotel room in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota
on April 24, 2009, “to facilitate the prostituting of Jane Doe Two.” SAC ¶ 19; see Ind’t ¶¶ 3334. “It was alleged that Omar was present in the room.” SAC ¶ 19; see Ind’t ¶ 34. “In the initial
interviews with Weyker, Jane Doe Two stated she did not know Omar,” but “[s]ubsequent
interviews with Weyker resulted in Jane Doe Two stating Omar ‘looked familiar.” SAC ¶ 21.
“After more collaboration with Weyker, Jane Doe Two stated Omar was with her, drunk, and
lying with her on her bed in the AmericInn hotel room on April 24, 2009.” Id. L. Omar did not
know Jane Doe Two before the indictment and was never in any hotel room with Jane Doe Two.
SAC ¶ 22. “Omar never conspired with anyone to have Jane Doe Two engage in commercial
sex. . . . Fabricated evidence formed the basis of this false allegation against Omar.” SAC ¶ 27.
“There was never any such conspiracy and Omar never engaged in any attempt to have Jane Doe
Two engage in commercial sex.” SAC ¶ 20.
In addition, the charges that L. Omar “attempted to influence witnesses or victims to
impede the case” were baseless. SAC ¶ 19. “There was no influencing of witnesses. Fabricated
evidence formed the basis of false allegations against Omar.” SAC ¶ 20.
In early 2012, as the parties in the Tennessee Case prepared for trial to begin in March,
the district court granted a motion to sever some of the counts, including Counts 15 through 18,
to be tried later. United States v. Omar, No. 3:10cr260, Dkt. No. 1395 (M.D. Tenn. Feb. 16,
2012). In addition, L. Omar and some other defendants elected to be severed from the
defendants who were preparing for trial on sex-trafficking-related charges. United States v.
Adan, 913 F. Supp. 2d 555, 559 (M.D. Tenn. 2012); see also SAC ¶ 37.
In that Spring 2012 criminal trial, the jury acquitted six defendants fully but convicted
three defendants on some counts. SAC ¶ 38. The district court then granted Federal Rule of
Criminal Procedure 29 motions for judgments of acquittal by the three convicted defendants, on
the basis of a variance. See SAC ¶ 38; Adan, 913 F. Supp. 2d at 579.
After the trial, L. Omar moved for release from custody, and in February 2013, he was
released on conditions. SAC ¶ 51. The district court’s detention decision, however, was
reversed on appeal. SAC ¶ 52; see United States v. Fahra, No. 13-5296, Dkt. No. 61-1 (6th Cir.
Dec. 18, 2013) (submitted in this case at DOJ Reply Ex. BB). L. Omar “was consequently
falsely imprisoned again on March 26, 2014.” SAC ¶ 52. The appeals court found that, among
other facts, the weight of the evidence—including testimony and evidence presented at the
detention hearings, and testimony at the Spring 2012 trial—and L. Omar’s history and
characteristics supported his continued detention. See DOJ Reply Ex. BB at 6-8. In March
2016, the Sixth Circuit decided an appeal of the district court’s order granting the Rule 29
motions. See SAC ¶ 53; United States v. Fahra, 643 Fed. Appx. 480 (6th Cir. Mar. 2, 2016). L.
Omar was then released from custody on March 4, 2016. SAC ¶ 53. 3
Like Osman, L. Omar alleges that the charges of a wide-ranging sex-trafficking
conspiracy were baseless; that Weyker fabricated “the overwhelming majority of material
evidence supporting his indictment for sex trafficking,” SAC ¶ 29; that Weyker manipulated and
The record reflects that L. Omar was released on conditions on that date. United States
v. Omar, No. 3:10cr260, Dkt. No. 3792 (M.D. Tenn. Mar. 4, 2016). On March 8, 2016, the
government moved to dismiss all remaining charges against all remaining defendants, and on
March 10, the district court granted the motion and vacated all terms and conditions of
supervised release that had been imposed. See id. at Dkt. Nos. 3796, 3798.
coerced Jane Doe witnesses, including Jane Doe Two, into lying, e.g., SAC ¶¶ 28, 31, 33, 39, 41;
that Weyker was motivated to falsify evidence by a desire for professional success, see SAC
¶ 14; and that indications of Weyker’s fabrication included her rough notes, SAC ¶¶ 34, 40-41,
questions surrounding Jane Doe Two’s age, SAC ¶ 35, questions surrounding Jane Doe Two’s
April 2009 trip to Nashville, SAC ¶¶ 25, 34, and the results of the Spring 2012 trial, SAC ¶ 38.
Also like Osman, L. Omar’s complaint repeatedly cites to remarks about Weyker and the case by
the district and appellate courts in the Tennessee Case. SAC ¶¶ 25, 30 n.1, 34, 40, 43-44.
SUMMARY OF ARGUMENTS
A summary of the parties’ arguments is included in Section IV of the Court’s
simultaneously filed opinion in Yusuf v. Weyker, et al., No. 16cv1012. L. Omar is represented by
the same counsel as Yusuf.
As explained fully in the Osman Opinion, pursuant to Manuel v. City of Joliet, 137 S. Ct.
911 (Mar. 21, 2017), L. Omar’s claims sound, if at all, in the Fourth Amendment, not the Fifth or
Fourteenth. See Osman Op. 11-13; see also id. at 17-22. His complaint is that “[b]ut for the
testimony and other evidence falsely manufactured by Weyker and Bandemer, no probable cause
existed to detain or otherwise restrict Omar’s liberty.” SAC ¶ 1; see also SAC ¶ 39. In other
words, he complains “that a form of legal process resulted in pretrial detention unsupported by
probable cause.” Manuel, 137 S. Ct. at 919. So “the right allegedly infringed lies in the Fourth
Amendment.” Id. A “constitutional division of labor” applies to claims like L. Omar’s, id. at
920 n.8 (referring to Gerstein v. Pugh, 420 U.S. 103 (1975), and Albright v. Oliver, 510 U.S. 266
(1994)), and because he challenges his pretrial detention, his claim is under the Fourth
Amendment. L. Omar’s claims for substantive due process violations under the Fifth or
Fourteenth Amendments therefore fail. See Manuel, 137 S. Ct. at 919-20; Albright, 510 U.S. at
271 (plurality opinion). 4
Under the Fourth Amendment analysis, the Court must decide whether L. Omar plausibly
alleges that the Defendants violated his right to be free from unreasonable seizure by arresting
and detaining him without arguable probable cause, based on fabricated evidence. 5
To evaluate whether a person’s Fourth Amendment right has been violated by an arrest
pursuant to a warrant that lacked probable cause, the court applies the analysis set out in Franks
v. Delaware, 438 U.S. 154 (1978). See Hawkins v. Gage Cty., 759 F.3d 951, 958-59 (8th Cir.
2014); Hernandez-Cuevas v. Taylor, 723 F.3d 91, 101, 105 (1st Cir. 2013). Thus, the court
considers whether there were deliberately or recklessly false statements made in support of a
finding of probable cause and whether those statements were necessary to the finding of probable
cause. See Franks, 438 U.S. at 156; Williams v. City of Alexander, 772 F.3d 1307, 1311 (8th Cir.
2014). The court also considers whether material information was omitted with the intent to
mislead or with reckless disregard as to whether the omission was misleading. See Williams, 772
F.3d at 1312; Hawkins, 759 F.3d at 959. If, setting aside the false statements (or adding in the
omitted information), there was no probable cause to arrest, then the arrest violated the Fourth
Amendment. See Williams, 772 F.3d at 1312-13; Hawkins, 759 F.3d at 958-59; HernandezCuevas, 723 F.3d at 105. Probable cause “exists when the totality of the circumstances at the
time of the arrest are sufficient to lead a reasonable person to believe that the defendant has
As explained in a footnote in the Court’s simultaneously filed order in Yusuf v. Weyker,
et al., No. 16cv1012, the attempt to distinguish Albright in his opposition papers, which were
filed without the benefit of the Manuel decision, is not persuasive in light of the Manuel Court’s
clear interpretation of Albright. See Manuel, 137 S. Ct. at 918.
Because § 1983 and Bivens claims are analyzed similarly, the Court does not reach the
question of whether L. Omar’s claim should have been brought under § 1983 or Bivens. See
Osman Op. 13-17.
committed or is committing an offense.” Greenman v. Jessen, 787 F.3d 882, 888 (8th Cir. 2015)
Where a plaintiff alleges that she was arrested without probable cause and the defendant
asserts the qualified immunity defense, courts ask whether there was “arguable probable cause to
arrest.” Stewart v. Wagner, 836 F.3d 978, 984 (8th Cir. 2016) (citing New v. Denver, 787 F.3d
895, 899 (8th Cir. 2015)) (applying this standard to a Fourth Amendment claim for detention
based on allegedly false and incomplete information in a probable cause statement). “[T]he issue
for immunity purposes is not probable cause in fact but arguable probable cause, that is, whether
the officer should have known that the arrest violated plaintiff’s clearly established right.” New,
787 F.3d at 899. “It is clearly established that the Fourth Amendment requires a truthful factual
showing sufficient to constitute probable cause before an arrest warrant can issue.” Peterson v.
City of Plymouth, 60 F.3d 469, 477 (8th Cir. 1995) (emphasis added and citation omitted).
a. Analysis of L. Omar’s Claim Under the Fourth Amendment
In considering whether L. Omar plausibly alleges a Fourth Amendment violation, the
Court disregards mere conclusory statements, focuses on well-pleaded factual allegations and
accepts them as true, and applies its judicial experience and common sense. See Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678-79 (2009). The Court also properly considers the Tennessee Case court
record in assessing the pleadings. See, e.g., Greenman, 787 F.3d at 887.
L. Omar’s core allegations are very similar to Osman’s, including the ample citations to
comments by the Tennessee Case district court and a related appellate decision. In the Osman
Opinion, the Court examines several orders and memoranda by the district court and two
separate Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals opinions concerning the Tennessee Case, some of which
both Osman and L. Omar cite. See Osman Op. 25-33. In Osman’s case, the Court found that
some of these statements by judicial officers are remarkable, and that taken all together along
with other well-pleaded facts, they nudge Osman’s Fourth Amendment claim as to Weyker over
the Iqbal plausibility line. The Court notes that none of these judicial statements refer even
obliquely to Bandemer. The Court further found that the fact that Osman was also indicted on
charges of obstruction of justice relating to the prosecution of the allegedly fabricated sextrafficking-conspiracy case does not per se doom her Fourth Amendment claim. See Osman Op.
35-37. L. Omar’s case, however, is different.
Weyker and Bandemer argue that even if L. Omar plausibly alleges that Weyker
fabricated evidence material to the indictment for sex-trafficking-related charges, the fact that he
was also indicted in non-trafficking-related charges defeats his Fourth Amendment claim. They
argue that L. Omar fails to plausibly allege that there was not probable cause to arrest him on the
other crimes for which he was charged. See DOJ Br. 65-68. They point out in their reply papers
that L. Omar and the other plaintiffs represented by the same counsel fail to address this
argument at all. DOJ Reply 31-32.
L. Omar’s complaint does not expressly acknowledge that he was charged in Counts 15
through 18 with crimes unconnected to any alleged sex-trafficking, and as noted, his opposition
papers did not respond to Weyker and Bandemer’s argument that his Fourth Amendment claim
fails in light of that count. 6 L. Omar fails to plausibly allege—or even conclusorily state—that
there was no probable cause to indict and arrest him in December 2010 on those four counts.
The indictment included numerous specific allegations about L. Omar in support those counts.
In his complaint, apparently referencing Counts 3 and 4, L. Omar alleges: “There was
no influencing of witnesses. Fabricated evidence formed the basis of false allegations against
Omar.” SAC ¶ 20. The indictment alleged some specific acts by L. Omar in support of these
two counts, but analysis of those charges is unnecessary, and L. Omar’s allegations as to them
are not dispositive, because he fails to allege a Fourth Amendment violation with regard to the
clearly non-sex-trafficking-related charges in Counts 15 through 18.
For example, Count 15 alleges that on May 22, 2006, L. Omar and others went to a business in
Nashville, Tennessee, and stole approximately $120,000 in cash, among other loot, and that a codefendant transported the cash to Minnesota the next day. Ind’t ¶¶ 102-03. And it alleges in
support of Count 16 that L. Omar registered a stolen Cadillac Escalade with the Ohio Bureau of
Motor Vehicles. Ind’t ¶¶ 109-10. L. Omar does not allege that these allegations are false or that
supported by fabricated evidence. The grand jury’s indictment of him in those charges
“conclusively determines the existence of probable cause” in those counts, Kaley v. United
States, 134 S. Ct. 1090, 1097 (2014) (citation omitted), at least absent any plausible allegations
that the indictments in those charges were tainted by fabrication of evidence. 7 Moreover, L.
Omar’s more general, conclusory allegations—e.g., that “no probable cause existed to detain”
him without the fabricated evidence, SAC ¶ 1—cannot overcome the hurdle posed by his
indictment in these counts. Finally, the Court cannot reasonably conclude from the results of the
trial of other co-defendants on other counts, or from the government’s dismissal of all charges
after an adverse appellate decision affirming the grant of Rule 29 motions on the basis of a
variance, that there was no probable cause to indict L. Omar on any counts at all.
Therefore, L. Omar’s complaint must fail. Even if there were no probable cause to arrest
him based on the allegedly spurious sex-trafficking-conspiracy charges, there is no Fourth
Amendment violation where there is probable cause to arrest “for the violation of some other
law.” Greenman, 787 F.3d at 889 (citation omitted); see also Devenpeck v. Alford, 543 U.S. 146,
153 (2004) (holding that there is no Fourth Amendment violation if there is probable cause to
arrest based on any criminal offense, even if the officer’s subjective reason for arresting was a
The Court further notes that one of his co-defendants pleaded guilty to the credit-card
conspiracy charged in Count 18. See United States v. Nur, No. 3:10cr260, Dkt. No. 2870 (M.D.
Tenn. Oct. 5, 2012).
different and unrelated offense); Keil v. Triveline, 661 F.3d 981, 986 (8th Cir. 2011). L. Omar
“has failed to ‘make out a violation of a constitutional right’ in the first instance.” Greenman,
787 F.3d at 888.
Defendants Weyker and Bandemer are entitled to qualified immunity. L. Omar has failed
to plausibly allege a constitutional violation. Moreover, as to Bandemer, there are no wellpleaded facts that would support an inference that he directly fabricated evidence.
b. Supervisory Liability
L. Omar also sues Bandemer and John Does 3-4 in their individual capacities as
supervisors. He alleges that they were deliberately indifferent to or approved Weyker’s and
Bandemer’s alleged violations of his constitutional rights. See SAC ¶¶ 45-46.
A supervisor sued in his or her individual capacity in a § 1983 or Bivens suit “is only
liable for his or her own misconduct.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 677; see also S.M. v. Krigbaum, 808
F.3d 335, 340 (8th Cir. 2015). “When a supervising official who had no direct participation in
an alleged constitutional violation is sued for failure to train or supervise the offending actor, the
supervisor is entitled to qualified immunity unless plaintiff proves that the supervisor (1)
received notice of a pattern of unconstitutional acts committed by a subordinate, and (2) was
deliberately indifferent to or authorized those acts.” Krigbaum, 808 F.3d at 340 (citing Livers,
700 F.3d at 355). “This rigorous standard requires proof that the supervisor had notice of a
pattern of conduct by the subordinate that violated a clearly established constitutional right.
Allegations of generalized notice are insufficient.” Id. The notice prong requires that “[t]o
impose supervisory liability, other misconduct [allegedly giving the supervisor notice] must be
very similar to the conduct giving rise to liability.” Id. (quoting Livers, 700 F.3d at 356).
First, given the Court’s conclusion that L. Omar has not adequately alleged a
constitutional violation by Weyker or Bandemer, the supervisory liability claims “automatically
fail for lack of an underlying constitutional violation.” Mendoza v. U.S. Immig’n & Customs
Enf’t, 849 F.3d 408, 420 (8th Cir. 2017) (citation omitted).
Moreover, L. Omar’s complaint, which is very similar to Osman’s complaint as to the
supervisory liability allegations, likewise contains few allegations—and fewer well-pleaded
facts—regarding supervisory liability. Like Osman, he alleges that Bandemer and the John Does
had supervisory responsibility over Weyker, SAC ¶ 67; that the investigation was very important
to the St. Paul Police Department vice unit, SAC ¶ 14; and that “[b]y at least February 15, 2012,
these [supervisory] defendants had actual knowledge” of Weyker’s fabrications based on a
February 2012 memorandum-order at Dkt. No. 1392 and other district court orders, id. ¶¶ 43-44,
46. Like Osman, L. Omar cites United States v. Mohamud, No. 3:10cr260, 2013 WL 1935506,
at *11 n. 6 (M.D. Tenn. May 9, 2013), and United States v. Adan, 913 F. Supp. 2d 555, 589 n.10
(M.D. Tenn. Dec. 19, 2012), in support of his notice allegations. SAC ¶¶ 43-44.
As explained in the Osman Opinion, these allegations do not sufficiently plead
supervisory liability based on notice. See Osman Op. 37-41. Nor do they establish a pattern of
unconstitutional acts by Weyker. Ignoring conclusory or unsupported allegations, L. Omar does
not allege any other similar acts by Weyker or Bandemer before the Tennessee Case
investigation that could show a pattern about which Bandemer (as Weyker’s supervisor) or the
John Does (as Weyker’s and/or Bandemer’s supervisors) personally knew.
The allegations fail to state a claim for supervisory liability, and Bandemer and John
Does 3-4 are entitled to qualified immunity as to these counts.
c. Municipal Liability
L. Omar sues St. Paul as well as Bandemer and the John Does in their official capacities
for municipal liability under Monell v. Dept. of Social Servs. of the City of New York, 436 U.S.
658 (1978). “[A] local government may not be sued under § 1983 for an injury inflicted solely
by its employees or agents.” Id. at 694. “Instead,” a municipality is liable “when execution of a
government’s policy or custom, whether made by its lawmakers or by those whose edicts or acts
may fairly be said to represent official policy, inflicts the injury . . . .” Id.
A plaintiff therefore must show that there is an “official” policy or a “custom or usage
with the force of law.” Kelly v. City of Omaha, 813 F.3d 1070, 1075 (8th Cir. 2016). A plaintiff
must plead “allegations, reference, or language by which one could begin to draw an inference
that the conduct complained of . . . resulted from an unconstitutional policy or custom.”
Crumpley-Patterson v. Trinity Lutheran Hosp., 388 F.3d 588, 591 (8th Cir. 2004) (citation
omitted). “Misconduct among a municipality’s employees must be ‘continuing, widespread,
[and] persistent’ to establish such a custom.” Kelly, 813 F.3d at 1075 (citation omitted). Also,
“the municipality will not be liable unless policymaking officials exhibit ‘[d]eliberate
indifference to or tacit authorization of such conduct . . . after notice to the officials of that
misconduct.’” Id. at 1075-76 (citation omitted). The question is whether a “governmental policy
or custom was the ‘moving force’ that led to the deprivation of [the plaintiff’s] constitutional
rights.” Speer v. City of Wynne, 276 F.3d 980, 986 (8th Cir. 2002). Even if no individual
employee is found liable, a municipality might be liable, but only where “the combined actions
of multiple officials or employees may give rise to a constitutional violation.” Id.
L. Omar does not adequately support his conclusory municipal liability allegations. He
does not allege with well-pleaded facts that Weyker or other St. Paul Police Department
employees fabricated evidence in other investigations, nor that policymaking officials in the
department were aware of any previous incidents of fabrication of evidence. He does not allege
well-pleaded facts to support a theory that multiple St. Paul Police Department members—not
even Weyker and Bandemer—combined to violate his rights. Nor does he allege facts that
would demonstrate an official department policy that moved officers to fabricate evidence or
coerce witnesses and mislead prosecutors and grand juries to secure indictments. He also does
not plausibly allege any such custom because, among other reasons, he has not adequately
alleged notice, as explained above. The supervisory defendants sued in their official capacities,
and the City of St. Paul, are entitled to qualified immunity on these claims.
Defendants are entitled to qualified immunity on all counts, because L. Omar’s complaint
fails to plausibly allege a violation of his constitutional rights. The Court grants Defendants’
motions and dismisses with prejudice. See Ulrich v. Pope Cty., 715 F.3d 1054, 1060-61 (8th Cir.
2013); C.N. v. Willmar Pub. Sch., Indep. Sch. Dist. No. 347, 591 F.3d 624, 635 (8th Cir. 2010).
Based on the files, records, and proceedings herein, and for the reasons stated above, IT
IS ORDERED THAT:
1. Defendants Heather Weyker and John Bandemer’s Motion to Dismiss [Dkt. No. 41]
2. Defendant City of Saint Paul’s Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings [Dkt. No. 47] is
3. Plaintiff Liban Sharif Omar’s Second Amended Complaint is DISMISSED WITH
LET JUDGMENT BE ENTERED ACCORDINGLY.
Dated: August 9, 2017
s/ Joan N. Ericksen
JOAN N. ERICKSEN
United States District Judge
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