Blaskowski v. State of Minnesota et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER finding as moot 10 Motion to Dismiss; adopting in part Report and Recommendations re 19 Report and Recommendation. All claims against defendants are summarily dismissed with prejudice.(Written Opinion) Signed by Chief Judge John R. Tunheim on December 29, 2016. (DML)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF MINNESOTA
Civil No. 16-1831 (JRT/LIB)
ADAM F. BLASKOWSKI
STATE OF MINNESOTA, VICKI
LANDWEHR, JOHN SCHERER, MARY
MAHLER, and TIM WILLE,
AND ORDER ON REPORT AND
Adam Blaskowski, 42 7th Avenue North, Waite Park, MN 56387, pro se.
Kathryn I. Landrum, Assistant Attorney General, MINNESOTA ATTORNEY
GENERAL’S OFFICE, 445 Minnesota Street, Suite 1100, Saint Paul, MN
55101, for Defendants State of Minnesota, Judge Vicki Landwehr, Judge John
Scherer and Judge Mary Mahler.
Jon K. Iverson, IVERSON REUVERS CONDON, 9321 Ensign Avenue South,
Bloomington, MN 55438, for Defendant Tim Wille.
Plaintiff Adam F. Blaskowski initiated this action in the United States District
Court for the District of New Jersey on April 11, 2016. (Compl., Apr. 11, 2016, Docket
No. 1.) The Complaint alleges Defendants State of Minnesota, Minnesota District Court
Judge Vicki Landwehr, Minnesota Chief District Court Judge John Scherer, and
Minnesota District Court Judge Mary Mahler (collectively, “State Defendants”), and Tim
Wille violated a series of statutes, including the Voting Rights Act, 52 U.S.C. §§ 10101
et seq., the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3729, the Indian Health Care Improvement
Act, 25 U.S.C. §§ 1601 et seq., and the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C.
§§ 12101 et seq. (Compl. at 3.) United States District Court Judge Robert B. Kugler,
finding venue improperly laid in New Jersey, ordered the action transferred to the United
States District Court for the District of Minnesota. (Order, June 2, 2016, Docket No. 6.)
Prior to transferring the action, however, Judge Kugler granted Blaskowski’s application
to proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP”). (Order on Appl. to Proceed Without Payment of
Fees, Apr. 14, 2016, Docket No. 2.)
On June 30, 2016, United States Magistrate Judge Leo I. Brisbois issued a Report
and Recommendation (“R&R”) recommending dismissal of Blaskowski’s claims. (R&R
at 6, June 30, 2016, Docket No. 19.) The Magistrate Judge recommended dismissing the
action finding Blaskowski failed to state a claim on which relief may be granted. (Id.
at 4-5.) The Magistrate Judge further recommended dismissal of the allegations against
State Defendants with prejudice because Blaskowski filed previous non-meritorious
complaints against State Defendants. (Id. at 5.) The Magistrate Judge recommended
Blaskowski’s claims against Wille should be dismissed without prejudice because this is
the first time Blaskowski named Wille as a defendant. (Id.)
Blaskowski filed timely objections to the R&R. (R&R Objs., July 5, 2016, Docket
Blaskowski’s objections, however, did not address the Magistrate Judge’s
recommendation that Blaskowski failed to state a claim on which relief may be granted.
Because the Court finds Blaskowski failed to allege enough facts to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted, the Court will overrule Blaskowski’s objections, adopt
the R&R in part, and dismiss Blaskowski’s Complaint against State Defendants with
prejudice. But because the Court discovered that Blaskowski filed a previous nonmeritorious complaint against Wille, the Court will reject the R&R in part and dismiss
Blaskowski’s Complaint against Wille with prejudice.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
After a magistrate judge files an R&R, a party may file “specific written
objections to the proposed findings and recommendations.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(2);
accord D. Minn. LR 72.2(b)(1). “The objections should specify the portions of the
magistrate judge’s report and recommendation to which objections are made and provide
a basis for those objections.” Montgomery v. Compass Airlines, LLC, 98 F. Supp. 3d
1012, 1017 (D. Minn. 2015) (quoting Mayer v. Walvatne, No. 07-1958, 2008 WL
4527774, at *2 (D. Minn. Sept. 28, 2008)). On a dispositive motion the Court reviews
“properly objected to” portions of an R&R de novo. Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3); accord D.
Minn. LR 72.2(b)(3). “Objections which are not specific but merely repeat arguments
presented to and considered by a magistrate judge are not entitled to de novo review, but
rather are reviewed for clear error.” Montgomery, 98 F. Supp. 3d at 1017.
Because Blaskowski did not provide specific objections to the R&R and, instead,
generally objected to the Magistrate Judge’s recommendation, the Court reviews the
R&R for clear error.
FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM
The Magistrate Judge did not clearly err in recommending the Court dismiss this
action for failure to state a claim. The Court can dismiss an action “at any time” when an
IFP applicant’s complaint “fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.” 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2); Atkinson v. Bohn, 91 F.3d 1127, 1128 (8th Cir. 1996) (per curiam).
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires a plaintiff to plead sufficient facts
to show he or she “is entitled to relief,” meaning that the pleading must contain “enough
facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). When determining whether a claim is “plausible” the Court
must only consider factual allegations and need not accept as true “‘labels and
conclusions’ or ‘a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action.’” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). The law requires a
complaint to allege sufficient facts to “give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim
is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (alteration in original)
(quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)).
Here, Blaskowski failed to plead enough facts to make the Complaint plausible on
its face. Blaskowski alleged violations of a number of statutes, but Blaskowski failed to
provide any factual allegations regarding Defendants’ conduct. In the absence of this
information, Blaskowski failed to give Defendants notice of the “grounds upon which”
the claims rest. Id.
For this reason, the Court will dismiss this action for failure to state a claim
pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6).
Additionally, this is not the first time Blaskowski initiated a lawsuit against State
Defendants without any factual support. Blaskowski v. Minnesota, No. 15-2733 (D.
Minn. Aug. 4, 2015); Blaskowski v. Minnesota, No. 15-422 (W.D. Mich. July 20, 2015);
Blaskowski v. Electrolux Home Prods., Inc., No. 15-49 (D. Mont. July 13, 2015). Due to
Blaskowski’s repeated failure to adequately state a claim on which relief may be granted
against State Defendants, the Magistrate Judge did not clearly err in recommending
dismissal of Blaskowski’s claims against State Defendants with prejudice. Michaelis v.
Neb. State Bar Ass’n, 717 F.2d 437, 438-39 (8th Cir. 1983) (“[I]f the plaintiff has
persisted in violating Rule 8 the district court is justified in dismissing the complaint with
But the Magistrate Judge incorrectly found Blaskowski first filed a claim against
Wille in this Complaint. Although not filed in the District of Minnesota, Blaskowski
named Wille in a complaint filed in the Western District of Michigan that is substantially
similar to this Complaint. See Complaint at 1, Blaskowski, No. 15-422 (W.D. Mich.
Apr. 21, 2015). Similar to this case, the federal district court dismissed the action for
failure to state a claim.
In this circumstance, the Court will also dismiss
Blaskowski’s claims against Wille with prejudice. See Michaelis, 717 F.2d at 438-39.
Based on the foregoing, and all the files, records, and proceedings herein, the
Court OVERRULES Blaskowski’s objections [Docket No. 20] and ADOPTS in part
and REJECTS in part the Report and Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge dated
June 30, 2016 [Docket No. 19]. Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
Blaskowski’s claims against State of Minnesota, Judge Vicki Landwehr,
Chief Judge John Scherer, and Judge Mary Mahler are SUMMARILY DISMISSED
Blaskowski’s claims against Tim Wille are SUMMARILY DISMISSED
Defendants State of Minnesota, Judge Vicki Landwehr, Chief Judge John
Scherer, and Judge Mary Mahler’s Motion to Dismiss [Docket No. 10] is DENIED as
LET JUDGMENT BE ENTERED ACCORDINGLY.
DATED: December 29, 2016
at Minneapolis, Minnesota.
JOHN R. TUNHEIM
United States District Court
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