Amalle v. Weyker et al
ORDER: (1) Defendants Heather Weyker and John Bandemer's Motion to Dismiss [Dkt. No. 36 ] is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART consistent with the opinion. (2) Defendant City of Saint Paul's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings [Dkt. No . 45 ] is GRANTED. (3) Plaintiff Mohamed Amalle's Amended Complaint is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE as to Defendants John Bandemer, John Does 3-4, and the City of St. Paul. (4) Counts 1 and 5 of Plaintiff Mohamed Amalle's Amended Complaint are DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE to the extent they plead violations of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.(Written Opinion) Signed by Judge Joan N. Ericksen on August 9, 2017. (CBC)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF MINNESOTA
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; and THE CITY OF
Case No. 16cv1898 (JNE/TNL)
Plaintiff Mohamed Amalle alleges violations of his constitutional rights in an
investigation that led to his indictment by a federal grand jury and his subsequent arrest, a trial,
and his acquittal on all counts in which he was charged. 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 Amalle’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.
36. 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. 45.
The investigation at the core of Amalle’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”). Amalle 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 Amalle’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, given the overlap in allegations and arguments. Amalle, coordinating
with the other plaintiffs represented by his counsel, opposed the motions. See GBBS Pls.’ Opp.
to St. Paul Mot., Dkt. No. 50; GBBS Pls.’ Opp. to DOJ Mot. to Dismiss, Dkt. No. 53.
The Court held a hearing on Defendants’ motions on May 3, 2017, and now grants in part
and denies in part Weyker and Bandemer’s motion and grants St. Paul’s motion. 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
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. 60. Pursuant to that order, Amalle filed an Amended Complaint [Dkt. No.
61] (“AC”), which is thus the operative complaint subject to these Rule 12 motions.
U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)); 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.
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 Amalle’s Amended Complaint and some facts gleaned from the Tennessee
Case record. 2
On May 4, 2011, Amalle was indicted in a Second Superseding Indictment (“SSI”) in the
Tennessee Case. AC ¶ 16. He had not been indicted in the original or first superseding
indictment, but was added as the thirtieth defendant in the Second Superseding Indictment,
which charged him in four counts. See AC ¶ 23; SSI, United States v. Amalle, No. 3:10cr260,
Dkt. No. 591 (M.D. Tenn. May 4, 2011). Two counts alleged participation in a sex-trafficking
conspiracy in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1591(a) (Counts 1 and 2). The other two counts alleged
recruitment or attempted recruitment of a minor under the age of 14 (Jane Doe Two) for sex
trafficking (Counts 12 and 13).
Amalle was arrested pursuant to the Second Superseding Indictment on May 10, 2011.
AC ¶ 18. After a detention hearing on May 12, 2011, a magistrate judge ordered Amalle’s
detention in custody. AC ¶ 19.
The counts as against Amalle only referenced one supposed witness-victim, Jane Doe
Two. AC ¶ 24. Indeed, the indictment “hardly mentioned [Amalle] at all.” AC ¶ 25. He was
alleged to have been an “associate” of two Somali gangs based in Minnesota. SSI ¶ 1(f). In
The Court may take judicial notice of public documents in the Tennessee Case record.
Greenman, 787 F.3d at 887.
addition, he was charged with being “[p]resent” when, on November 26, 2006, Jane Doe Two
“was enticed into engaging in a sex act with a person known as ‘BG,’ whose identity is
unknown.” SSI ¶ 12. Jane Doe Two was alleged to have been under thirteen years old at that
time. SSI ¶ 11. Lastly, Amalle and two others were charged with transporting Jane Doe Two
“on multiple occasions” between January 2007 through May 5, 2007, often in a green minivan,
to an apartment complex in Minneapolis, Minnesota. FSI ¶ 15. The indictment alleged that
while driving to the apartments, “one or more of the aforementioned males would make cellular
phone calls asking persons if they wanted to engage in sex with Jane Doe Two,” and that they
charged people money to have sex with her. Id.
“All of these charges were predicated on two facts that Weyker and Bandemer knew they
could not prove: that Jane Doe Two was a minor and that Amalle was part of an imaginary sextrafficking ring.” AC ¶ 25. Amalle also “never conspired, engaged, or attempted to engage to
have Jane Doe Two perform commercial sex. Fabricated evidence formed the basis for these
false allegations against Amalle.” AC ¶ 28. Weyker, by forming “a deep and manipulative
relationship with Jane Doe Two and the other Jane Doe witnesses—whom she referred to as ‘my
girls’ in a news interview about the Vice Unit’s biggest indictment,” manipulated and coerced
Jane Doe Two and other witnesses into giving false testimony. See AC ¶¶ 29, 33, 35. In a Sixth
Circuit opinion, the court made several remarks about interactions between Jane Doe Two,
including that “meetings [between Weyker and Jane Doe Two at her school] . . . produced a story
in which Jane Doe 2 was not a troubled runaway or juvenile delinquent, but was instead an
innocent child taken in by a Somali gang who used her for sex” and that “Jane Doe 2 herself
furthered the district court’s suspicion when she testified on cross examination that Weyker had
misstated facts in the reports, adding to and omitting things from her statements.” AC ¶ 36
(quoting United States v. Fahra, 643 Fed. Appx. 480, 482 (6th Cir. Mar. 2, 2016)).
In March 2012, a criminal trial began in which Amalle was tried on the only four charges
against him. See AC ¶ 40. At the trial, Weyker “was not even called as a witness” because her
“credibility was so eviscerated” by that point. AC ¶ 41.
The jury acquitted Amalle of all charges. AC ¶ 42; United States v. Adan, 913 F. Supp.
2d. 555, 560 (M.D. Tenn. 2012). “The majority of his co-defendants were also acquitted of all
charges, but a few were found guilty on some counts.” AC ¶ 42; see also Adan, 913 F. Supp. 2d
at 560. “The trial judge, however, granted a judgment of acquittal for those defendants,”
pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 29, on the basis of a variance between the sextrafficking conspiracy charged in Counts 1 and 2 and the multiple conspiracies proved at trial.
See AC ¶ 42; see Adan, 913 F. Supp. 2d at 579. In March 2016, the Sixth Circuit affirmed the
district court’s grant of the three convicted co-defendants’ Rule 29 motions. See Fahra, 643 Fed.
Appx. at 493-94; AC ¶ 44.
A judgment of acquittal was entered, and Amalle was ordered discharged. United States
v. Amalle, No. 3:10cr260, Dkt. No. 2557 (M.D. Tenn. June 8, 2012).
Amalle “would never have been indicted on sex trafficking charges,” nor detained in
custody, “had Weyker and Bandemer not fabricated evidence, cultivated and manipulated Jane
Doe Two, manufactured testimony and misled federal authorities.” AC ¶¶ 46-47.
Like Osman, Amalle alleges that the charges of a wide-ranging sex-trafficking conspiracy
were baseless and that Weyker fabricated “[v]irtually all of the material evidence supporting
[his] indictment,” AC ¶ 31; that Weyker manipulated and coerced Jane Doe witnesses, including
Jane Doe Two, into lying, e.g., AC ¶¶ 29, 33, 46; and that indications of Weyker’s fabrication
included her rough notes, AC ¶ 36, questions surrounding Jane Doe Two’s age, AC ¶¶ 36, 38-39,
questions surrounding Jane Doe Two’s April 2009 trip to Nashville (which did not involve
Amalle), AC ¶¶ 15, 30, 36, and the results of the Spring 2012 trial, AC ¶ 42. Also like Osman,
Amalle’s complaint repeatedly cites to remarks about Weyker and the case by the district and
appellate courts in the Tennessee Case. E.g., AC ¶¶ 30, 32 n.1, 36, 38, 44, 48-49.
SUMMARY OF ARGUMENTS
A summary of the parties’ arguments is included in Section IV of the Court’s opinion in
Yusuf v. Weyker, et al., No. 16cv1012, filed simultaneously herewith. Amalle 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), Amalle’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
false testimony and other erroneous evidence manufactured by Weyker and Bandemer, no
probable cause existed to detain or otherwise restrict Amalle’s liberty.” AC ¶ 1; see also AC
¶¶ 46-47. 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 similar to Amalle’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)). Thus, because he challenges his pretrial detention,
his claim is under the Fourth Amendment. In contrast, if he had been convicted and were to
challenge the sufficiency of the evidence supporting that conviction, his claim would then be
analyzed under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment because “once a trial has
occurred, the Fourth Amendment drops out: A person challenging the sufficiency of the evidence
to support both a conviction and any ensuing incarceration does so under the Due Process
Clause . . . .” Id. (emphasis added) (citing Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 318 (1979), and
Thompson v. Louisville, 362 U.S. 199, 204 (1960)). Although Amalle did stand trial, he was
acquitted. See Adan, 913 F. Supp. 2d at 560. He thus challenges pretrial detention, not
incarceration imposed pursuant to a sentence, and his claims sound in the Fourth Amendment.
Compare with Jackson, 443 U.S. at 316 (describing the due process guarantee “that no person
shall be made to suffer the onus of a criminal conviction except upon sufficient proof”)
(emphasis added), and Thompson, 362 U.S. at 206 (holding that it violates due process “to
convict and punish a man without evidence of his guilt”). Amalle’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). 3
Under the Fourth Amendment analysis, the Court must decide whether Amalle 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. 4
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.
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 the Court finds that only the Fourth Amendment, and not substantive due
process, is applicable; because a Fourth Amendment claim in this case does not present a new
context for a Bivens action; and because § 1983 and Bivens claims are analyzed similarly, the
Court does not reach the question of whether Amalle’s claim should be brought under § 1983 or
Bivens. See Osman Op. 13-17.
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
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) (quoting Moody v. St.
Charles Cty., 23 F.3d 1410, 1412 (8th Cir. 1994)).
a. Analysis of Amalle’s Claim Under the Fourth Amendment
In considering whether Amalle 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.
Amalle’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 Amalle cite. See Osman Op. 25-33. For instance, similar to Osman’s
allegations about the Spring 2012 trial, Amalle alleges that the jury acquitted him and five other
defendants completely and that the district court granted the other three defendants’ motions for
judgment of acquittal 5 after their trial. See AC ¶ 42. Also like Osman, he cites repeatedly to the
district court’s post-trial order on the Rule 29 motions (Adan, 913 F. Supp. 2d 555 (M.D. Tenn.
2012)) and to the appellate opinion affirming that order (Fahra, 643 Fed. Appx. 480 (6th Cir.
2016)). See AC ¶¶ 30, 32 n.1, 36, 38-39, 44, 49. For instance, he quotes the Fahra opinion’s
noteworthy description of the “story” the prosecution presented at trial as “likely a fictitious
story.” AC ¶¶ 36, 44 (quoting Fahra, 643 Fed. Appx. at 484). Amalle also quotes some pointed
Amalle’s careful phrasing—alleging that the district court “granted a judgment of
acquittal” as to the three defendants whom the jury convicted, rather than alleging that the
district court “acquitted them”—may reflect some of the same considerations that the Court
discusses in an aside on the phrase “acquitted” in the Osman Opinion. See Osman Op. 23-25.
remarks in that opinion about testimony and evidence surrounding a trip Jane Doe Two took to
Nashville in April 2009 (even though the indictment did not allege that Amalle was involved
with that trip), in order to support his allegations that Weyker manipulated Jane Doe Two into
fabricating evidence in support of the large-scale sex-trafficking conspiracy. AC ¶¶ 30, 36
(quoting Fahra, 643 Fed. Appx. at 482-83). The Osman Opinion discusses in detail the district
court’s Adan opinion and the Sixth Circuit Fahra opinion, as well as other cited documents,
including a pretrial memorandum at Dkt. No. 1392 concerning photographic show-ups
conducted by Weyker and references to a July 31, 2012 detention hearing.
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. Amalle was exclusively
charged with sex-trafficking-related crimes. Therefore, consistent with the analysis in the
Osman Opinion, see Osman Op. 17-20, 22-28, 35, the Court finds that Amalle’s allegations of a
Fourth Amendment violation by Weyker in fabricating evidence related to sex trafficking also
survive Weyker’s motion to dismiss. The same caveats that the Court noted in the Osman
Opinion apply as well to Amalle’s allegations. Like Osman, Amalle has also included some
factual allegations more specifically relating to his case, in addition to his detailed references to
particular remarks by the district and appellate court. Amalle specifically denies that he ever was
involved in any efforts to have Jane Doe Two perform commercial sex. AC ¶ 28. And he was
acquitted by the jury on all such charges. Considering all of Amalle’s allegations as to Weyker,
the Court finds they meet the Iqbal standard.
The same cannot be said for Amalle’s allegations about Bandemer. His allegations as to
Bandemer are conclusory and lacking well-pleaded facts. And none of the judicial statements
that lend some plausibility to the allegations about Weyker refer to Bandemer in any way.
Amalle does not plausibly plead that Bandemer directly violated his civil rights. Bandemer is
entitled to qualified immunity on Counts 1 and 5.
b. Supervisory Liability
Amalle also sues Bandemer and John Does 3-4 in their individual capacities as
supervisors. He alleges that they were deliberately indifferent to or authorized Weyker’s alleged
violations of his constitutional rights. E.g., AC ¶ 51. He does not allege that John Does 3-4 have
supervisory responsibility over Bandemer. See AC ¶ 8.
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).
Amalle’s complaint, which is again 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, see, e.g., AC ¶¶ 8, 72; that the investigation was
very important to the St. Paul Police Department vice unit, AC ¶ 29; 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. ¶¶ 48-49, 52. Like Osman, Amalle 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 supervisory liability
notice allegations. AC ¶¶ 48-49.
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, Amalle does
not allege any other similar acts by Weyker before the Tennessee Case investigation that could
show a pattern about which Bandemer or the John Does 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
Amalle 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). Absent allegations of an official policy that was the moving force behind the violation,
“[m]isconduct 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.
Amalle does not adequately support his conclusory municipal liability allegations with
well-pleaded facts. 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 except Counts 1 and 5 as to
Weyker. As to Defendants Bandemer, John Does 3-4, and the City of St. Paul, the Court grants
their 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.
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. 36]
is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART consistent with the above opinion.
2. Defendant City of Saint Paul’s Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings [Dkt. No. 45] is
3. Plaintiff Mohamed Amalle’s Amended Complaint is DISMISSED WITH
PREJUDICE as to Defendants John Bandemer, John Does 3-4, and the City of St.
4. Counts 1 and 5 of Plaintiff Mohamed Amalle’s Amended Complaint are DISMISSED
WITH PREJUDICE to the extent they plead violations of the Fifth and Fourteenth
Dated: August 9, 2017
s/ Joan N. Ericksen
JOAN N. ERICKSEN
United States District Judge
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