Braun v. State of Minnesota et al
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS denying as moot 31 Motion for Joinder filed by Nathan Christopher Braun, granting 25 Motion to Dismiss filed by Commissioner of Corrections, MNDOC, Step-Down Management Program, The, St ate of Minnesota, Minnesota Correctional Facility, Chairs and Ranking Minority Members of the House of Representatives and Senate Committees, denying as moot 22 Motion for TRO filed by Nathan Christopher Braun. Case dismissed without prejudice. (Written Opinion) Signed by Judge John R. Tunheim on 11/17/2022.(HMA)
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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF MINNESOTA
NATHAN CHRISTOPHER BRAUN,
Civil No. 22-710 (JRT/JFD)
STATE OF MINNESOTA; MNDOC;
COMMISSIONER OF CORRECTIONS;
CHAIRS AND RANKING MINORITY
MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES AND SENATE
COMMITTEES, and Divisions with
Jurisdiction over Public Safety and
Judiciary; MINNESOTA CORRECTIONAL
FACILITY, the Warden of each; and THE
STEP-DOWN MANAGEMENT PROGRAM,
and the employees that enforced it,
MEMORANDUM OPINION ADOPTING
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION AND
GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS
Nathan Christopher Braun, OID # 252511, MCF-Stillwater, 970 Pickett Street
North, Bayport, MN 55003, pro se plaintiff.
Corinne Wright, MINNESOTA ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE, 445
Minnesota Street, Suite 1400, Saint Paul, MN 55101, for defendants.
Plaintiff Nathan Christopher Braun brings this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
alleging that the “Step-Down Management Program” used by the Minnesota Department
of Corrections violates prisoners’ constitutional rights. Magistrate Judge John F. Docherty
issued a Report and Recommendation (“R&R”), recommending that the Court dismiss
without prejudice (1) all claims against defendants the State of Minnesota, the Minnesota
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Department of Corrections, and the chairs and ranking minority members of the House
of Representatives and Senate Committees, (2) Braun’s claim for monetary damages, and
(3) all aspects of the Complaint seeking relief on behalf of those other than Braun. Braun
objected to these recommendations. Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss under Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) for lack of standing and 12(b)(6) for failure to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted as to all other defendants and claims. Braun also
filed various other motions including for preliminary relief and for joinder of claims.
The Court will overrule Braun’s objections and adopt the R&R because (1) the State
of Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Corrections are not “persons” under
§ 1983, (2) state legislative members are immune from suit under § 1983 for activities
within their legislative sphere; (3) state officials sued in their official capacity are
protected from claims for monetary damages; and (4) non-attorney pro se prisoners
cannot represent others. The Court will grant Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss because
Braun failed to allege that he has Article III standing and, even if he did, he did not
adequately allege claims for relief. The Court will deny Braun’s other motions as moot.
The Complaint alleges the Minnesota Department of Corrections (“MNDOC”)
maintains a program known as the “Step-Down Management Program” (“SDMP”).
(Compl. at 1, Mar. 17, 2022, Docket No. 1.) According to the Complaint, the policies
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guiding the implementation of the SDMP are contained in MNDOC Policy 301.088 which
was implemented under Minnesota Statutes § 243.521, subd. 4. (Id. at 2.)
Minnesota law permits the MNDOC to place inmates “on disciplinary segregation
status for rule violations or on administrative segregation status when the continued
presence of the inmate in general population would pose a serious threat to life, property,
self, staff, or other inmates or to the security or orderly running of the institution.” Minn.
Stat. § 243.521, sub. 1. As part of this, the MNDOC “shall design and implement a
continuum of interventions, including informal sanctions, administrative segregation,
formal discipline, disciplinary segregation, and step-down management,” and “shall
implement a method of due process for all offenders with formal discipline proceedings.”
Minn. Stat. § 243.521, sub. 4. MNDOC Policy 301.088 implements this mandate in part.
Policy Number 301.088, Restrictive Housing Step-Down Management Program at 9, Minn.
Dep’t of Corr., available at https://policy.doc.mn.gov/DOCPolicy (effective Sept. 17,
According to Policy 301.088, the SDMP exists to ensure that incarcerated
individuals “in restrictive housing who present an increased risk to the safety, security, or
orderly operation of the facility can gradually transition back to general population or the
community.” Id. at 1. There are a variety of procedures involving several people that
must be followed before an incarcerated individual is placed into the SDMP. Id. at 2–5.
There must be a referral, a mental health evaluation, a review by an SDMP team to
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provide written recommendations for placement, and a review and decision by a facility’s
deputy commissioner before someone is placed into the SDMP. Id. at 2–4. As a part of
the process, the person under consideration for placement, has an opportunity to be
present at the SDMP team’s review and/or to provide a written statement. Id. at 4.
Braun alleges that the SDMP violates the constitutional rights of “two distinct
classes of prisoners within the State of Minnesota that are confined to the MNDOC
custody, or had been at any time previously, and also is potentially subjecting another
distinct class of prisoners to the same violations in the future.” (Compl. at 1–2.) The
Complaint alleges that the SDMP “deprives prisoners of property and privileges without
any Due Process,” the DOC treats persons in the SDMP differently than similarly situated
persons in other forms of restrictive or segregated housing statuses, and that SDMP
“placement is entirely compulsory, with absolutely no grievance mechanism.” (Id. at 3–
4.) Braun further contends that the DOC uses the SDMP to violate and retaliate against
the exercise of inmates’ constitutional rights. (Id. at 4–5.)
Braun initiated this pro se action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the State of
Minnesota, MNDOC, the Commissioner of Corrections, chairs and ranking minority
members of the House of Representatives and Senate committees and divisions with
jurisdiction over public safety and judiciary, the wardens of each Minnesota correctional
facility, and the SDMP and the employees that enforced it, alleging the implementation
of the SDMP violates the Constitution’s First Amendment, Eighth Amendment, due
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process, and Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment equal protection rights. (Id. at 1.) Braun
purports to represent three classes: (1) those previously subjected to the SDMP, (2) those
currently subjected to the SDMP, and (3) those who may be subjected to the SDMP in the
future. (Id. at 5–6.) He seeks injunctive relief enjoining Defendants’ implementation of
the SDMP and monetary damages. (Id. at 5.)
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Magistrate Judge reviewed the Complaint and
issued an R&R recommending the Court dismiss without prejudice (1) all claims against
defendants State of Minnesota, the MNDOC, and the chairs and ranking minority
members of the House of Representatives and Senate Committees, (2) Braun’s claim for
monetary damages, and (3) all aspects of the Complaint seeking relief on behalf of those
other than Braun. (R&R, June 22, 2022, Docket No. 15.) Braun objected to the R&R.
(Objs. R&R, July 8, 2022, Docket No. 24.)
Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss all claims against all defendants not
addressed in the R&R. (Mot. Dismiss, July 15, 2022, Docket No. 25.)
Among other filings, Braun filed what purports to be a Motion for a Temporary
Restraining Order (“TRO”) and a Motion for a Joinder of Claims apparently signed by other
inmates. (Mot. TRO, July 8, 2022, Docket No. 22; Mot. Joinder Claims, July 18, 2022,
Docket No. 31.)
Because Braun is proceeding pro se, the Court will liberally construe his filings and
hold them to a less stringent standard than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers. See
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Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). However, “pro se litigants are not excused
from failing to comply with substantive and procedural law.” Burgs v. Sissel, 745 F.2d 526,
528 (8th Cir. 1984).
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
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.” Mayer v. Walvatne, No. 07–1958, 2008 WL 4527774, at *2 (D. Minn. Sept.
28, 2008). For dispositive motions, the Court reviews de novo “properly objected to”
portions of an R&R. 1 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 v. Compass Airlines, LLC, 98 F. Supp. 3d 1012, 1017 (D. Minn. 2015).
Unobjected portions of an R&R are also only reviewed for clear error. Fed. R. Civ. P. 72
advisory committee’s note, subd. (b) (“When no timely objection is filed, the court need
De novo means that this Court will review the evidence, filings, and the law
independently. In other words, the Magistrate Judge’s prior opinion has no influence on how the
Court reviews properly objected to issues. In essence, the Court will review the case from the
start, as if it is the first court to review and weigh in on these issues.
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only satisfy itself that there is no clear error on the face of the record in order to accept
Here, the Magistrate Judge issued a recommendation to dismiss portions of
Braun’s Complaint. When reviewing a complaint, the Court considers all facts alleged in
the complaint as true to determine if the complaint states a “claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Braden v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 588 F.3d 585, 594 (8th Cir. 2009)
(quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)). “A claim has facial plausibility when
the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference
that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. The Court
construes the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, drawing all inferences
in the plaintiff’s favor, accepting the complaint’s factual allegations as true and drawing
all inferences in the plaintiff’s favor. Park Irmat Drug Corp. v. Express Scripts Holding Co.,
911 F.3d 505, 512 (8th Cir. 2018); Ashley Cnty. v. Pfizer, Inc., 552 F.3d 659, 665 (8th Cir.
2009). The Court, however, is “not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as
a factual allegation.” Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986). In other words, a
complaint “does not need detailed factual allegations” but must include more “than
labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements” to meet the plausibility
standard. Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007).
Braun objected to all three of the R&R’s recommendations that the Court dismiss
without prejudice (1) all claims against defendants State of Minnesota, the MNDOC, and
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the Chair and Ranking Minority Members of the House of Representatives and Senate
Committees, (2) Braun’s claims for monetary damages, and (3) all aspects of the
Complaint seeking relief on behalf of those other than Braun.
Dismissal of Defendants
State of Minnesota and MNDOC Defendants
Braun objects to the Magistrate Judge’s recommendation to dismiss the claims
against the State of Minnesota and the MNDOC because they are not “persons” for the
purposes of § 1983. Section 1983 claims can only be brought against a “person.” See 42
U.S.C. § 1983. And “a State is not a person within the meaning of § 1983.” Will v. Mich.
Dep’t of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 64 (1989); accord Alsbrook v. City of Maumelle, 184 F.3d
999, 1010 (8th Cir. 1999) (“We note first, that a section 1983 suit cannot be brought
against the State or [a state agency].”). Therefore, a § 1983 claim may not be brought
against the State of Minnesota or the MNDOC. Braun contends that because the State
and the MNDOC implement and carry out the SDMP, they are the government and the
government is an actor or entity that can be held liable under Monell v. Department of
Social Services, 436 U.S. 658 (1978). Monell, however, stands for the proposition that
municipalities, not states, are persons under § 1983. See id. at 690; see also Will, 491 U.S.
at 62–63 (distinguishing between states and municipalities under § 1983). Therefore,
Monell does not allow a § 1983 claim against the State of Minnesota and the MNDOC.
The Court will adopt the Magistrate Judge’s recommendation to dismiss all claims against
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Chair and Ranking Minority Members of the House of
Representatives and Senate Committees Defendants
Braun objects to the recommendation to dismiss the claims against various
members of the Minnesota state legislature. The R&R recommends dismissal for two
reasons: (1) his claims against members of the state legislature are unclear and conclusory
and so the Complaint fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted as to them and
(2) state legislators are immune from suit under § 1983 for activities taken with the
traditional sphere of legislative activity. Braun does not object to the first reason, and it
is therefore reviewed for clear error. This recommendation is not clearly erroneous. The
only statement in the Complaint that could be construed as a reference to the state
legislature—which still does not reference the specific members—is to a single state
statute. A single reference to a statute is insufficient to state a claim as to individual
members of the legislature.
Braun does object to the second reason, contending that the legislators’ actions
were not within the traditional sphere of legislative activity and the Court therefore
reviews this part of the recommendation de novo. State legislators are absolutely
immune from liability under § 1983 for legislative activities. Bogan v. Scott-Harris, 523
U.S. 44, 49 (1998). This immunity “attaches to all actions taken in the sphere of legitimate
legislative activity.” Id. at 54 (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). Braun does
not dispute this but contends that the actions here were not within the traditional sphere
of legislative activity because (1) the law was enacted to effectively negate a ninety-day
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limitation on segregation sentences and (2) the legislature has active oversight of the
SDMP under the statute. As to his first argument, drafting, voting on, and enacting
legislation are legislative acts.
Id. at 55 (holding that voting for legislation is
“quintessentially legislative”); Hinshaw v. Smith, 436 F.3d 997, 1008 (8th Cir. 2006)
(holding that introducing a bill is also quintessentially legislative). The reason for the
legislation is irrelevant. Bogan, 523 U.S. at 54 (“Whether an act is legislative turns on the
nature of the act, rather than on the motive or intent of the official performing it.”) As to
his second argument, there are two problems.
First, the statutory section Braun
references addresses an action the Commissioner of Corrections, not state legislators,
must take. See Minn. Stat. § 243.521, subd. 9. Second, legislative oversight is also an
essential legislative function. See McGrain v. Daugherty, 273 U.S. 135, 174–75 (1927).
Therefore, the Court will adopt the Magistrate Judge’s recommendation to dismiss all
claims against the state legislators.
Dismissal of Claims for Monetary Relief
Braun objects to the recommendation to dismiss his claim for monetary relief
against the remaining defendants. Fairly construed, his objection only confirms that he is
in fact asking for monetary damages and is simply arguing that compensatory and
punitive damages are available in § 1983 cases. Monetary damages even when punitive
are still monetary damages. The Magistrate Judge found that monetary damages—
whatever the type—are not available based on the claims alleged in the Complaint. The
Complaint does not identify whether the remaining defendants are named in their
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personal or official capacities as government agents.
Braun’s objection does not
challenge this conclusion, and it is not clearly erroneous. Therefore, the Court interprets
the Complaint as only raising official-capacity claims. See Egerdahl v. Hibbing Cmty. Coll.,
72 F.3d 615, 619 (8th Cir. 1995) (“[A] plaintiff who wishes to sue a state official in his
personal capacity must so specify in her complaint.”). Because the Complaint only raises
official-capacity claims, the Eleventh Amendment bars the claims for monetary damages.
See Treleven v. Univ. of Minn., 73 F.3d 816, 818 (8th Cir. 1996). Therefore, the Court will
adopt the Magistrate Judge’s recommendation to dismiss all claims seeking from the
Dismissal of Claims on Behalf of Others
Finally, Braun objects to the Magistrate Judge’s recommendation to dismiss all
aspects of the claims seeking relief on behalf of anyone other than himself because he is
proceeding pro se. However, he does not meaningfully provide a basis for his objection.
Instead, he affirms that he is seeking class certification for three classes and that
“assignment of class counsel should be made.” (Objs. R&R at 3–4.) Under Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 23(a)(4), class certification is only appropriate where “the
representative parties will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class.” The
focus of this rule includes “whether the class representatives will vigorously prosecute
the interests of the class through qualified counsel.” Paxton v. Union Nat. Bank, 688 F.2d
552, 662–63 (8th Cir. 1982). “It is well established that a non-attorney pro se plaintiff
cannot adequately represent a class.” Greene v. Lake, No. 17-3551, 2018 WL 3105446, at
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*2 (D. Minn. June 25, 2018) (collecting cases). As a non-attorney pro se plaintiff, Braun
cannot proceed with claims on behalf of others. Therefore, the Court will adopt the
recommendation to dismiss all aspects of claims asserted on behalf of anyone other than
Braun himself. 2
MOTION TO DISMISS
Defendants move to dismiss all defendants and claims that remain after adoption
of the R&R under (1) Rule 12(b)(1) contending Braun lacks Article III standing and (2) Rule
12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim.
Rule 12(b)(1) Subject Matter Jurisdiction
Standard of Review
A Rule 12(b)(1) motion challenges the Court’s subject matter jurisdiction and
requires the Court to examine whether it has authority to decide the claims. The party
seeking to invoke a federal court’s subject matter jurisdiction bears the burden of
showing, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the court has jurisdiction. Schubert v.
Auto Owners Ins. Co., 649 F.3d 817, 822 (8th Cir. 2011). A court must dismiss an action if
It may be possible to construe his objection as asking the Court to appoint class counsel.
Assuming such a request was properly made, the Court will deny this request. When a court
certifies a class, it must appoint class counsel. Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(g)(1). When considering counsel,
the Court must consider “the work counsel has done in identifying or investigating potential
claims in the action.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(g)(1)(A)(i). Therefore, appointed counsel should have
some relationship to the case. Greene, 2018 WL 3105446, at *3. “The rule simply does not
contemplate appointing an attorney for a pro se litigant.” Id. (quoting Shepard v. Waterloo, No.
14-2057, 2015 WL 2238358, at *1 (N.D. Iowa May 12, 2015); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(g) advisory
committee’s note to 2003 amendment (“In a plaintiff class action the court usually would appoint
as class counsel only an attorney or attorneys who have sought appointment.”).
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it lacks subject matter jurisdiction. Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3). “A court deciding a motion
under Rule 12(b)(1) must distinguish between a ‘facial attack’ and a ‘factual attack.’”
Osborn v. United States, 918 F.2d 724, 729 n.6 (8th Cir. 1990). In deciding a facial attack,
“the court restricts itself to the face of the pleadings, and the non-moving party receives
the same protections as it would defending against a motion brought under Rule
12(b)(6).” Id. (citations omitted). The Court, therefore, may also consider “materials that
are necessarily embraced by the pleadings,” Carlsen v. GameStop, Inc., 833 F.3d 903, 908
(8th Cir. 2016),3 and matters of public record, Porous Media Corp. v. Pall Corp., 186 F.3d
1077, 1079 (8th Cir. 1999). The Court also accepts as true all facts alleged in the complaint
construing all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff’s favor. Carlson, 833 F.3d at 908. “The
general rule is that a complaint should not be dismissed unless it appears beyond doubt
that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him
to relief.” Osborn, 918 F.2d at 729 n.6 (citations and internal quotation marks omitted).
“In a factual attack, the court considers matters outside the pleadings, and the nonmoving party does not have the benefit of 12(b)(6) safeguards.” Id. (citations omitted).
“[M]aterials embraced by the complaint include documents whose contents are alleged
in a complaint and whose authenticity no party questions, but which are not physically attached
to the pleadings.” Zean v. Fairview Health Servs., 858 F.3d 520, 526 (8th Cir. 2017) (quotation
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Defendants bring a facial attack on the Court’s subject matter jurisdiction as they
do not present any evidence or cite anything other than the Complaint and matters of
public record, one of which is also embraced by Braun’s Complaint.
Article III of the Constitution limits federal courts’ jurisdiction to cases or
controversies. Lujan v. Defs. of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560 (1992). Therefore, a plaintiff
must have (1) suffered an injury in fact that is both (2) fairly traceable to the complained
of conduct of the defendant and (3) likely to be redressed by a favorable decision. Id. at
560–61. To establish an injury in fact, a plaintiff must show an injury that is “concrete
and particularized” and “actual or imminent, not conjectural or hypothetical.” Id. at 561
(citations and internal quotation marks omitted).
The Complaint only describes the SDMP generally and states that it violates
prisoners’ constitutional rights, but never states that its implementation has violated or
will imminently violate Braun’s rights. Indeed, in the Complaint, he never alleges he has,
is, or ever will be placed in the SDMP. Therefore, he has not alleged any injury fairly
traceable to the SDMP, and he lacks standing. In other filings, Braun claims he was placed
in program in January 2019, (Objs. R&R at 4), and that he was told he will be placed in it
“upon completion of [his] segregation sentence,” (Mot. Joinder Claims at 1). Even
assuming the Court could liberally construe these as a part of the Complaint, he still does
not allege that he was injured in fact by the SDMP. Braun never points to any specific
instance where his constitutional rights were violated by the program or even generally
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states that his rights were violated. Instead, the Complaint only alleges hypothetical
violations of a prisoner’s rights. This is insufficient to confer standing on Braun. See
Martin v. Sargent, 780 F.2d 1334, 1337 (8th Cir. 1985) (“A prisoner cannot bring claims on
behalf of other prisoners. A prisoner must allege a personal loss.” (citations omitted));
see also Ellis v. Norris, 179 F.3d 1078, 1079 (8th Cir. 1999).
Because Braun fails to allege an injury in fact, he does not meet his burden of
demonstrating that he has standing.
Accordingly, the Court lacks subject matter
jurisdiction over his Complaint, and the Court will grant Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss
pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1).
Rule 12(b)(6) Failure to State a Claim
Even if the Complaint and Braun’s filings could be liberally construed to allege that
he has standing, the Court would still grant Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss under Rule
As stated above, when reviewing whether a complaint states a claim upon which
relief may be granted, the Court must construe all facts in the plaintiff’s favor, but the
plaintiff must plead sufficient factual content that the Court can draw a reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable. Mere labels and conclusion will not do. In an
ordinary civil action such as this one, a complaint need only provide “a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Tellabs, Inc. v.
Makor Issues & Rts., Ltd., 551 U.S. 308, 319 (2007) (quoting Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2)).
“Although [Rule 8] encourages brevity, the complaint must say enough to give the
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defendant ‘fair notice of what the plaintiff’s claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.’”
Id. (quoting Dura Pharms., Inc. v. Broudo, 544 U.S. 336, 346 (2005)).
The Complaint never alleges any facts as to what any individual defendant did to
establish a valid claim against that specific defendant. Instead, it lumps all the defendants
together. 4 This is insufficient to survive a motion to dismiss. Tatone v. SunTrust Mortg.,
Inc., 857 F. Supp. 2d 821, 831 (D. Minn. 2012) (“A complaint which lumps all defendants
together and does not sufficiently allege who did what to whom, fails to state a claim for
relief because it does not provide fair notice of the grounds for the claims made against
a particular defendant.”); see also Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 676 (“[A] plaintiff must plead that
each Government-official defendant, through the official’s own individual actions, has
violated the Constitution.”). Similarly, even construed liberally, the Complaint also does
not allege any facts as to any specific instance of a violation of Braun’s rights. This is also
insufficient to survive a motion to dismiss. See Wallach v. City of Pagedale, 359 F.2d 57,
58 (8th Cir. 1966) (per curiam) (“Since plaintiff pleads pro se, we construe his pleadings
with the utmost liberality and without regard for technicalities. Even so, defendants are
entitled to know the extent of the claim against them as well as its precise nature.”).
Braun contends in his response to Defendants’ Motion that he did allege such facts but
fails to point to any facts supporting this contention. (Resp. Opp. Mot. Dismiss at 5, July 25, 2022,
Docket No. 32.)
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Therefore, the Court alternatively will grant Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss
pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6). 5
Braun has filed various other motions which the Court will deny. First, Braun filed
what he styles as a motion for a TRO. (Mot. TRO.) He appears to allege that Defendants—
without naming which—are retaliating against him for filing this action. Confusingly, as
he seeks to have the SDMP declared unconstitutional, he appears to be claiming that
Defendants’ refusal to transfer him out of the SDMP is retaliatory as two other people in
the SDMP were notified that they would be transferred. (Id.; Aff. Supp. Mot. TRO, July 8,
2022, Docket No. 23.) Because the Court will dismiss all claims against all Defendants,
Braun cannot succeed on the merits, and the Court will deny this Motion as moot. See
Miller v. Honkamp Krueger Fin. Servs., Inc., 9 F.4th 1011, 1014 (8th Cir. 2021). 6
Second, Braun filed a motion styled as a joinder of claims. (Mot. Joinder Claims.)
He has submitted various other similar filings and a request to certify a class. (Joinder of
Claims in Class, June 30, 2022, Docket No. 19; Joinder of Claims by Aff., July 25, 2022,
Docket No. 35; Request for Class Cert., Sept. 12, 2022, Docket No. 39.) Because the Court
Defendants also argue Braun’s Complaint should be dismissed because it did not allege
cognizable claims and he is not entitled to his requested relief. The Court will not address these
further alternative bases.
6 Because the Court denies it as moot, the Court will not address Defendants argument
that it is too attenuated from the claims alleged in the Complaint.
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will dismiss all claims against all defendants, the motions, requests, and filings are moot,
and the Court will deny them as such.
In sum, Braun’s Complaint does not present any claims that can proceed in their
current form. As a matter of law, several claims cannot proceed as the Magistrate Judge
recommended. Therefore, the Court will adopt the R&R and overrule Braun’s objections.
For the claims remaining after dismissing the claims addressed in the R&R, even viewing
the Complaint in the light most favorable to Braun, as currently drafted it contains no
factual content that would allow the Court to draw any reasonable inference (1) that he
has standing, and therefore the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, or (2) that
Defendants are liable for misconduct, and therefore fails to state a claim upon which relief
can be granted. It may be the case that the SDMP—whether facially or as applied to
Braun—is unconstitutional, but because the Complaint has no well-pleaded facts
supporting standing or a claim for relief, the Court will grant Defendants’ Motion to
Dismiss and dismiss the Complaint without prejudice. 7 Because the Court will dismiss
Braun’s case, the Court will also deny his other motions as moot.
A dismissal without prejudice means that the complaint may be amended and filed
again, correcting the problems identified with the original complaint.
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Based on the foregoing, and all the files, records, and proceedings herein, IT IS
HEREBY ORDERED that:
1. Plaintiff’s Objections to the Report and Recommendation [Docket No. 24] are
2. The Magistrate Judge’s June 22, 2022, Report and Recommendation [Docket No.
15] is ADOPTED;
3. Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss [Docket No. 25] is GRANTED;
4. Plaintiff’s Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order [Docket No. 22] is DENIED as
5. Plaintiff’s Motion for Joinder of Claims [Docket No. 31] is DENIED as moot;
6. The action is DISMISSED without prejudice.
LET JUDGMENT BE ENTERED ACCORDINGLY.
DATED: November 17, 2022
at Minneapolis, Minnesota.
JOHN R. TUNHEIM
United States District Judge
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