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Judge Dismisses Data Practices Claim

| Aug 28, 2017 | Firm News, government |

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United States District Judge Patrick J. Schiltz didn’t pull any punches in his order on Aug. 23 in Scheffler v. City of Coon Rapids on 17 causes of action in this unlawful arrest and excessive force case.

The Court “trudge[d] through 17 claims to separate the wheat from the chaff,” dismissing 11 of the claims with prejudice, including plaintiff’s claim for Minnesota Government Data Practices Act (MGDPA) retaliation.

United States District Judge Patrick J. Schiltz didn’t pull any punches in his order on Aug. 23 in Scheffler v. City of Coon Rapids on 17 causes of action in this unlawful arrest and excessive force case.

The Court “trudge[d] through 17 claims to separate the wheat from the chaff,” dismissing 11 of the claims with prejudice, including plaintiff’s claim for Minnesota Government Data Practices Act (MGDPA) retaliation, and allowing the others to proceed to trial because questions of fact existed.

This lawsuit arose out of a late night interaction between the plaintiff and a member of the Coon Rapids Police Department, Officer McDonough.  After plaintiff was arrested for obstructing the legal process, he showed up at a hearing regarding McDonough’s divorce.

Based on the interaction at this hearing, the City Attorney obtained an order prohibiting the plaintiff from further contact with McDonough. After the charges against the plaintiff were dismissed, the no contact order was vacated.

For all public entities, it’s reassuring that the MGDPA retaliation claim was dismissed.  The plaintiff alleged the City Attorney’s no-contact order against the plaintiff was sought in retaliation against him for seeking records related to his arrest.

Judge Schiltz noted that the MGDPA does not provide for a claim of retaliation, even though the Minnesota Legislature gave “significant attention to the question of what remedies should be available for violations of the statute. . . . Under the circumstances, the Court will not recognize a new cause of action for “MGDPA retaliation.”

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