Case: Williams v. Minneapolis

0:20-cv-01303 | U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota

Filed Date: June 2, 2020

Closed Date: Sept. 15, 2021

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

This class-action lawsuit was brought on June 2, 2020, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota under § 1983. The suit arose out of the protests that engulfed the nation following the police killing of George Floyd in May of 2020. Defendants in this case were the City of Minneapolis and John Does 1-100, one of whom was a police officer who allegedly pepper sprayed the plaintiff. The complaint alleged that Minneapolis law enforcement used tactics during these protests that violat…

This class-action lawsuit was brought on June 2, 2020, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota under § 1983. The suit arose out of the protests that engulfed the nation following the police killing of George Floyd in May of 2020. Defendants in this case were the City of Minneapolis and John Does 1-100, one of whom was a police officer who allegedly pepper sprayed the plaintiff. The complaint alleged that Minneapolis law enforcement used tactics during these protests that violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments. Specifically, the complaint claimed that the police used excessive force and retaliation against protesters in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, and that attacks on the protesters were violations of free speech and free assembly under the First Amendment. It sought at least $50,000 in monetary damages plus interest, a temporary restraining order, a permanent injunction, and attorney's fees and costs of the suit. Plaintiffs were represented by private counsel.

On June 3, 2020, the case was assigned to Judge David S. Doty and referred to Magistrate Judge Becky R. Thorson.

The court granted the city's motion to dismiss with prejudice on September 15, 2021. Judge Doty issued a summary order, but the city's motion suggests several failings in plaintiff's complaint. For example, because the complaint lacked any pleaded facts tying the pepper spraying officer to conduct of the city, plaintiff essentially relied on respondeat superior—a theory of liability that is not cognizable under § 1983 municipal liability. Also, plaintiff had failed to plead standing, for herself or her putative class, to seek equitable relief.

This case is closed.

Summary Authors

Jack Hibbard (6/23/2020)

Jordan Katz (5/10/2022)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17316168/parties/williams-v-minneapolis-city-of-the/


Judge(s)

Doty, David Singleton (Minnesota)

Thorson, Becky R. (Minnesota)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Madgett, David S (Minnesota)

Judge(s)

Doty, David Singleton (Minnesota)

Thorson, Becky R. (Minnesota)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Madgett, David S (Minnesota)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

0:20-cv-01303

Docket [PACER]

June 3, 2020

June 3, 2020

Docket
1

0:20-cv-01303

Class Action Complaint

Williams v. The City of Minneapolis

June 2, 2020

June 2, 2020

Complaint
22

0:20-cv-01303

Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion to Dismiss by Defendant City of Minneapolis

Williams v. City of Minneapolis

Nov. 19, 2020

Nov. 19, 2020

Pleading / Motion / Brief
27

0:20-cv-01303

Order for Dismissal with Prejudice

Williams v. City of Minneapolis

Sept. 15, 2021

Sept. 15, 2021

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17316168/williams-v-minneapolis-city-of-the/

Last updated June 9, 2022, 3:21 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT against City of Minneapolis filed by Annette Williams. Filer requests summons issued. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet) (Madgett, David) (Entered: 06/02/2020)

1 Civil Cover Sheet

View on PACER

June 2, 2020

June 2, 2020

RECAP
2

EXHIBIT Civil Cover Sheet re 1 Complaint filed by Annette Williams. (Madgett, David) (Entered: 06/03/2020)

June 3, 2020

June 3, 2020

PACER
3

First Application to Proceed in District Court without Prepaying Fees or Costs filed by Annette Williams. (Madgett, David) (Entered: 06/03/2020)

June 3, 2020

June 3, 2020

PACER
4

TEXT ONLY ENTRY: CLERK'S NOTICE OF INITIAL CASE ASSIGNMENT. Case assigned to Judge David S. Doty per Civil (3rd, 4th - Civil Rights) list, referred to Magistrate Judge Becky R. Thorson. Please use case number 20-cv-1303 DSD/BRT. (CLK) (Entered: 06/03/2020)

June 3, 2020

June 3, 2020

PACER
5

EXHIBIT Civil Cover Sheet (signed) re 1 Complaint filed by Annette Williams. (Madgett, David) (Entered: 06/03/2020)

June 3, 2020

June 3, 2020

PACER
6

ORDER granting 3 Application to Proceed in District Court without Prepaying Fees or Costs. Signed by Magistrate Judge Becky R. Thorson on 7/1/2020. (MSK) (Entered: 07/01/2020)

July 1, 2020

July 1, 2020

PACER
7

DOCUMENT FILED IN ERROR-WILL REISSUE. LETTER from Clerk's Office to re: Order Granting IFP and USM Forms to Complete cc: Plaintiff's Attorney David J. S. Madgett. (MMP) Modified text on 7/6/2020 (lmb). (Entered: 07/02/2020)

July 2, 2020

July 2, 2020

PACER

NOTICE OF DOCKETING CORRECTION For 7 Letter from Clerk's Office re: In Forma Pauperis: This entry has been marked as "Filed in Error". The Letter is being re-issued to the plaintiff Annette Williams' attorney David J S Madgett, and USM forms will be mailed to Mr. Madgett. (lmb)

July 6, 2020

July 6, 2020

PACER
8

LETTER from Clerk's Office to David J S Madgett, counsel for plaintiff Annette Williams, enclosing 6 Order Granting IFP and USM Forms to Complete. cc: David J S Madgett. (lmb) (Entered: 07/06/2020)

July 6, 2020

July 6, 2020

PACER
9

WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed filed by Minneapolis, City of, The. Minneapolis, City of, The waiver sent on 8/22/2020, answer due 10/21/2020. (Sarff, Kristin) (Entered: 08/24/2020)

Aug. 24, 2020

Aug. 24, 2020

PACER
10

NOTICE of Appearance by Kristin R. Sarff on behalf of Minneapolis, City of, The. (Sarff, Kristin) (Entered: 08/25/2020)

Aug. 25, 2020

Aug. 25, 2020

PACER
11

ORDER/NOTICE: Pretrial Conference set for 10/9/2020 at 03:00 PM in Video Conference (no courtroom) before Magistrate Judge Becky R. Thorson. Signed by Magistrate Judge Becky R. Thorson on 8/26/2020. (Attachments: # 1 Consent Form)(MSK) (Entered: 08/26/2020)

1 Consent Form

View on PACER

Aug. 26, 2020

Aug. 26, 2020

PACER
12

REPORT of Rule 26(f) Planning Meeting. Filed by Minneapolis, City of, The. Jointly Signed by Plaintiff Annette Williams.(Sarff, Kristin) (Entered: 10/05/2020)

Oct. 5, 2020

Oct. 5, 2020

PACER
13

DEMAND for Trial by Jury by Annette Williams. (Madgett, David) (Entered: 10/05/2020)

Oct. 5, 2020

Oct. 5, 2020

PACER
14

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Magistrate Judge Becky R. Thorson: Initial Pretrial Conference held on 10/9/2020. (MSK) Modified file date on 10/13/2020 (MMG). (Entered: 10/13/2020)

Oct. 9, 2020

Oct. 9, 2020

PACER
15

ORDER/NOTICE: INITIAL PRETRIAL SCHEDULING ORDER. Signed by Magistrate Judge Becky R. Thorson on 10/14/2020.(MSK) (Entered: 10/14/2020)

Oct. 14, 2020

Oct. 14, 2020

PACER
16

ORDER Regarding Dispositive Motion Procedure. Signed by Judge David S. Doty on 10/16/2020.(DLO) (Entered: 10/16/2020)

Oct. 16, 2020

Oct. 16, 2020

PACER
17

STIPULATION for Extension to Answer or Otherwise Respond to the Complaint by Minneapolis, City of, The. Jointly Signed by Annette Williams. (Sarff, Kristin) (Entered: 10/19/2020)

Oct. 19, 2020

Oct. 19, 2020

PACER
18

PROPOSED ORDER TO JUDGE re 17 Stipulation. (Sarff, Kristin) (Entered: 10/19/2020)

Oct. 19, 2020

Oct. 19, 2020

PACER
19

ORDER on 17 Stipulation. Minneapolis, City of, The answer due 11/19/2020. Signed by Magistrate Judge Becky R. Thorson on 10/19/2020.(MSK) (Entered: 10/19/2020)

Oct. 19, 2020

Oct. 19, 2020

PACER
20

MOTION to Dismiss/General filed by Minneapolis, City of, The. (Enslin, Sharda) (Entered: 11/19/2020)

Nov. 19, 2020

Nov. 19, 2020

PACER
21

NOTICE OF HEARING ON MOTION 20 MOTION to Dismiss/General : Date and time to be determined. (Enslin, Sharda) (Entered: 11/19/2020)

Nov. 19, 2020

Nov. 19, 2020

PACER
22

MEMORANDUM in Support re 20 MOTION to Dismiss/General filed by Minneapolis, City of, The. (Attachments: # 1 LR7.1/LR72.2 Word Count Compliance Certificate)(Enslin, Sharda) (Entered: 11/19/2020)

1 LR7.1/LR72.2 Word Count Compliance Certificate

View on PACER

Nov. 19, 2020

Nov. 19, 2020

RECAP
23

MEET and CONFER STATEMENT re 20 Motion to Dismiss/General filed by Minneapolis, City of, The.(Sarff, Kristin) (Entered: 11/19/2020)

Nov. 19, 2020

Nov. 19, 2020

PACER
24

PROPOSED ORDER TO JUDGE re 20 MOTION to Dismiss/General filed by Minneapolis, City of, The.(Enslin, Sharda) (Entered: 11/19/2020)

Nov. 19, 2020

Nov. 19, 2020

RECAP
27

Order Dismissing Case

Sept. 15, 2021

Sept. 15, 2021

RECAP

Case Details

State / Territory: Minnesota

Case Type(s):

Policing

Special Collection(s):

Police Violence Protests

Key Dates

Filing Date: June 2, 2020

Closing Date: Sept. 15, 2021

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

A woman protesting the killing of George Floyd

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Mooted before ruling

Defendants

City of Minneapolis (Minneapolis, Hennepin), City

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Law-enforcement

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Freedom of speech/association

Unreasonable search and seizure

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Issues

General:

Excessive force

Failure to discipline

Failure to supervise

Failure to train

Over/Unlawful Detention

Pepper/OC spray