Calgaro v. St. Louis County, No. 17-2279 (8th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed suit against several parties, alleging violations of her parental rights over one of her minor children, E.J.K., under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. E.J.K. obtained a letter from Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid concluding that E.J.K. was legally emancipated under Minnesota law. Although the letter had no legal effect, E.J.K. was able to obtain funding for medical services and other living expenses, as well as gender transition care.
The Eighth Circuit held that the district court properly granted judgment on the pleadings for St. Louis County (including the official-capacity claim against the interim director) because plaintiff did not adequately plead a claim under 42 U.S.C. 1983. In this case, plaintiff's conclusory assertion that the County acted based on a policy or custom was insufficient to state a claim. The court also held that plaintiff failed to state a claim for damages against the then-interim director of Public Health and Human Services; neither of the medical provider defendants were acting under state law; the school district's alleged handling of plaintiff's case, assuming it interfered with plaintiff's rights, was insufficient to establish a custom or practice under Monell v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 694 (1978); the school principal was entitled to qualified immunity; and declaratory and injunctive relief claims were moot.