IPAD's New Bi-Monthly Data Practices Update

FYi - From the Information Policy Analysis Division


Case law update

Driver's Privacy Protection Act cases

In the wake of McDonough v. Anoka County, et al., No. 14-1754, et seq., (8th Cir., Aug. 20, 2015), Minnesota federal district courts have seen several rulings on motions regarding alleged violations of the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (“DPPA”) stemming from alleged illegal use of the Department of Public Safety’s Driver and Vehicle Services database (“DVS Database”). 

In Meldahl, et al. v. City of Brooklyn Center, et al., No. 14-4465 (D. Minn., Sept. 30, 2015), the court dismissed all but two of the plaintiffs’ claims against a variety of law enforcement agencies, other municipalities, and the Department of Public Safety (“DPS”).

The court dismissed several of the claims because they were barred by the applicable four-year statute of limitations affirmed in McDonough. The court also relied on McDonough to dismiss several claims on the basis that plaintiffs alleged insufficient facts to establish that their records had been accessed for an improper purpose. All claims against the Commissioner of DPS and various DPS officials were dismissed because such claims were materially similar to those previously rejected by the court in Gulsvig v. Mille Lacs Cnty, No. 13-1309 (D. Minn., Mar. 31, 2014). Finally, the court denied the remaining defendants’ motions that claims against them be severed pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 20(a)(2), because the court was not yet in a position to determine if the remaining DPPA violations were independent or systematic.

In Marquardt v. City of Blaine, et al., No. 14-2958 (D. Minn., Sept. 30, 2015), the court dismissed all but one of plaintiff’s DPPA claims because they were barred by the applicable statute of limitations or because the plaintiff failed to establish a pattern of access that could plausibly conclude her records had been accessed improperly. Claims against DPS were denied as they were materially similar to the claims dismissed in Gulsvig.

In Karasov v. Caplan Law Firm, et al., No. 14-1503 (D. Minn., Oct. 23, 2015), all DPPA claims against defendants were dismissed on the basis that they were barred by the applicable statute of limitations.

Advisory opinion update

Administration building

Open Meeting Law

Advisory opinion 15-004

The Minnesota Film and TV Board asked whether it was subject to Minnesota's Open Meeting Law. The Commissioner opined that the Board is not subject to the law because it is not a State board, pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, section 13D.01, subd. 1(a).

The Board was not created by the Legislature; it is a private corporation. Its members and staff are not appointed by the government and its meetings are governed by the Board’s bylaws.

MN Admin / Information Policy Analysis Division