United States District Court, D. North Dakota
Louis Grad, Plaintiff, Pro Se.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
R. SENECHAL, Magistrate Judge.
Kevin Louis Grad (Grad), an inmate who is proceeding pro se
and in forma pauperis, filed a complaint alleging violations
of constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C. Â§ 1983. Under 28
U.S.C. Â§ 1915A, the court must conduct an initial screening
of any prisoner's complaint seeking redress from a
governmental entity or its employees. If the court determines
that the action is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a
claim, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is
immune from such relief, the court must dismiss the
alleges that North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem
(Stenehjem) and Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Byers
(Byers) headed a committee that required Grad to register as a
sexual offender for a misdemeanor conviction-indecent
exposure. (Doc. #6, p. 4). Grad further alleges that the
state statute under which he was convicted did not require
registration as a sexual offender. Id . Grad states
that "years later, " the state district court
terminated the erroneous registration requirement.
contends that, because of the registration requirement, he
was denied work, housing, educational, and treatment
opportunities. Id. at 4-5. He states that he was
prohibited from being around minors, including family
members, and that he was subjected to "bullying,
torment[, ] and harassment." Id. at 5. He
contends that he is unable to "rid" himself
"of the stigma, " which has caused him to suffer
from mental health and addiction issues. Id . Grad
requests monetary damages from the defendants in their
state a cognizable claim, a complaint must meet the
requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2), as
interpreted by Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544 (2007), Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662
(2009), and their progeny. To meet the Twombly/Iqbal
standard, a complaint must present a "plausible"
claim, and must give the defendants fair notice of the claim
and the grounds upon which it rests. E.g., Zink v.
Lombardi, 783 F.3d 1089, 1098 (8th Cir. 2015). When the
factual content of a complaint allows the court to reasonably
infer that a defendant is liable for the alleged misconduct,
the complaint has stated a facially plausible claim.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. In other words, the
complaint must "possess enough heft to sho[w] that the
pleader is entitled to relief.'" Twombly,
550 U.S. at 557 (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)).
facts alleged in the complaint are to be accepted as true,
conclusory allegations of the elements of a cause of action
are insufficient to state a claim that is plausible on its
face. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. In construing a
prisoner's pro se complaint, a court is to take a liberal
approach and is to hold a pro se litigant to a less stringent
pleading standard than would be required of attorneys.
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007).
states that he was convicted of indecent exposure pursuant to
North Dakota Century Code section 12.1-20-12.1(1)(a), which
is a class A misdemeanor. (Doc. #6, p. 4). Under state law,
an individual who has pled guilty to or has been found guilty
of indecent exposure is considered a "sexual offender,
" see N.D. Cent. Code Â§ 12.1-32-15(1)(f), and a sexual
offender who has pled guilty to or has been found guilty of
misdemeanor indecent exposure is required to register, see
id. at Â§ 12.1-32-15(2)(b). The court may, however, deviate
from the registration requirement under certain
circumstances. Id . If Grad's sole contention
were that the state statute did not require him to register
as a sexual offender, then his claim would be without merit.
See State v. Glaser, 858 N.W.2d 920, 925 (N.D. 2015)
(finding that the court did not abuse its discretion in
requiring the defendant to register as a sexual offender
after he was convicted of misdemeanor indecent exposure).
appears to allege, however, that SORAC, rather than the
court, required him to register as a sexual offender. The
court's search of the state court records reveals that
on June 19, 2008, Grad pled guilty to indecent exposure and
he was sentenced to thirty days'
imprisonment. State v. Grad, Morton County Case No.
than five years later, on July 11, 2013, Grad was charged
with failure to register as a sexual offender. State v. Grad,
Cass County Case No. 09-2013-CR-02350. The Information
alleged that between May 21, 2013, and June 10, 2013, Grad
failed to register a change in employment as is required of
registered sexual offenders. Id. at Doc. ID# 1. The
affidavit of probable cause in support of the Information
stated that an officer, who was investigating Grad in
connection with a reported theft, discovered that Grad was no
longer working at the place of employment Grad had previously
registered, and that Grad had not updated his registration to
indicate that he had lost that job. Id. at Doc. ID#
December 17, 2013, a Morton County Assistant State's
Attorney and Grad's ounsel filed a stipulation in the
indecent exposure case. State v. Grad, Morton County Case No.
30-08-K-00536, Doc. ID# 11. The stipulation stated that:
It was contemplated by the parties and the Defendant
understood that he would not be required to register as a
sexual offender. The parties agree that the provisions of
N.D.C.C. Â§12.1-32-15(2)(b) apply to this case; and that it
should have been stated on the record that the Court does or
did find that the Court should deviate from requiring the
Defendant to register in that "the Court finds the
individual is no more that three years older than the victim
if the victim is a minor, the offender has not previously
been convicted as a sexual offender or of a ...