United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Eastern Division
Leonard T. Strand, Chief Judge.
case is before me on a motion (Doc. No. 9) by defendants Marc
Waterlander and the State of Iowa (State) to dismiss
plaintiff Ralph Leroy Flugge, Jr.'s claims against them.
Flugge has filed a resistance (Doc. No. 11) and the movants
have filed a reply (Doc. No. 12). No party has requested oral
argument and, in any event, I find that oral argument is not
necessary. See N.D. Ia. L.R. 7(c).
complaint includes the following allegations:
November 16, 2014, Flugge called Waterlander to complain that
a deer had been illegally shot on his property. Doc. No. 2 at
4. Waterlander was unable to respond, but referred the matter
to other conservation officers who met with Flugge on his
property. Id. On December 7 and 10, 2014, Flugge
contacted the Howard County Sheriff's Department and the
Iowa Department of Natural Resources and again complained
about vehicles trespassing on his property for the purpose of
poaching wild game deer. Id. at 5. Hollenbeck and
Waterlander met with Flugge on December 7. Id.
Hollenbeck met with Flugge again on December 10. Id.
at 6. Meanwhile, Waterlander received information from
multiple sources that Flugge was dissatisfied with the
officers' response to his complaints and had made
threatening statements with regard to trespassers. See
Id. at 5-7 (“Flugge was very upset and stating
that he was going to take the law into his own hands because
Flugge knew they were not going to do anything with his
complaints.”); (Flugge “stated he was 62
years-old and was not concerned if he had to go to prison and
would just take care of the problem himself.”).
December 12, 2014, Waterlander applied for a search warrant
based on the alleged threatening statements. Id. at
2-8. That same day, Flugge was charged with Felony Threat of
Terrorism in violation of Iowa Code § 708A.5 based on
those alleged statements. Id. at 9. On August 20, 2015,
the State of Iowa voluntarily dismissed the charge.
Id. at 9.
filed this action on December 9, 2016, asserting four counts:
• Count I - Constitutional violations brought pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Hollenbeck (both
individually and in his official capacity as a Deputy Sheriff
for Howard County, Iowa); Howard County, Iowa; Waterlander
(both individually and in his official capacity as a
conservation officer for the State); and the State.
• Count II - Conspiracy claim brought pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983 against Hollenbeck and Waterlander.
• Count III - State law claim of false arrest against
Hollenbeck and Howard County, Iowa.
• Count IV - State law claim of malicious prosecution
against Hollenbeck and Howard County, Iowa.
Id. at 9, 13, 15-16. The State and Waterlander (in
his official capacity) argue Counts I and II against them
should be dismissed based on Eleventh Amendment