City motions to dismiss suits filed by The Interchange owner

Published 5:28 pm Tuesday, March 16, 2021

The lawyer representing the city of Albert Lea, its city attorney and a police detective in civil lawsuits filed by the owner of The Interchange Wine & Coffee Bistro said Tuesday the city is seeking dismissal of the suits because of claims she described as “frivolous and vexatious.”

A judge will consider the motion for dismissal at a hearing slated for May 13. The court will then have 90 days to make a determination of the motions, said Stephanie Angolkar with Iverson Ruevers law firm based out of Bloomington.

Hanson announced in a news release Monday she is suing Albert Lea City Attorney Kelly Martinez, whom she claims has overstepped her bounds of authority and abused the power of her office when she filed criminal charges against her for reportedly opening in defiance of the governor’s order limiting in-person dining. Martinez is part of four lawsuits Hanson filed against multiple people and entities, including Gov. Tim Walz, the city of Albert Lea, the state of Minnesota, state agents and a city detective.

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Motions to dismiss filed by Angolkar state Lisa Hanson’s claims fail as a matter of law and that “prosecutors are entitled to absolute immunity from civil liability ‘when acting within the scope of their duties by filing and maintaining criminal charges.’”

It also states Hanson fails to prove Martinez was part of a conspiracy against her and that she fails to allege sufficient facts for a plausible emotional distress claim.

One of the motions to dismiss states Hanson fails to assert a claim against the city or Albert Lea Police Department Detective Julie Kohl and asks the court to order Hanson not be able to file additional suits and abuse the court system without advance permission from the court.

“Such an order is necessary to prevent Plaintiff from unduly burdening the Court and parties with frivolous claims,” the motion to dismiss states.

Hanson is facing civil litigation through the state of Minnesota for reopening her business for in-person dining in defiance of the governor’s orders and also faces nine criminal counts filed by the city, including eight misdemeanor counts of violating an emergency powers or rule and one misdemeanor public nuisance charge.

In previous interviews, Hanson has said the matter is one of Constitutional rights and that she will continue to fight for those rights, not only for herself but for others across the state and nation.


Related story: “Owner of The Interchange suing city attorney, governor, others”