STATE OF MINNESOTA DISTRICT COURT THIRD
COUNTY OF RAMSEY JUDICIAL DISTRICT
|LA’MONT KNAZZE III, Plaintiff,v. NORTH END SELF STORAGE MN LLC; NORTH END SELF STORAGE L.L.C; 1370 GOPHER STATE STORAGE; STATE STORAGE SAINT PAUL LLC AND/OR STATE STORAGE MIDWEST LLC, WHICH IS DOING BUSINESS AS 1370 GOPHER STATE STORAGE; NOKEY’S 24 HOUR TOWING ANDWRECKING SERVICE; LOWRELL ROYAL ANDERSON IN HISINDIVIDUAL CAPACITY AND ASTRUCKER, AGENT, OWNER,OPERATOR OF NOKEY’S 24 HOURTOWING AND WRECKING SERVICE; KARL JOSEPH PIGG IN HISINDIVIDUAL CAPACITY AND ASAGENT OF NORTH END SELF STORAGE MN LLC.; AND ROYAL CREDIT UNION. Defendants.||Court File No.: 62-CV-21-494 Judge: Laura Nelson Case Type: Contract Jury Trial Demanded THIRD AMENDED COMPLAINT|
Plaintiff, LA’MONT KNAZZE III (hereinafter referred to as “Knazze”), files this Third Amended Complaint and Demand for Jury Trial (the “Complaint”) against Defendants North End Self Storage MN LLC; North End Self Storage L.L.C.; 1370 Gopher State Storage; State Storage Saint Paul LLC.; Nokey’s 24 Hour Towing and Wrecking service; Lowrell Royal Anderson in his Individual capacity and as Trucker, agent, owner, Operator of Nokey’s 24 Hour Towing and Wrecking Service; Karl Joseph Pigg in his Individual capacity and as Agent of North End Self Storage MN LLC.; and Royal Credit Union (Collectively “Defendants”), based on personal knowledge as to his own acts and on information and belief as to all other matters, as follows:
- 1. This action arising out of Defendants’ failure to perform their duties under the agreement with Plaintiff, conversion of Plaintiff’s personal property, Defendants’ failure to ensure the security within their storage units and numerous violations of the state law by Defendants’ employees. Specifically, Defendants locked Plaintiff out of the facility, directly breached Plaintiff’s locking mechanisms, implementing brute force techniques, by cutting Plaintiff’s locks off and breaking into and burglarizing property belonging to Knazze, stored at Defendants’ supposedly secured storage facilities.
- The events occurred on more than one occasion, beginning with the unlawful breaching, and damaging of a large double storage unit that Knazze rented from Defendants. Defendants also breached Knazze’s fully loaded fifty-three-foot commercial trailer, for which Knazze rents storage space at the Defendants’ facilities. Defendants implemented brute force in breaching Knazze’s locked commercial trailer and storage unit, at the Defendants’ storage site, in St. Paul, Minnesota.
- Plaintiff has paid all rents demanded by Defendants in full, no lawful bailment of Plaintiff’s property exists favoring any of these Defendants.
- Despite an aggressive storage facility acquisition investment wealth building strategy, (See Exhibits “A-16” and “A-17”), the initial owner North End has sold the business to, State Storage Saint Paul LLC and/or State Storage Midwest LLC, which is doing business as 1370 Gopher State Storage. Accordingly, 1370 Gopher State Storage is also liable for the debts and obligations of North End Storage.
- Plaintiff has dismissed his claims against Defendant SPRINT SPECTRUM, LP DBA STC FIVE LLC. This was done vide a spoilation letter to the said Defendant dated April 30, 2021 and said Defendant’s confirming correspondence on May 10, 2021.
- Plaintiff, La’Mont Knazze III, is an individual, residing at 7240 60th Ave N. #7, New Hope, MN 55428.
- On information and belief, Defendant North End Storage MN LLC is a Minnesota Foreign Limited Liability Company with a principal place of business at 1765 Village Center Circle, Suite 100, Las Vegas, NV 89134. This Defendant has a registered office at 202 N Cedar Avenue, Ste#1, Owatonna, MN 55060.
- On information and belief, Defendant North End Self Storage L.L.C is a Minnesota Foreign Limited Liability Company residing at 8430 W. Lake Mead Blvd., Suite 100, Las Vegas, NV 89128.
- On information and belief, Defendant 1370 Gopher State Storage is a business registered in Oregon, of address 9450 SW Gemini DR Suite 85473 Beaverton, OR 97008-7105 US. Defendant 1370 Gopher Storage is a successor to the North End Storage Defendant’s company. Therefore, this Defendant is liable for the debts and obligations of the North End Storage Defendant.
- On information and belief, Defendant State Storage Saint Paul LLC and/or State Storage Midwest LLC is the current owner of the property after purchasing it from the North End Defendants. The address for service of this Defendant is [ENTER ADDRESSS].
- On information and belief, Defendant Nokey’s 24 Hour Towing and Wrecking Service is a business operating in Minnesota. Defendant’s business address is on the North End Defendant’s storage facility site at 1370 Sylvan Street, St. Paul, MN 55117. T-Mobile phone no. Tel. (651) 747-5019.
- On information and belief, Defendant Lowrell Royal Anderson is a Driver, Agent, Owner, Operator of Nokey’s 24 Hour Towing and Wrecking Service. their address is. His address is 609 Dale St. N #2., St. Paul MN 55103, Tel. (651) 747-5019; (651) 368-3019 and (651) 528-4359.
- On information and belief, Defendant Karl Joseph Pigg, in his individual capacity and as an Agent of North End Self Storage MN LLC. His principal address is 192 Granite St., St. Paul, MN 55119. Tel. (651) 774-1865, (612) 437-3720 and (612) 437-2018.
- On information and belief, Defendant Royal Credit Union, upon information and belief, a Wisconsin Credit Union, having a registered office at: 200 Riverfront Terrace, Eau Claire, WI 54703, Charter Number 66834, Tel. (715) 833-8111, Brandon Riechers, Manager and CEO. Plaintiff includes Defendant Royal Credit Union in this action because it holds the lease assignments from Defendant State Storage Midwest LLC.
- Plaintiff reserves the right to amend this complaint to add additional Defendants pending the results of discovery efforts.
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
- Pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 543.19(b), The Court has personal jurisdiction over Defendants for the following reasons: (1) Defendants are present within or have minimum contacts within the State of Minnesota and district; (2) Defendants have purposefully availed themselves of the privileges of conducting business in the State of Minnesota and within this district; (3) Defendants have sought protection and benefit from the laws of the State of Minnesota; (4) Defendants regularly conduct business within the State of Minnesota and within this district, and Plaintiff’s cause of action arises directly from Defendants’ business contacts and other activities in the State of Minnesota and in this district; and (5) Defendants are incorporated in Minnesota and have purposely availed itself of the privileges and benefits of the laws of the State of Minnesota.
- Pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 484.01, the Court has general subject matter jurisdiction because the facts that form the basis of this action occurred, at least in substantial part, within the district.
- Pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 542.09, venue exists because substantial parts of the events or omissions giving rise to the claims stated herein occurred within this district.
- 14. Defendants North End Self Storage MN LLC, and North End Self Storage MN LLC (collectively “North End”) have leased a double storage unit to Knazze for a period of about 7 years. The storage unit is a garage with dual overhead doors, and the unit is numbered 114 on the west side and 138 on the east side.
- Plaintiff has paid thousands of dollars to Defendants and prior entities in possession of the storage facility, over a period of years in exchange for storing and protecting Plaintiff’s property. Plaintiff is unaware of any breaches prior to North End’s and the current owners taking possession of the storage facility’s property and prior to Defendant North End cutting the locks on Plaintiff’s storage unit numbered 114 and 138, creating an unlawful bailment thereupon, installing this Defendant’s own large and distinctive red colored locks.
- Knazze’s leased garage storage unit was filled with household items, electronics, construction equipment and materials, including new windows, doors, gas boiler, water heater, hundreds of feet of hot, cold, and in-floor PEX tubing, tri-plex service line electrical wiring, 200 Amp service panel, wine coolers, chandeliers, lamps, high end plumbing fixtures, jacuzzi tubs, high-end Snap-on tool chests, air compressors, air tools, flooring nail guns, framing nail guns, high end plumbing with mechanical tools, air tools, commercial air compressor and peripherals, framing nail guns, sheets of marble and granite, residential HVAC equipment, including boilers, floor nail guns and numerous additional items.
- North End has also leased space to Knazze to park the Plaintiff’s owned fifty-three-foot commercial trailer in the Defendants’ storage facility for approximately five years. Defendants assigned the space as number OS17 per the attached Invoice number 18370 dated November 16, 2020, which Defendants submitted to the Plaintiff, see Exhibit “A-10”.
- Knazze had moved out of a large house following a bout with cancer, moving the contents of the house into the Knazze’s fifty-three-foot trailer, stored in the space Knazze leased from North End. The Plaintiff’s commercial trailer contained enough construction materials to finish a home, two sets of laundry appliances, two sets of kitchen appliances, couches, bedroom sets for seven bedrooms, construction, mechanical equipment, office equipment, tools, electrical supplies, flooring, and enumerable, irreplaceable personal items, even the Plaintiff’s spouse’s wedding dress and other items were stolen, and this list is by no means exhaustive, so the damage and the sheer havoc that these Defendants have wreaked upon the Plaintiff are substantial. Two complete model kitchens purchased by the Plaintiff from The Honorable Senator Rudolph Ely “Rudy” Boschwitz, personally, from the Senator’s former Home Valu Store in Fridley, Minnesota. The Plaintiff’s fifty-three-foot commercial trailer was packed from end to end, and floor to ceiling, very tightly, in such a manner as to minimize load shifting, and was previously insured in excess of $203,000 by State Farm Insurance Company.
- 19. To entice Knazze to lease space, North End continued to recommend its site as a secure facility, featuring controlled access via an electric powered gate, with high, barbed-wire fencing, nestled against a railroad corridor, which served as added security, since it further limited accessibility from the areas outside of the tall fencing. North End controlled access by issuing an electronic security gate code to each tenant, including Plaintiff. Additionally, North End deployed 24-hour surveillance by means of tape backed up video cameras, overseeing the controlled access points as well as the entire facility, having cameras placed strategically throughout the campus with unimpeded views of the entire storage facility. Please See Exhibit “K”. Also, North End bolstered the security of its site by informing Knazze that the management and staffing monitored its cameras around the clock, either on site or remotely.
- 20. In the fall of 2019, Great Lakes Storage, the then owner of the storage facility operators required Plaintiff to relocate Knazze’s fifty-three-foot commercial trailer from the location where the Manager directed Knazze to park it years earlier, and to do so at Knazze’s own expense. The Manager represented to Knazze that he would continue to be afforded easy access to Knazze’s trailer to both access its storage area and to move the trailer at will, in the event Knazze wished to move the trailer off of the site. The location where the Plaintiff’s commercial vehicle was parked is still visible on Google Earth and Google Maps. Please see Exhibit “L”. Plaintiff’s commercial vehicle had previously been located on the southeasterly quadrant of North End’s campus. Please see Exhibit “M”. The Storage Operator submitted a hand sketch to Knazze of the location they wished for Plaintiff to relocate his fifty-three-foot commercial trailer. Please see Exhibit “N”.
- The storage facility Operator recommended that Knazze hire Lowrell Anderson of Nokey’s 24-Hour Towing to relocate his trailer if and when needed again. Knazze declined, explaining that he would re-hire Ray’s Towing, who delivered his commercial trailer to the location that they directed him to park it previously, where it had been parked for years prior, to again, relocate the trailer, on the site. Later, the Manager directed Knazze to a different location on their property, to relocate his commercial trailer to, citing a conflict with the Cell Tower Owner, which, according to him, specified that the Plaintiff’s commercial trailer become relocated elsewhere (See Exhibit “N”), so Knazze hired a Driver from Rays Towing to move the vehicle to an open area on the far southeastern end of the campus. Please see Exhibits “O” and “P”. It is worth noting that Defendant had a statutory obligation to guarantee Plaintiff’s access to his property. In this regard the law states that a self-storage facility is real property “designed and used only for renting or leasing individual storage space in [a] facility” where the occupants have access to the facility only to store and remove their personal property. Minn.Stat. § 514.971, subd. 2(1) (2004). (Emphasis added).
- Knazze complied with the sudden request and hired Ray’s Towing to position the trailer on the southeastern portion of Defendant’s North End lot, in front of the properties secured rear gate, which the Storage Facility Operators secured by a locking system. Please see Exhibit “M” that shows the location of the trailer, where it had been parked for years, and then later, Knazze complied with the request, after hiring Rays Towing to shift it to the southeastern portion of Defendants’ lot, in front of Defendant’s rear gate. The Manager was on site during the relocation, and personally directed the trailer to where he wanted it located.
- North End failed to provide the access to Knazze as promised. Instead, this Defendant surrounded Knazze’s trailer by other vehicles, including other large commercial vehicles, which made full access to Knazze’s trailer completely impossible. Knazze’s trailer was also immobilized due to the way it was surrounded by the said vehicles. Please see Exhibit “Q”. Knazze repeatedly requested that Defendants remove the vehicles to afford Plaintiff reasonable and necessary access to Plaintiff’s fifty-three-foot commercial trailer. However, Defendants never granted Plaintiff’s request. Defendants are liable for their actions and inactions which denied Plaintiff access to his trailer. The law states in this regard that a party may not release itself from liability for wanton and willful conduct. Beehner v. Cragun Corp., 636 N.W.2d 821, 829 (Minn.App.2001). In that regard, willful conduct includes “a disregard for governing statutes and an indifference to their requirements, or a careless disregard of statutory requirements.” In re Henry Youth Hockey Ass’n, 511 N.W.2d 452, 456 (Minn.App.1994). Defendants failed to grant Plaintiff access to his property contrary to Minnesota’s Lien Statute 514.972. North End clearly demonstrated that this Defendant was in complete control of Knazze’s commercial vehicle, an unlawful bailment. It follows; Defendants are fully liable to Plaintiff for damages.
- In December 2019, North End Storage served a lien notice on Plaintiff, despite Plaintiff having paid all rents due, which rents were also paid on time. Please see Exhibit “A”. Still, this Defendants billed Plaintiff for several hundred dollars as an assessment for late fees and penalties, before relinquishing and acknowledging that the Plaintiff had fully paid all monthly fees on time and entering a zero for Plaintiff’s balance owed following numerous communications with both North End Agent Bryan Patrick Barz in Las Vegas and Defendants’ Manager, at that time, Karl Joseph Pigg. Please see Exhibit “B” and Exhibit “C”.
- Mr. Pigg claimed that Knazze’s rental check was in a safe in the Defendants’ possession somewhere, and that the safe had been robbed. When Plaintiff reminded Mr. Pigg that Knazze’s check and communications had been submitted by certified mail, with a return receipt requested, and that the payment check had already been negotiated, Mr. Pigg, began to backtrack, blaming the North End Las Vegas office for the “mix-up”. However, Mr. Pigg said Knazze would have to await a resolution, by the Las Vegas office before his account could be completely cleared.
- Mr. Pigg stated to Plaintiff that Knazze “must have some valuable stuff in all that storage” because Knazze had been “paying big rents for a long time.” Mr. Pigg also asked Plaintiff whether he wished to keep the trailer or get rid of it, suggesting that the Plaintiff was “having a hard time keeping up with the rent”. The Defendant’s Manager suggested that if the Plaintiff wants to move his trailer or get rid of it, then Nokey’s “got a big truck hauler, they could move it for you.” Plaintiff responded that he had twice used Ray’s Towing, and that he had been satisfied with them and would use them again in the future, when needed, again reiterating his request that North End remove the vehicles that are obstructing the Knazze’s commercial vehicle, for access and so that he could easily relocate it when he so desired to do so.
- Notwithstanding the fact that North End had earlier confirmed that the Plaintiff’s rents were fully paid, North End’s Manager cut off all of Plaintiff’s four locks from Knazze’s rented storage garage unit numbered 114 on the western sided bay door, and 138 on the eastern bay door, and inspected Knazze’s belongings, allegedly for a potential lien sale. Please see Exhibits “D through Exhibit G”. North End, thereafter, installed one of their own distinctive, large red colored locks, of the type that they customarily install on units that allegedly fall behind on rental payments, on each side of Knazze’s storage unit. They refused to remove them from the Plaintiff’s storage unit, until the “lien was paid off,” although no lawful bailment had ever even existed. Mr. Pigg told the Plaintiff that he had been ordered to cut the Plaintiff’s locks off by Mr. Barz and/or others at North End’s Las Vegas office, from whence he received his directives. Knazze repeatedly insisted that the Defendant remove the lock that they had installed and complained to North End that they had no business cutting off his locks on the Plaintiff’s assigned units, in the first instance. Yet, North End refused to remove them. Although Mr. Barz resolved the alleged accounting error, he stopped returning Plaintiff’s calls altogether, concerning the issue of removing the Plaintiff’s locks, directing Plaintiff to follow up with the “local Manager”, Mr. Pigg on that issue. Mr. Pigg, in turn, stated that he had to “wait to hear from Vegas…so I can’t do anything for you, till they say I’m free to takem off”, with reference to the locks he had cut off of Knazze’s storage unit, and replaced with North End’s own red colored locks.
- Mr. Knazze’s conversations with Mr. Pigg and Mr. Barz had taken place by phone. Upon meeting North End’s Mr. Pigg on site, in person, Mr. Pigg, looked at Knazze up and down, telling him, “when I talked to you on the phone, I thought you were going to be, uh taller, and uh, lighter.” This statement had clear racial overtones, an ode to Knazze’s distinctive appearance as a protected class member in violation of the Plaintiff’s Civil rights. Upon information and belief, this Defendant may specifically have targeted Knazze for the burglary of Plaintiff’s property, after meeting the Plaintiff in person and noticing and commenting on his race. Notably, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 42 U.S.C. § 1981 prohibit discrimination against persons based on their race.
- When Plaintiff asked Mr. Pigg what he meant, the Defendant’s Manager inexplicably went into a diatribe about Mr. Pigg’s father, whom he said works for Homeland Security, and that for this reason, people should not “mess with” Mr. Pigg, because he “could hurt them real bad”, apparently, with the aid of his father, and his father’s special position as a Homeland Security Agent. Upon information and belief, Mr. Pigg had a downgraded opinion of Plaintiff, upon meeting Knazze, in person and conveyed that he felt deceived by the sound of the Plaintiff’s voice over the phone.
- When the Plaintiff again complained that Mr. Pigg had cut his locks off, Mr. Pigg responded by removing the red lock off the east side garage numbered 138, because, he had a replacement lock that he intended to give to the Plaintiff for Knazze’s use in lieu of reimbursing the Plaintiff for having cut his locks off, but he only had a single lock available. Knazze had purchased locks from North End during his initial rental period, and so he did not find this to be objectionable, at that time.
- In response to Plaintiff’s question to Mr. Pigg as to what method Mr. Pigg used to remove Knazze’s locks, in the first place, since the Plaintiff believed that he had purchased an extraordinarily heavily armored variety of locks, with limited maneuverability, so that they appeared to have been nearly tamper proof in Knazze’s estimation, Mr. Pigg gleefully related to Knazze that “your locks don’t even take, like forty thirds to cut, they cut like butter, we use a grinder, and we just grind them off real quick, yeah, they come off real quick!” Much to Knazze’s surprise.
- Mr. Pigg left the Plaintiff’s rented garage, stating that he was returning to North End’s Manager’s office (Please See Exhibit “R”) to get a replacement lock. Mr. Pigg returned and brought back with him a single, Chateau branded replacement lock for Plaintiff’s use, of the exact variety that the North End Defendant sales in their office, that Knazze had purchased previously from this Defendant. However, the lock lacked any packaging, and Mr. Pigg supplied the Plaintiff with only a single key. Please See “Exhibit “I”. Plaintiff has retained the lock given him by North End’s Manager Mr. Pigg. Upon information and belief, Mr. Pigg had retained a second, matching key, and retained it with the specific intention of looting Plaintiff’s belongings, sometime after the replacement lock had been installed. This became apparent, after the passage of some time, when, unbeknownst to Plaintiff, Mr. Pigg had been replaced by a new Manager, and had acted on his intentions to pilfer Plaintiff’s belongings.
- 33. North End’s Mr. Pigg had, evidently, been replaced at some point, during the Winter or Spring of 2020, by a person who identified himself to Plaintiff as North End’s new Manager, Jacob Carroll. Knazze was introduced to Mr. Carroll by phone, when the Plaintiff received a call from Mr. Carrol, demanding the payment of late rents for the month preceding month. The Plaintiff responded that he had submitted the rent by U.S.P.S. certified mail, and Mr. Carroll responded, “I’m only 18 and if you send stuff by certified mail, then you got to know that 18-year-olds aint allowed to pick up no certified mail from the Post Office, they don’t allow that, but the boss is flying in from Vegas and she’s gonna check on that.” Mr. Carroll intimated that Mr. Pigg was fired by the company because of “thievery”, apparently alluding to the incident involving the company safe, that Mr. Pigg had mentioned to Plaintiff, previously. The occasion upon which Mr. Pigg suggested to the Plaintiff that the check covering his rental payment was missing in a compromised company safe, on an earlier occasion.
- Defendants’ Manager Jennifer (last name unknown) arrived from Las Vegas, as Mr. Carroll said she would, and contacted Plaintiff from North End’s St. Paul office to confirm that this Defendant, had indeed received the full payment of $325.00 from the Plaintiff for his rented garage and outside storage and that, North End would properly credit Knazze’s payment as having been received, timely, and in full and that penalties that this Defendant had erroneously assessed would now be waived, again leaving the Plaintiff with a zero balance owed and payable to the Defendant.
- In March of 2020, North End arbitrarily added a late fee to Plaintiff’s invoice, although no penalties are to be assessed by this Defendant for rents received by the sixth day of the month. Plaintiff paid on the third day of the month, and was charged a fee without any explanation, as on other occasions. Please See Exhibit “A-12”, as attached.
- Plaintiff again demanded that Defendants remove its red lock from the western side of Plaintiff’s storage garage, numbered 114, and that they reimburse Plaintiff for erroneously cutting Plaintiff’s locks off his storage unit. Plaintiff also reiterated his demand for Defendants to remove the vehicles that North End had placed in such a manner that they hemmed in Knazze’s fifty-three-foot commercial vehicle and obstructed his access to his commercial trailer. Jennifer asked Knazze: “so you want me to do all of that?” She angrily continued: “I’ve got a lot going on here with Jake right now!” Jennifer promised to “look into it” and to “follow up with” the Plaintiff. However, Jennifer has never contacted Knazze as promised to date, ever again, following that discussion. Jennifer has also failed to respond to Plaintiff’s follow-up calls to North End’s Las Vegas offices, where she conducts business, on many other occasions, including following the burglaries of Knazze’s properties, while in North End’s possession, at their storage facility. Knazze’s calls have fallen upon non-listening, non-attentive ears. On the few occasions in which the Plaintiff managed to reach the Defendants, he was instructed to await a call back from Jennifer, and such a call was never forthcoming from these Defendants.
- Knazze also complained to North End about intoxicated, homeless individuals that this Defendant permits to live on site in storage units, RV’s and other vehicles. Plaintiff expressed a concern that this represented compromised safety and security, besides other caveats, especially since, at least some of them appeared to have been under the influence of mind-altering substances of some sort, perhaps alcohol, and/or illicit drugs, were being actively abused by these patrons. Aside from other potential code violations, at least some of these individuals are directly within the fall zone of the cellular towers, and subject harm from the towers microwave antennae. Please See Exhibits “S” through Exhibit “W”. The milk jug present in the North End tenant’s rental unit performed as a restroom to accommodate that tenant.
- Defendants insisted that they were “keeping an eye on” their operation with video surveillance, as well as its management personnel and that they were confident that these individuals were harmless. Courts in Minnesota have held that a premises owner is under a legal obligation to keep and maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition for use as to all who enter the premises. See Messner v. Red Owl Stores, Inc., 238 Minn. 411, 413, 57 N.W.2d 659, 661 (1953).
- Knazze has duly paid all rents and complied with the North End Defendant’s instant requests for rental increases. Knazze has paid the rents in full for each, successive month, for both the inside and outside storage rentals owed and payable to this Defendant, eliminating the possibility of a lawful bailment of Plaintiff’s property by North End. See the Exhibit “A-13”- the highlighted area of the receipt that Knazze received on May 1, 2020, which reads: “Unit #114-138 paid through 5/31/2020, Unit #0S17 paid through 5/31/2020 (“OS” mean outside storage). North End has confirmed and acknowledged that rents are paid in full by Plaintiff.
- Knazze returned to the Defendants’ storage facility with four, new and better locks, that he had purchased from a Home Depot store, on April 2nd, of 2020 so that he could fortify the locking mechanisms on his storage units. Replacing the lock given him by Mr. Pigg on the eastern side of the garage unit numbered 138. Knazze, had also intended to reiterate his demand to North End to remove their lock on the western side, numbered 114, so that he could replace this Defendant’s red colored lock, with two brand new locks of his own. Knazze intended to install four new locks, in total, to the available slotting so that there would be two locks on each side his rented storage garage unit(s) numbered 114 and 138, as there were before North End cut off Knazze’s locks. Please see Exhibit “H”.
- To Plaintiff utter dismay, when he removed the lock that had been given to him by Mr. Pigg and raised the bay door on the eastern garage numbered 138, Knazze immediately noticed that a new, unused large bay window, that used to sit directly in the middle of Knazze’s tightly packed, rented storage garage, on the eastern side (numbered 138) was now missing. Please see Exhibit “J”. The window is of such substantial size, and girth, featuring built-in, operating blinds, on each of its operating casement windows, and set in a display frame, that it would be virtually, impossible for one person to grapple with and maneuver it unassisted. Evidently, Mr. Pigg must have had assistance, in removing and absconding with this, among other windows, large and small, among many, many other items. The windows were included in a custom home plan, that Knazze intended to build and specified by dimension and type in the architectural drawings that had been submitted to the City for review.
- In addition to the windows, many other items, including building equipment and new materials of all sort were now missing. The material and equipment were purposed for Plaintiff’s use in building a new home. They include such things as new garbage disposals, lamps, chandeliers, doors, stone, tile, wood, doors, wine coolers, along with numerous other windows, building and finishing materials, granite counter tops, sinks, bathroom cabinets, fixtures, finishing materials, boilers, tools and supplies were now stolen. Knazze reported the thefts to the Defendant North End, after speaking with the St. Paul Police Department, and later after speaking with the department’s Sergeant Dave Strucker on his phone no. (651) 266-5959, which has also been provided to North End at both their St. Paul, Minnesota, and Las Vegas, Nevada offices. Sergeant Strucker was assigned by the St. Paul Police Department to investigate the burglary of the Plaintiff’s rented storage garage combined units numbered 114 and 138.
- To date, to Plaintiff’s information and belief, although Knazze installed an additional lock in the remaining available slot, next to the red colored lock that North End had installed on his storage unit, the Defendants have never removed their red colored lock from the west side of the Plaintiff’s storage unit numbered 114. It’s abundantly clear that the breach of Knazze’s storage garage, was perpetrated by and directly involved North End by or involving its Manager, Mr. Pigg, since he had given the Plaintiff the lock and the key to the lock on the east side numbered 138, after having first cut off Knazze’s locks.
- Upon information and belief, North End’s alleged accounting errors, portending that Plaintiff’s payments were in arrears, was only a ruse, manufactured by this Defendant to cut Plaintiff’s locks off, inspect Knazze’s belongings, as a feasibility study for a future burglary operation feigning a lawful bailment. No lawful bailment had existed favoring North End, or any other party, however. The Plaintiff has continued to maintain his account in good standing to date, with this Defendant. North End burglarized the Plaintiff’s storage unit, and absconded with numerous, expensive items belonging to the Plaintiff, resulting in extensive damages to Knazze, including monetary damages and a denial of the tools and materials necessary for Knazze to construct a new home for the Plaintiff and his family.
- After contacting the Police, Plaintiff discussed the burglary with Defendant’s Site Manager Jacob Carroll by phone, since he was not on site. Knazze has never met Mr. Carrol in person. Although, Mr. Carroll’s mother and her unidentified, middle-aged male companion were on site, nearly every time, Knazze visited North End’s St. Paul offices, Mr. Carroll was never on site, and repeatedly used the excuse of being “out of town” as a reason he was unable to appear on site.
- On the rare occasion that the Plaintiff has been able to reach Mr. Carroll by phone regarding the burglary of Knazze’s rented garage unit, Mr. Carroll immediately, and directly implicated his predecessor Karl Joseph Pigg, stating that Mr. Pigg had cut the Plaintiff’s locks off and burglarized the Plaintiff’s storage unit. Knazze agreed with Mr. Carroll, that Mr. Pigg was a perpetrator in the burglary, and fully expected North End to cooperate in the investigation with Sargent Strucker and/or others designated by the St. Paul Police Department, and/or, other law enforcement agencies, and Mr. Carroll was verbally agreeable to following up with the respective, assigned law enforcement Investigators.
- Although having agreed to follow up with law enforcement, a duty that North End owed to Knazze, Mr. Carroll identified Mr. Pigg as an individual who had disabled the security cameras before Mr. Pigg had been allegedly fired by North End. Additionally, Mr. Carroll stated: “so I don’t know nothin and we didn’t see nothin, I didn’t cut your locks, I never met the old Manager, he cut your locks and I don’t know why, but he must have had a reason to cut your locks when he cut em, he didn’t do it for nothin!” Mr. Carroll continued stating “You must’ve been behind on the rents, so we can take your stuff, but if he took your stuff, that aint got nothin to do with me. I never met no Karl Pigg and I don’t know him either.” In response Plaintiff reiterated to Mr. Carroll that he would ask the Officer in charge of the investigation, Sergeant Strucker to contact him, and gave him the Police Officer’s contact details. Knazze asked Mr. Carroll to provide all of the pertinent details that the North End Manager, had shared with the Plaintiff, to Sergeant Strucker of the St. Paul Police Department.
- Upon further discussions with the Investigator, Sergeant Strucker, the Investigator explained that Mr. Carroll was unresponsive to his repeated phone calls, and Mr. Carroll had failed to contact him or to otherwise cooperate with the St. Paul Police Department’s investigation, following repeated calls to his office and cell phone. Plaintiff had also given Sergeant Strucker contact information for North End’s Las Vegas office and their employees, with whom the Plaintiff had interactions, Jennifer and Bryan Patrick Barz. However, Sergeant Strucker said his efforts were futile, since, they too, were unresponsive to his inquiries. Sergeant Strucker said that he was unable to go onto North End’s property without permission, and said that the matter was civil, in nature, since he was uncertain whether the Plaintiff had unpaid rents, that resulted in this situation.
- The North End Defendant possesses an obligation to the Plaintiff to be proactive in contacting the local St. Paul Police Department, and in cooperating with their respective Investigators in relationship to the burglaries of Plaintiff’s storage units. Upon information and belief, this Defendant failed to cooperate with the investigations by the local Police, since North End, is, itself, the Perpetrator of the burglaries, and wishes to keep its malfeasance concealed, since each of this Defendant’s crimes exposed them to potential criminal and/or civil prosecution, due to their egregious misconduct.
- Upon information and belief, North End failed to cooperate with the St. Paul Police Department, since Defendants had itself, created the conditions in which the Plaintiff’s property was stolen, having itself, cut the Plaintiff’s locks and breached the Plaintiff’s units, utilizing brute force techniques, in part, before absconding with the Plaintiff’s personal property. Defendants’ collective actions and inactions have inflicted substantial harm upon Knazze. These Defendants accepted bailment of the Plaintiff’s property and owed Knazze the duty of protecting his interests in exchange for rents paid by him.
- Knazze repeatedly asked the Defendant North End to move the vehicles surrounding his commercial trailer so he could take his trailer and all of the Plaintiff’s remaining belongings out of their storage facility, but the Defendant North End did not move the other vehicles that were boxing in Knazze’s fifty-three-foot trailer so Knazze couldn’t get the trailer moved out or properly access his property.
- On or about May 16, 2020, Knazze visited the premises of North End to whom he had paid rent to park his trailer and from whom he’d rented a double storage garage. But he could not enter since North End had changed the entire keyless access entry system, including the previous metallic colored box and pad, (See Exhibit “A-2”) to a new yellow colored box with keyless entry pad, (See Exhibit “A-3”) and North End had not given Knazze the security code, thereby barring the Plaintiff’s access to his storage areas and containing his property.
- Knazze then went to the Defendant’s North End 1379 Rice St. office, whereupon, he met the mother of the Manager, Mr. Carroll, who was there. Mr. Carrol’s mother was on premises on each occasion that Mr. Knazze visited North End’s property, giving the appearance that she resided there. She was frequently accompanied by an unknown male companion, who remains unidentified. Mr. Carrol’s mother phoned him, and she placed him on speaker phone. She explained that Mr. Knazze “is here to go onto the property but he can’t get in since them codes got changed”.
- Mr. Carrol, was heard asking his mother, “who, Monti Knazze, that dude with the trailer?” Since the Plaintiff had reintroduced himself to Mr. Carroll’s mother and he had met her on other occasions, she was satisfied with the Plaintiff’s identity and responded in the affirmative to Mr. Carrol. North End’s Manager, Mr. Carroll then stated, “does he want me to come down there?” Then he began excusing himself by stating “It’s late, I’m out of town, I’m busy”. Mr. Carroll asked his mother, “Could he come back some other time?” Mr. Carroll further instructed his mother: “Don’t give him no code!” His mother asked, “can I tell him a reason why?” Likewise, the Plaintiff told Mr. Carroll through his mother’s speaker on her cell phone that, there’s an ongoing pandemic, and that he had been trying to remain at home since Mr. Knazze has underlying health conditions that place him at grave risk, in the event of contracting Covid-19. Knazze explained that he had been remaining at home, as much as possible, and had no idea that North End had changed their gate code, and that he had been locked out of this Defendant’s facility. Knazze also complained that Mr. Carroll had never followed up with the Police regarding the burglary of Knazze’s storage unit. Knazze also told stated that Mr. Carroll should have contacted the Plaintiff with the information that the gate code had been changed.
- At first, Mr. Carroll instructed his mother to provide the gate code for Plaintiff’s access. He changed his mind, immediately afterwards, however. Mr. Carroll stated: “I’m not nowhere near no computer, and it’s gonna take me at least a couple of hours before I to get to one…I don’t know what you did, you didn’t pay no rent, aint no way I’m gonna give you no code.” North End refused to give Knazze the access code, permitting his unencumbered entry into this Defendant’s storage facility.
- Upon information and belief, Mr. Carrol crafted an excuse to bar Plaintiff’s entry, because he knew that Knazze’s commercial trailer had been breached and burglarized.
- Following his conversation with Mr. Carrol’s mother, Knazze followed Mr. Carroll’s mother’s red PT Cruiser, with Wisconsin temporary plate into the part of North End’s facility where his storage was located, about two blocks east of this Defendant’s St. Paul office. Upon entry, Knazze noticed that Defendant North End still had their red lock on Knazze’s storage unit, and the fifty-three-foot commercial trailer now has ball peen hammer marks all over the aluminum sheathing near the area where Knazze’s lock used to be, but had been clearly beaten off. Plaintiff also noticed that Defendant North End also damaged the trailer door’s right side, by prying it up and trying to open it with some sort of device or devices, apparently, just prior to changing tactics and successfully breaching Knazze’s locking mechanisms on the commercial trailer.
- The trailer was open, and a lot of Knazze’s items have been stolen, although it was too dark to confirm the full extent of the loss. To the extent that Knazze was able to see, all the materials that had been stored by the Plaintiff on his commercial trailer, are now missing. Knazze had enough building materials and tools to build a house, and the household goods were stored in the trailer. Knazze had previously insured the trailer for $203,000 with State Farm, for the Plaintiff’s use in building a new home in the area, within a mile or so from North End’s storage facilities.
- After discovering the burglary of the Plaintiff’s commercial trailer, some weeks after the initial burglary of Plaintiff’s storage garage unit, Plaintiff engaged the Defendant Manager, Mr. Carroll’s, mom, again, who told him that she has to go help someone who was on the premises, and that the Plaintiff needed to leave, since he was now, allegedly trespassing. When the Plaintiff demanded to speak with her son, Mr. Carrol, again, she refused to phone him back, reiterating that according to the Manager, Plaintiff, had allegedly fallen behind on rents, and thusly, deserved the mistreatment he was experiencing, repeating that Plaintiff was not supposed to be on the premises of the facility, and that Knazze was continuing to trespass, a violation for which she may now call the police.
- Although, Knazze realized that he was not on the Defendants premises in trespass status, the Plaintiff did not wish to await the arrival of the St. Paul Police Department’s Officers, in the event they were to be summoned by Mr. Carroll’s mother, to test Knazze’s theory, that he was on the premises lawfully, although it was truthful. Plaintiff was cognizant that such a situation could place Knazze at imminent risk of loss of life, potentially, given his status as a visual racial minority, especially in view of recent incidents involving the shooting of unarmed African Americans by Police Officers.
- Notably Mr. Carroll’s mother had no intention of discussing the burglary with the police. Instead, she remained laser focused upon her allegation that Knazze was now trespassing on North End’s property. Consequently, Knazze obeyed the instant request by Mr. Carroll’s mother, having been traumatized by the events that had taken place by the egregious actions and inactions of the North End Defendants.
- Before Knazze got into his vehicle to leave, Mr. Carrol’s mother told him that the “real thieves was probably some of the guys who live out here in the yard”. This Defendant further threatened to have Plaintiff’s trailer and the remainder of its contents, to the extent that anything of value remained onboard, “hauled out of here” allegedly due to unpaid rents, reiterating what her son, Mr. Carrol had stated. Mr. Carroll’s mother continued: “we use Nokey’s to move stuff around here, they can make it happen, in a hurry…they could push your stuff around again in a snap, I seen em do it!”
- Upon information and belief North End Manager, Mr. Carroll’s mother was referring to Nokey’s 24 Hour Towing and Wrecking (hereinafter, “Defendant Wrecker”), which possesses at least one towing vehicle of the size and capability, that would be necessary to manipulate and tow Plaintiff’s fifty-three-foot commercial trailer.
- Plaintiff has never met, hired, or engaged the Defendant Wrecker or their personnel, to perform any services on Knazze’s behalf. Plaintiff was unaware of the Defendant having ever moved the Plaintiff’s massive fifty-three-foot commercial trailer, which included such items as a commercial diamond blade wet saw tile cutter, large, filled automotive tool chest, hydraulic decompression equipment, a commercial sewing machine, connected to a sewing table, two sets of kitchen and laundry appliances, aside from building materials, household goods and many other large items. This, coupled with the fact that the Defendant North End had hemmed the Plaintiff’s commercial vehicle in, surrounding it by other vehicles, made it difficult to understand how the burglars were able to negotiate offloading the Plaintiff’s commercial trailer. Plaintiff was hitherto, at a loss to decipher the process by which so many heavy and voluminous equipment and material items were extricated from his commercial vehicle by the burglars, due to the way it was positioned, and the fact that it was hemmed in, on all sides, by other vehicles. Upon information and belief, each Defendant conspired to burglarize the Plaintiff’s commercial vehicle and to abscond with its contents, Plaintiff’s personality.
- Upon information and belief, Wrecker stores their large commercial semi-truck and semi-trailer wrecking vehicle on site at the Defendant North End’s facility, near the area of the storage yard, where Plaintiff’s own commercial trailer is parked. Wrecker was directly implicated by North End of cooperating with North End in breaching and looting Plaintiff’s commercial trailer by the Defendant Storage Facility’s agents.
- Upon information and belief, Defendant Lowrell Royal Anderson’s Offender ID Number is: 172119, and this Wrecker Defendant has spent decades in and out of police custody, jails and/or prisons and subjected to supervised release. He possesses at least a dozen and a half misdemeanor and felony criminal convictions, including, but not limited to violent crime convictions, using weaponry, making terroristic threats, repeated domestic abuse convictions, fleeing police in a motor vehicle, and the list goes on.
- This Wrecker Defendant has such a wide and varied history of offenses, that even include a voter registration related conviction, Mr. Anderson’s his criminal history covers a wide array of offenses. Most pertinent to the instant case, this Wrecker Defendant has incurred a burglary conviction or convictions. This Defendant has been either jailed or on supervised release for a burglary conviction, Offense Code: 609 821A, dating back to at least, 1993 through 1996 towards the beginning of his long and steady criminal career.
- Also, upon information and belief, Defendant Wrecker’s Nokey Lamar Anderson was assigned a “public person Id” or inmate number: 2350339 and Minnesota Department of Corrections Inmate Offender ID Number of 229374. Please See Exhibits “A-18 and “A-19”.
- On or about June 21st, 2013 convicted of “Theft-Take/Use/Transfer Movable Pro-No consent”, a gross misdemeanor in the District Court of Wright County, Minnesota as Case Number: 12027477. Aside from convictions dating back decades for theft, the possession of burglary tools, and a litany of other convictions, Wrecker Defendant Nokey Lamar Anderson was convicted of Felony 2nd Degree Burglary of a Dwelling, on or about May 15th, 2015, as case number 62CR148128. Prior to that conviction, this Defendant was convicted of the same offense in 2018, as referenced by his case number 86CR125079.
- Upon information and belief, the Wrecker Defendants, have served prison, jail and supervised released time for criminal convictions, and may well remain subject to supervised release by this date, are partners in crime with the North End Defendants, who highly recommended the Wreckers to transport Plaintiff’s fifty-three-foot commercial vehicle to the Plaintiff. Prior to the North End Defendant’s mentions of the Wrecker Defendants to Knazze, the Plaintiff had no reason to have the Wreckers on his proverbial radar, Mr. Carroll’s mother’s finger pointed, directly to the Wrecker Defendants, and also divulged that North End knew that the Wreckers were involved in the burglary and manipulation of Knazze’s property in some way.
- North End would have the Court believe that it’s an incredible coincidence that the Wrecker Defendants whom they cooperate with have a criminal background that includes felony burglar convictions. Even if North End had not colluded with the Wrecker, North End failed miserably, in protecting the Plaintiff’s interests and property from the Wrecker, and failed to cooperate with law enforcement agencies, by contacting the St. Paul Police Department, Sergeant Strucker, and the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, if and when they allegedly suspected that the Wrecker was responsible for the burglary of Knazze’s fifty-three-foot commercial trailer. Upon information and belief, North End’s actions and inactions are clearly indicative of their culpability in conspiring with the Wrecker to abscond with Knazze’s property and to shield the Wrecker and themselves from exposure of the collective malfeasance of all Defendants.
- If not for North End recommending the Wrecker, then implicating this Defendant as cooperating with them in any capacity, particularly, in the efforts between all Defendants to abscond with Plaintiff’s property, Knazze would be unlikely to have connected the dots that pointed to cooperation by and between all Defendants, collectively. Upon information and belief, North End has clearly employed the Wrecker Defendants as co-conspirators to commit burglary, jointly looting Knazze’s belongings.
- Upon information and belief, North End clearly selected the Wrecker Defendants, career criminals, with a sordid history of mischief and mayhem littered across their criminal past and cooperated with them in pillaging, looting, and burglarizing the Plaintiff’s belongings. North End’s selection of the Wrecker to execute their plan, of taking unlawful bailment, and burglarizing Knazze’s stored property was an intentionally calculated series of actions.
- Upon information and belief, the fact that Knazze’s trailer was weighed down by the sheer volume of its contents, having been packed from floor to ceiling and end to end, necessitated the North End Defendants collusion with the Wrecker. The Wrecker Defendant possessed the very vehicle that was capable of manipulating Plaintiff’s commercial trailer, so that the Defendants could jointly orchestrate their trailer breaching operation, and then offload the contents of Knazze’s trailer. The North End Defendants have apparently colluded to cover up the crime by preventing Knazze’s access, tucking the trailer away tightly between other large vehicles, and then denying Plaintiff access to the facility, altogether, as North End improperly accused Plaintiff of non-payment of rents.
- Upon information and belief, North End was also aware that the Plaintiff did not visit the facility with high frequency. Given the global pandemic, Plaintiff visited the storage facility with less frequency than ever, so the backdrop of the Covid-19 situation, would likely have appeared like the perfect time for these Defendants to carry out their burglary of Knazze’s property.
- Neither Knazze nor anyone else with Knazze’s authorization had removed a single item from the trailer, nor was the Plaintiff able to access it, other than by physically squeezing his person between the other vehicles that the North End Defendants had surrounded it with, as Plaintiff did, when securing his commercial trailer with a lock, only after discovering that it had been breached and burglarized.
- There is no rental agreement that permitted any of the Defendants to empty the Plaintiff’s storage, nor has the Plaintiff lapsed in payments to this Defendant. North End had not perfected any liens against any of Knazze’s storage units, or the Plaintiff’s fifty-three-foot commercial vehicle, so North End’s bailment and theft of Knazze’s property is unlawful.
- North End breached Knazze’s storage units without any notice and breached the trust, contract and due process owed to the Plaintiff. Minnesota’s property law provides that a storeowner has a lien against the property of the occupant. (Minnesota Lien Statute 514.972 §1). However, that lien can only become attached when the occupant defaults in the payment of rents and the bailor has followed due process to perfect a lien or liens, or when a court order issues against the occupant. Id, §2. In the event of a default the Defendant would have been entitled to attach, sell, or have the trailer towed by a towing company pursuant to Minnesota Lien Statute 514.973, Subdivision 7.
- However, the circumstances in the instant case do not meet the said requirements. Notably, Plaintiff has fulfilled all his rental obligations to North End. Accordingly, the burglaries at the Defendant’s North End facility resulted in the theft of the contents of Knazze’s storage garage, and the contents of the Plaintiff’s commercial trailer, as well as Knazze’s commercial trailer, itself. Knazze had locks in his vehicle when he entered North End’s facilities behind Mr. Carroll’s mother, since the intended objective of his visit was to try to get North End’s Manager,
- Mr. Carroll to remove the Defendant’s red locks from his storage units. Knazze, was unsuccessful in that attempt, and instead, he used the locks he had on hand to secure his commercial trailer, and to add locks to the remaining slots on the storage garage. Under threat by Mr. Carrol’s mother, Knazze completed these small tasks, immediately, before leaving North End’s facility.
- There is no rental agreement that permits the Defendant to breach and empty Plaintiff’s stored items, the Defendant’s actions are those of thieves, looters and burglars. The fact that these Defendant’s burglarized and pilfered Plaintiff’s belongings is abundantly clear, since they, themselves confirmed that they cut off Plaintiff’s locks and installed their own red colored locks on the occasions when they breached Plaintiff’s storage units, then barred Plaintiff’s coded access to prevent his discovery of the Defendant’s breakage and entry into Knazze’s commercial trailer.
- Even if these Defendants had not directly burglarized and pilfered Plaintiff’s belongings, their negligent acts, including disabling security details and devices, disabling security cameras, monitoring by management staff, and security tape back-ups, placed Plaintiff’s items at imminent risk of loss by burglary, and lacked basic care by North End, in securing Plaintiff’s interests.
- Defendant’s actions of taking unlawful bailment, placing their own red colored locks on Knazze’s storage unit, after having cut off Plaintiff’s own locks, breaching his rented storage garage, and cutting off access to Knazze’s storage, also curtailed any efforts that the Plaintiff could have taken to protect, secure or remove his property before it could be absconded with by looters and thieves.
- Defendant’s actions were negligent, at best, as well as the direct and proximate cause of losses incurred by Plaintiff, whom the North End Defendants barred from entering their premises, whilst looting the Plaintiff’s belongings and continuing to collect the rents from the Plaintiff. All Defendants are willfully negligent, and engaged in intentional acts, which also included their lack of cooperation with the local law enforcement officers.
- Knazze filed a Complaint against North End Self Storage with the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, in May of 2020. A letter acknowledging the complaint was returned to Plaintiff. Please See Exhibit “X”. The Attorney General directed the Defendant North End, to resolve the issues with Knazze swiftly and amicably. After the Complaint with the Attorney General, this Defendant emailed a purported security code to the Plaintiff, noting that the code would be “changed again according to your account in the future”. However, Plaintiff was never able to get the code given him, which was: “4040#” to work, and North End’s Manager has not contacted Plaintiff to date to provide any updated gate codes. This Defendant has also failed to cooperate with law enforcement, or the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, and failed to follow up with the Plaintiff, any further, in response to the burglaries. Additionally, the Defendants have done nothing to compensate the Plaintiff for the damage caused by their breach.
- Some months after Plaintiff first requested the access code, and discovered the burglary of Knazze’s commercial semi-trailer, North End allegedly provided a gate code via email, claiming that “The 1st automated email failed for several people, so this is a 2nd sent email…” in a message entitled: “Gate Code Change” to Plaintiff on “Tuesday, June 23, 2020, 03:55 PM CDT” from this Defendant’s email address as follows: “email@example.com”. Please see Exhibit “Y”.
- On July 10th, 2020, Paul Mueller, of the Consumer Services Division of the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office returned a message from North End Storage Manager, Mr. Carroll with the Defendant’s response to Knazze’s complaint to the Attorney General. Please see Exhibit “Z”.
- North End’s response is inadequate, fails to address the burglaries Plaintiff complained about, including this Defendant’s unlawful bailment of Knazze’s property. Additionally, per the time and date stamp on North End’s email to the Minnesota Attorney General, this Defendant’s reply was sent on “Tue 6/23/2020 4:02 PM”, exactly seven minutes after the message sent Mr. Carroll sent to Knazze on that date, with the purported “Gate Code”, but from a different North End email account as follows: “firstname.lastname@example.org”.
- Although, North End states: “I have received your mail, we had a small problem getting into it recently, but are in now”, upon information and belief, this Defendant’s statement is untruthful, since the Defendant was able to successfully navigate multiple email systems within just a few minutes and the timing of the Defendant’s responses demonstrates Mr. Carrol’s presence of mind, evidencing his guilt at having withheld access to North End’s facilities to the Plaintiff. Please see Exhibit “A-1”.
- This Defendant provided only a weak excuse for its lack of responsiveness to the Attorney General, and failed to convey any information, of substance to that or any other law enforcement agency or Officer, to aid the investigation of the burglary and unlawful bailment of Knazze’s property. Upon information and belief, North End has never contacted any law enforcement agency regarding the burglaries of Plaintiff’s storage units.
- The defendant had ample opportunity to respond to the Plaintiff and the Minnesota Attorney General in detail but failed to do so.
- As of the time of this Complaint, Defendant North End’s facilities remain in possession of Knazze’s vehicle, which he requested access to. This constitutes a denial of property that belongs to the Plaintiff, and an unlawful bailment.
- The Plaintiff also reported the above theft incidents, on several occasions, to the St. Paul Police Department. See attached Exhibits “A-4” and Exhibit “A-5”, one of the St. Paul Police Department Summary Incident Report. The North End Defendants did not cooperate with the police, and when Knazze mentioned that to Mr. Carroll’s mother, she said, ‘no Police Officer showed up here, and nobody called us, we don’t know nothin about nothin.’
- North End submitted an invoice to Knazze in November 2020 for $325.00 for rents covering the Plaintiff’s December 2020 storage garage, as well as his inside storage garage. The Plaintiff attempted to pay the bill electronically as he has been doing for many months now. However, upon information and belief North End has disabled Knazze’s ability to pay for the outside storage portion of the bill online, so Plaintiff paid the inside storage portion of the December, 2020 demand of $175.00 online (Please See Exhibit “A-13”), and the balance via certified mail. Plaintiff subsequently submitted a payment of $325.00, covering inside and outside storage charges by check via U.S. certified mail with a return receipt requested, on December 31, 2020, covering January 2021 rents. The receipt of Plaintiff’s payment for the outside storage portion of the invoice was accepted by Christopher Trujillo on behalf of North End storage. Without any explanation, this Defendant has now deleted the Plaintiff’s outside storage from the invoice submitted to Knazze covering the month of January 2021. Plaintiff has timely paid all fees and is current to date. Please see attached Exhibits “A-6” through Exhibit “A-11”. Knazze was invoiced for and has paid North End for any and all rents demanded by this Defendant, all of the way through their February, 2021 invoice.
- Defendant’s North End Storage Agent Christopher Trujillo has acknowledged that the Plaintiff has paid for outside storage in full, but threatened to tow Plaintiff’s fifty-three-foot commercial trailer, clearly confirming that North End has accepted unlawful bailment of Knazze’s commercial trailer and its contents, and intends to do with it, whatever, they are pleased to, despite their having received payments covering both inside and outside storage, rented from the Plaintiff.
- North End has not served any lien notices of any kind upon the Plaintiff, since this Defendant had withdrawn such a notice that it had served on Plaintiff in 2019, due to North End’s own contrived error (See Exhibit “A”). North End has breached their obligations and grossly trampled upon the rights of the Plaintiff by perpetrating the theft of Knazze’s property.
- North End has inappropriately and unlawfully denied sharing the security code with Knazze to access the storage facility injury Knazze, resulting in his expensive loss of property.
- Despite demands made by Knazze to give him the keyless entry security access code and remove vehicles surrounding the Knazze commercial trailer to take all remaining personal property of Knazze, Defendants have failed to do so, and have failed to return the personal property of Knazze contrary to their obligations to Plaintiff. This constitutes an unlawful detention, and unlawful bailment of goods by the North End Defendants.
- It has been clearly held that “It is not often that demand is required to sustain an action for unlawful detainer of goods. Where the defendant has the goods by the plaintiff’s leave and license, demand may be necessary to render the possession wrongful. ….” Lewis v. Masters, 8 Blackf. 244; 1846 Ind. LEXIS 143. In this case, though the Plaintiff made a demand to give him the new security code and to remove North End’s locks that they installed on his storage unit(s), as well as to remove vehicles surrounding his commercial trailer so that he’d have access to his personal property. North End failed to honor the Plaintiff’s request, thus resulting in their unlawful detention and unlawful bailment of Knazze’s goods by the Defendant Storage Facility and the theft of Knazze’s property. This results in theft by deception and actual theft.
- Defendants have failed to cooperate with the police to investigate the burglary of the Plaintiff’s property while in the Defendant North End’s possession. Upon information and belief this Defendant has taken these actions to avoid self-incrimination, since they were directly responsible for the thefts. However, North End’s malfeasance doesn’t alleviate them from the duties they owe to the Plaintiff to protect his interests by cooperating with law enforcement agencies.
- Defendants have not only been paid in full but overpaid, to date, and no circumstances exist to create a lien interest or bailment of any kind in the Knazze’s personal property.
- On or about February 3, 2021, Plaintiff received a notice from the North End Defendant that effective January 29, 2021, the Defendant’s business would be under new ownership. Accordingly, the business would be owned by the Gopher Storage Defendant. The notice also included an excessive demand that payment be submitted to Gopher Storage before the end of the month.
- Plaintiff had submitted payment in full of $325.00 to North End on February 1, 2021, before receiving North End’s notice. Minus any explanation, Gopher State has now demanded an additional payment from Plaintiff in the amount of $195.00.
BREACH OF CONTRACT
(Against North End Self Storage MN LLC; North End Self Storage L.L.C.; 1370 Gopher State Storage; State Storage Saint Paul LLC; Royal Credit)
- Plaintiff incorporates and re-alleges the allegations outlined in all preceding paragraphs, as though fully restated herein.
- Plaintiff entered into the contract with the North End Defendants named herein to use their facilities for storage services.
- Pursuant to the contract, these Defendants had agreed to keep the Plaintiff’s rented storage unit and commercial trailer safe and secured and to provide Plaintiff with unfettered access to his personal property.
- Defendant North End has breached their contractual obligation by completely failing to maintain security and safety on their premises. Even if these Defendants had not cut the Plaintiff’s locks off, and pilfered his belongings, the lapses in security and monitoring, in and of itself are the direct and proximate cause of the burglaries of the Plaintiff’s personal property. Defendant aggravated the damage inflicted upon the Plaintiff by pounding the doors of the Plaintiff’s commercial trailer, and bending the bottom of one of the trailer door that left gash in the door, at the time the Plaintiff discovered that it had in fact been breached and burglarized.
- Notably, Defendants are deliberately indifferent to by disabling security devices and cameras. They also failed to provide a guard or watch person, making it easier for Knazze’s belongings to become burglarized.
- Each Defendant’s actions and inaction resulted in Plaintiff’s dispossession of personal property stored in the garage unit he rented and Knazze’s commercial trailer.
- Defendants have demanded payments in excess of Plaintiffs obligations to them.
- North End failed to perform the most basic of duties towards Plaintiff, including, but not limited to protecting and securing Knazze’s belongings and coopering with law enforcement agencies when Plaintiff’s storage units were burglarized.
- North End betrayed Knazze by cooperating with the Wrecker Defendants to abscond with Knazze’s property.
- As a direct and proximate result of the Defendant’s breach of contract and refusal to perform its duties owed to Plaintiff, Plaintiff has been damaged in an amount to be determined at trial.
- Each Defendant is jointly and severally liable for damages to the Plaintiff in an amount to be determined at trial.
BREACH OF GOOD FAITH AND FAIR DEALING
(Against North End Self Storage MN LLC; North End Self Storage L.L.C.; 1370 Gopher State Storage; State Storage Saint Paul LLC; Royal Credit Union)
- Plaintiff incorporates and re-alleges the allegations set forth in all preceding paragraphs, as though fully restated herein.
- Section 515A.1-113 of the Property and property Interests Statute imposes good faith by stating that:
“Every contract or duty governed by sections 515A.1-101 to 515A.4-117 imposes an obligation of good faith in its performance or enforcement.”
- Under Minnesota law, a party establishes bad faith “by demonstrating that the adverse party has an ulterior motive for its refusal to perform a contractual duty.” OmegaGenesis Corp. v. Mayo Found. for Med. Educ. & Research, 132 F. Supp. 3d 1119, 1127 (D. Minn. 2015). Bad faith is “not an honest mistake regarding one’s rights or duties.” Sterling Capital Advisors, Inc. v. Herzog, 575 N.W.2d 121, 125 (Minn. Ct. App. 1998).
- Defendant’s failure to fulfill its obligations was in bad faith because Defendant North End has extended its contracts with the Plaintiff, knowing that it would not perform by failing to maintain security features, withholding access codes from Plaintiff, and taking the egregious action of cutting Plaintiff’s locks off, as well as denying his access to Plaintiff’s commercial trailer and storage garage. All these actions breached North End’s Agreement and resulted in unfair treatment of Plaintiff and a reckless disregard for protecting his interests. Defendant acted in bad faith by failing to provide Plaintiff with the access security code, cut Plaintiff’s locks off and breached each of his storage units and commercial trailer, actively blocked Plaintiff’s access to his commercial trailer, and failing to move vehicles, when requested by the Plaintiff. As a result, Plaintiff has suffered a huge financial loss. Defendant’s conduct was not an “honest mistake” but rather a calculated and “crass” choice driven by the Defendant’s desire to harm the Plaintiff, by looting and pillaging his belongings, in a total disregard for protecting and securing the interests of the Plaintiff. North End conspired with the Wrecker Defendants, exploiting their long-established criminal ambitions to abscond with Knazze’s property.
- The Defendant acted in bad faith by failing to provide a security code, locking the Plaintiff outside of the facility, forestalling the Plaintiff’s discovery of the Defendant’s misdeeds.
- Defendants also acted in bad faith by failing to move the vehicles around Plaintiff’s trailer when requested by Plaintiff. As a result, the Plaintiff suffered a huge financial loss.
- Defendant’s conduct was not an “honest mistake,” but it was rather a calculated and “crass” choice driven by Defendant’s desire to harm the Plaintiff.
(Against All Defendants)
- Plaintiff incorporates and re-alleges the allegations outlined in all preceding paragraphs, as though fully restated herein.
- At all times relevant to this litigation, Defendants owed a legal duty to Plaintiff to not unfairly or unduly take advantage of Plaintiff or commit wrongful acts in order to unjustly enrich herself at Plaintiff’s expense or at the expense of Plaintiff’s property or financial interests.
- During the period mentioned in this compliant, Defendants unjustly enriched themself by wrongfully converting, taking, utilizing or managing the property and financial interests of Plaintiff.
- Such acts and omissions leading to the Defendants’ unjust enrichment were the actual and proximate cause of harm to Plaintiff.
- Defendants have received all the rental amounts that they had demanded from Plaintiff but North End has failed to perform their obligations to Knazze, and directly breached Plaintiff’s locked storage units, utilizing brute force techniques, to access and abscond with his personal property.
(Against all Defendants)
- Plaintiff incorporates and re-alleges the allegations outlined in all preceding paragraphs, as though fully restated herein.
- Defendants – without authorization – appropriated, and assumed and exercised dominion over, the personal property of Plaintiff, in hostility to and inconsistent with Plaintiff’s rights.
- Defendants converted and are in possession of property belonging to Plaintiff, including, but not limited to, valuable household items.
- Plaintiff demanded the return of their property, which Defendants have refused to do.
- Accordingly, Defendants are liable to Plaintiff for the tort of conversion.
- As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ actions, Plaintiff has suffered financial injury in an amount to be proven at trial.
INTENTIONAL INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS
133. Plaintiff incorporates and re-alleges the allegations outlined in all preceding paragraphs, as though fully restated herein.
134. The Defendants, their agents, contractors and/or employees denied access to Plaintiff’s property without justification.
135. The Defendants’ acts and/or omissions were done intentionally and/or with gross indifference to the Plaintiff’s rights and constitute outrageous conduct.
136. As a result of the actions of Defendants, the Plaintiff has experienced extreme emotional distress.
137. As a result of the actions of Defendants, considering the character of threats, Plaintiff suffered mental anguish and personal humiliation.
138. As a direct and proximate result of the actions of Defendants, Plaintiff has been materially and substantially damaged. Furthermore, the actions of Defendants were made intentionally, maliciously, willfully and with the intent to injure the Plaintiff, or to benefit Defendants. Accordingly, Defendants are liable to the Plaintiff for punitive damages in an amount in accordance with proof at trial.
NEGLIGENT INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS
(Against all Defendants)
- Plaintiff incorporates and re-alleges the allegations outlined in all preceding paragraphs, as though fully restated herein.
- Defendants owed a duty of reasonable care to Plaintiff in their actions and conduct towards him. It was foreseeable and probable that Plaintiff would suffer severe emotional distress as a result of Defendants’ conduct as described above.
- Defendants were negligent by breaching the duty of care they owed Plaintiff when they denied access to Plaintiff’s property.
- Plaintiff has suffered severe emotional distress as a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ negligent actions towards him.
- Defendants’ actions were a substantial factor in causing Plaintiff severe emotional distress.
- The actions alleged herein were done with malice, and oppression, and in reckless disregard of Plaintiff’s rights.
- As a result of Defendants’ conduct, Plaintiff has incurred and will continue to incur damages in an amount to be proven at trial.
Plaintiff demands a jury trial.
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, La’Mont Knazze III, respectfully asks this Court to award judgment against Defendants as follows:
1) Granting judgment to Plaintiff and against Defendants based upon the claims set forth above;
2) Granting Plaintiff temporary and permanent injunctive relief against Defendants;
3) Order that the Defendants be divested of any interest in property rightfully owned or possessed by Plaintiff;
4) Awarding Plaintiff compensatory damages against Defendants based upon the claims set forth above, all in amounts to be proven at trial;
5) Awarding Plaintiff punitive damages, exemplary damages, and any enhanced damages allowed by law or authorized by statute, rule, or regulation arising out of Defendants’ misconduct, statutory violations, torts, and breaches;
6) An award of pre-judgment interest, attorney fees, costs and post-judgment interest in favor of Plaintiff and against Defendants; and
7) Such further and other legal and equitable relief as the Court may deem just and necessary under the circumstances.
Dated: March 12, 2023 Respectfully submitted:
La ’Mont Knazze III, Pro Se
7240 60th Ave. N #7
New Hope, MN 55428
Phone: (952) 217-8004
The undersigned acknowledges that costs, disbursements, and reasonable attorney and witness fees may be awarded pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 549.211, subd. 2, to the parties against whom the allegations in this pleading are asserted.
Dated: March 12, 2023 Respectfully submitted:
La’Mont Knazze III, Pro Se
7240 60th Ave. N #7
New Hope, MN 55428
Phone: (952) 217-8004
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