United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, E.D
January 8, 1971
NICHOLAS JANNES AND JANNES ASSOCIATES, INC., AN ILLINOIS CORPORATION, PLAINTIFFS,
MICROWAVE COMMUNICATIONS, INC., AN ILLINOIS CORPORATION, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Robson, District Judge.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS TO DISMISS
The defendants move to dismiss the second amended complaint
in this action purportedly brought under Section 10(b) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 15 U.S.C. § 78j, and Rule
10(b)-5 promulgated thereunder. This court is of the opinion
this action should be dismissed because of the plaintiffs'
repeated and flagrant disregard of the directives set forth in
Rule 8(a), Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
This 31-page complaint, the third such pleading filed in this
action, consists of 33 paragraphs with 54 subparagraphs,
replete with the plaintiffs' speculations, conclusions,
arguments, and conjectures concerning the defendants' motives
and conduct. The allegations are in rambling, narrative
discourse. A detailed and redundant history of the plaintiffs'
grievances against the defendants is also interspersed in the
document. Lengthy recitations of evidentiary matter further
confuse this pleading.*fn1
Rule 8(a) directs that a statement of a claim shall be short
and plain. In addition, Rule 8(e) provides that each averment
of a pleading shall be simple, concise and direct. Repeated
filing of verbose, confused and redundant complaints warrants
dismissal of the cause. In dismissing an action on these
grounds, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth
Circuit observed in its per curiam opinion that
"[t]he present Second Amended Complaint * * *
apparently alleges fraud and conspiracy in
violation of civil rights. We use the word
`apparently' because the complaint, though a
Second Amended Complaint, is so verbose, confused
and redundant that its true substance, if any, is
well disguised." Corcoran v. Yorty, 347 F.2d 222,
223 (9th Cir. 1965), cert. den. 382 U.S. 966, 86
S.Ct. 458, 15 L.Ed.2d 370 (1965).
Similarly, a shareholder's derivative action purportedly
brought under federal securities law was dismissed, inter alia,
"[t]he complaint openly and defiantly violates
Rule 8(a)(2). It is not a `short and plain
statement of the claim.' It is an extended
embroidery of what, if true, would be mere
evidence recited in perplexing and disjointed
detail." Adair v. Schneider, 293 F. Supp. 393, 394
See also United States ex rel. Holland v. Maroney, 299 F. Supp. 262
(W.D.Pa. 1969); Martin v. Hunt, 29 F.R.D. 14 (D.Mass.
1961). Furthermore, the pleading of bald conclusions
unsupported by factual allegations will not save an otherwise
fatally defective pleading. Greenstein v. Paul, 275 F. Supp. 604
(S.D.N.Y. 1967), aff'd 400 F.2d 580 (2nd Cir. 1968);
International Harvester Co, v.
Kansas City, 308 F.2d 35 (10th Cir. 1962), cert. den.
371 U.S. 948, 83 S.Ct. 503, 9 L.Ed.2d 498 (1963).
The second amended complaint places upon the court and the
defendants the burden of sifting out relevant matter and
weeding out improper matter from that pleading in order to
discern the claim or claims the plaintiffs are asserting. The
court finds that the pleading is so unclear and confusing that
its analysis with respect to the grounds asserted in the
motions to dismiss is a practical impossibility. The defendants
should not and cannot be required to answer such a
substantially defective pleading. Pretrial discovery based upon
such a nebulous pleading would be unmanageable and would
present constant difficulties for the court and the parties.
In denying the plaintiffs' motion for a temporary restraining
order and preliminary injunction, this court noted in its order
of June 11, 1970, that
"[t]he [first amended] complaint is based
entirely on information and belief, and plaintiffs
have not attempted to demonstrate by affidavit or
otherwise the truth of the varied allegations of
fraud and conspiracy. The complaint is confusing
and fails to delineate with clarity plaintiffs'
theories of recovery or the elements of an offense
under Rule 10(b)-5." Memorandum and Order, June 11,
1970, p. 4 (Emphasis supplied.)
After entry of this order, the plaintiffs sought and obtained,
over the defendants' objection, leave to file this second
amended complaint "for the purposes of clarification."
Memorandum in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Leave to File
a Second Amended Complaint, p. 6. However, the second amended
complaint fails to accomplish this purpose. Instead, it is
argumentative, confusing, and is "long on conclusions of law
and short on allegations of fact." Barbosa v. Sanchez Vilella,
293 F. Supp. 831, 833 (D.P.R. 1967). Moreover, the plaintiffs
have demonstrated repeatedly that they are unable or unwilling
to file a complaint in this action conforming with the minimal
requirements of federal pleading. The defendants and the court
should not be burdened further with the task of deciphering
pleadings such as those filed by the plaintiffs in this cause.
It is therefore ordered that the second amended complaint be,
and it is hereby dismissed.
It is further ordered that the cause be, and it is hereby