18 U.S.C. § 1964 et seq., perpetrated by all Defendants acting in a conspiracy constitutes a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)." [emphasis added] This is far from sufficient. There are no allegations from which the court can infer that each defendant agreed to conduct the affairs of an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity or that each defendant agreed to the commission of at least two predicate acts. Accordingly, the court dismisses Count XIV for failure to state a claim.
The court is perplexed by plaintiffs' method of pleading in this case. Instead of alleging one RICO count, or two at the most (i.e., one substantive count and one conspiracy count), plaintiffs spread defendants' conduct over six RICO counts. By diluting their claims in such a manner, they exposed their complaint to a "divide and conquer" type of attack to the pleading. As demonstrated, none of these counts, standing alone, alleges a RICO violation. Even considering the allegations in this complaint in toto, however, the court has grave doubts that plaintiffs can amend their complaint to advance a single RICO count which can survive scrutiny under the case law of this circuit. While this court is not unsympathetic to plaintiffs' alleged plight, this court does not appear to be the appropriate forum for their claims. Many RICO plaintiffs have persisted in "trying to fit a square peg in a round hole by squeezing garden-variety business disputes into civil RICO actions," see Midwest Grinding Co., Inc., 976 F.2d at 1025, and most have failed. Even if the RICO claims were consolidated into one single claim, based on the allegations thus far, the court would still be of the opinion that the requisite continuity is lacking. All of the predicate acts alleged thus far appear to be part of a single scheme and transaction from which plaintiffs suffered identical injuries. While it may have taken a period of two or three years to accomplish, plaintiffs suffered, in essence, only one injury each. Moreover, while at first blush it appears that there is variety among the predicate acts, a closer examination reveals otherwise. In most instances, the same conduct forms the basis for the various mail fraud, wire fraud, Hobbs Act and Travel Act violations. Thus, the complaint suffers from far more serious defects than plaintiffs' method of splitting up defendants' conduct into multiple RICO counts. Be that as it may, the dismissal of the RICO counts are without prejudice. Should plaintiffs seek leave to amend, they shall file and present to this court an appropriate motion with a proposed amended complaint attached as an exhibit within twenty (20) days of this order. Plaintiffs should be mindful of Rule 11 in filing any further pleadings. Failure to file a motion (and an amended complaint attached as an exhibit) shall result in the dismissal of these claims with prejudice without further notice.
C. Counts I-III and VIII
Upon dismissal of the federal claims, defendants request this court to decline to exercise jurisdiction over the supplemental state law claims in Counts I-III and VIII. Plaintiffs' response brief does not address this court's exercise of supplemental jurisdiction in the event all federal claims are dismissed. The general rule is that when the federal claims are dismissed prior to trial, the district court should decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the supplemental state law claims. Carr v. Cigna Sec., Inc., 95 F.3d 544, 1996 WL 506232, at *2 (7th Cir. 1996). A district court must have good reason for retaining jurisdiction and must make specific findings as to the balance of judicial economy, convenience, fairness and comity in order to retain jurisdiction. Wright v. Associated Ins. Co., Inc., 29 F.3d 1244, 1252 (7th Cir. 1994). No such factors justify a retention over plaintiffs' state law claims, as the statute of limitations for plaintiffs' state law claims was tolled during the pendency of this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(d) and will continue to be tolled for an additional thirty days after dismissal. Accordingly, should plaintiffs fail to file an appropriate motion seeking leave to amend their complaint to reallege any of the federal claims within twenty days of this order, the supplemental state law claims in Counts I-III and VIII shall be dismissed without further notice pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3).
For the foregoing reasons, defendants' motion to dismiss is granted. Counts IV-VII are dismissed with prejudice, and Counts IX-XIV are dismissed without prejudice. Plaintiffs shall have twenty (20) days to seek leave to amend the complaint. Failure to do so will result in a dismissal of Counts IX-XIV with prejudice as well as a dismissal of Counts I-III and VIII pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3) without further notice. Defendants' motion to dismiss for lack of venue, or in the alternative, to transfer venue, is denied as moot at this time.
PHILIP G. REINHARD, JUDGE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DATED: September 26, 1996