United States District Court, N.D. Illinois
February 18, 2004.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: JAMES ZAGEL, District Judge
Rule 12(f) Motion to Strike
Defendants Emery Yost, John Yost, and Jitka Yost ("Defendants") have
filed a motion to strike, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(f), certain portions of Plaintiff Kevin Long's Motion for Default
Judgment and Motion to Recover Service Costs. Rule 12(f) states that
"upon motion made by a party within 20 days after the service of the
pleading upon the party or upon the court's own initiative at any time,
the court may order stricken from any pleading . . . any redundant,
immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter." Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(f).
However, a Rule 12(f) motion to strike only concerns striking matters
from pleadings and a motion is not a pleading. Fed.R.Civ.P. 7(a); see also
O'Connor v. State of Nevada, 507 F. Supp. 546, 548 (D.C. Nev. 1981),
aff'd, 686 F.2d 749 (9th Cir. 1982). Accordingly, I deny Defendants
motion to strike.
Rule 11 Motion for Sanctions
Defendants have also filed a Rule 11 Motion for Sanctions against Long.
Rule 11(a) requires that all pleadings, written motions, and other
papers be signed by a party's attorney or the party, Fed.R.Civ.P. 11(a).
Defendants claim that Long has filed unsigned pleadings in this matter,
but that is simply not true. All of his filed pleadings and written
motions to this court are signed. Thus, he has not violated Rule 11(a).
Rule 11(b) provides that by:
presenting to the court . . . a pleading, written
motion, or other paper, an attorney or unrepresented
party is certifying that to the best of the person's
knowledge, information and belief, formed after an
inquiry reasonable under the circumstances,
(1) it is not being presented for any improper
purpose, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary
delay or needless increase in the cost of
(2) the claims, defenses, and other legal contentions
therein arc warranted by existing law or by a
nonfrivolous argument for the extension,
modification, or reversal of existing law or the
establishment of new law;
(3) the allegations and other factual contentions have
evidentiary support or, if specifically so
identified, are likely to have evidentiary support
after a reasonable opportunity for further
investigation or discovery; and
(4) the denial of factual contentions are warranted on
the evidence or, if specifically so identified,
are reasonably based on a lack of information and
Fed.R.Civ.P. 11(b). Courts may sanction parties who violate this rule.
Id. Although Long's status as a pro se litigant does not exempt him from
Rule 11's prescriptions, see United State ex rel. Verdone v. Circuit
Court for Taylor County, 73 F.3d 669, 671 (7th Cir. 1995), there is no
basis at this early stage for even beginning to address the issue of
sanctionable conduct. One of Defendants' alleged grounds for sanctions is
a litany of unsubstantiated assertions that Long has alleged facts he
knows have no support. While this may be true, it has not yet been
conclusively demonstrated. Defendants' additional purported basis for
sanctions is a series of actions unrelated to any representations that
Long has made to this Court and thus not within the purview of Rule
11(b). Accordingly, Defendants' Rule 11 motion while perhaps
appropriate at some later date is not appropriate now.
For the reasons above, Defendants' Rule 12(f) Motion to Strike and
Rule 11 Motion for Sanctions are DENIED.
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