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AWESOME TOYS v. SPIN MASTER LTD.

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division


July 8, 2004.

AWESOME TOYS, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
SPIN MASTER LTD., Defendant.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: MILTON SHADUR, Senior District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Spin Master Ltd. ("Spin Master") has filed its Answer to the three-count Complaint brought against it by Awesome Toys, LLC ("Awesome Toys"). This memorandum order is issued to require Spin Master's counsel to cure the flaws in the affirmative defenses ("ADs") included within its Answer.

Before those deficiencies are addressed, however, the attention of Spin Master's counsel is called to the Answer's noncompliance with this District Court's LR 10.1. Were it not for the AD problems, this Court would not have required a refiling of the Answer itself — but because such noncompliance defeats the salutary purpose for which LR 10.1 was adopted, the recast pleading called for by this memorandum order will be required to conform to that LR.

  As for the ADs, Spin Master's counsel's attention is drawn to the requirements of Fed.R.Civ.P. ("Rule") 8(c) and to the caselaw dealing with ADs — and see also App. ¶ 5 to State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Riley, 199 F.R.D. 276, 279 (N.D. Ill. 2001). In particular:

1. Although there may be some question whether A.D. 1's statement of the equivalent of a Rule 12(b)(6) motion is appropriate, that AD may be retained pending a possible challenge by Awesome Toys.
2. ADs 2 through 5 cannot pass muster even under the generous standards of notice pleading that apply in the federal courts. It simply will not do to parrot one of the examples listed in Rule 8(c) or to set out some other generalized conclusion (such as "acquiescence"), for such skeletal listing informs neither the opposing party nor this Court of the asserted predicates for the various contentions. If Spin Master expects to renew one or more of those ADs the next time around, it must couple those conclusory characterizations with at least some minimal explanation of how each of them assertedly applies.
3. Although A.D. 7 is a bit more informative, it too must be fleshed out appropriately if Spin Master expects it to stand
  Accordingly the entire Answer is stricken, but with leave being granted to file a proper Amended Answer (including any appropriate ADs) in this Court's chambers (with a copy of course being transmitted contemporaneously to Awesome Toys' counsel) on or before July 20, 2004. In the absence of such a timely filing, all of the ADs save A.D. 1 and A.D. 6 will remain stricken.*fn1


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