United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
September 27, 2004.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
JIMENEZ LANDSCAPING CORPORATION, et al., Defendants.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: MILTON SHADUR, Senior District Judge
Jimenez Landscaping Corporation, Pedro Jimenez and Pedro
Jimenez, Jr. have just filed their collective Answer and
Affirmative Defenses ("ADs") to the Complaint brought against
them by the United States under the auspices of the Clean Water
Act. Because more than two-thirds of the paragraphs in that
responsive pleading (apart from the ADs, of which more later)
violate some fundamental principles of federal pleading, this
Court sua sponte strikes the entire response but with leave
being granted to file a self-contained Amended Answer and ADs in
this Court's chambers (with a copy to be delivered
contemporaneously to government counsel) on or before October 12,
2004. Here in brief are the flawed provisions:
1. Answer ¶¶ 1, 12-14, 18, 19, 24-27, 29, 31 and 32
must be redone see App. ¶ 2 to State Farm Mut.
Auto. Ins. Co. v. Riley, 199 F.R.D. 276, 278 (N.D.
Ill. 2001).*fn1 2. Answer ¶¶ 2 through 11 must also be recast see
App. ¶ 3 to State Farm.
As for the ADs, for the most part this Court will await any
challenge that the United States may choose to advance. But
certain of the ADs do call for comment at this time:
1. It is inappropriate to state as a claimed AD the
equivalent of a Fed.R. Civ. P. 12(b) (6) motion, as
ADs 1 and 6 seek to do. If defendants wish to
challenge the legal sufficiency of the Complaint,
they must do so and must do so promptly by an
2. Because AD 3 asserts a purported subject matter
jurisdictional defect, it must of course be addressed
at the outset of the case. That contention too should
be advanced by a promptly filed motion, coupled with
a supporting memorandum.
3. ADs 7 and 8 do not suffice even under the generous
notice pleading principles that are operative in the
federal courts. Instead of such conclusory
statements, if defendants want to assert any such
defenses they must flesh them out so that government
counsel and this Court may see and evaluate what is
4. Defendants' "reservation of rights" simply does
not belong in their responsive pleading. If, as and when
any other matters may come to defendants' attention
that suggest the need for an amendment to their
response, that can be asserted by a motion for leave
to file at that time, and this Court will then
evaluate the claim.
Finally, defense counsel are ordered to comply with App. ¶ 5 to
State Farm. In accordance with the directive there, a copy of
their letter of transmittal to defendants should be provided to
this Court contemporaneously with the self-contained amended