United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
October 15, 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. (collectively "Jimenez," treated for convenience as
a singular noun) have filed their Amended Answer and Affirmative
Defenses to the Complaint brought against them by the United
States (that filing was occasioned by some basic deficiencies in
the original responsive pleading, which this Court had identified
in its sua sponte memorandum order issued September 27, 2004).
Because the current filing reveals some issues that had not been
apparent because of the nature of the original response, this
Court once again takes the sua sponte route.
To begin with, both Answer ¶ 1 and Answer ¶ 14 challenge the
authority of the government and the United States Attorney to
bring this action under the auspices of the Clean Water Act.
Although Answer ¶ 12 admits the existence of subject matter
jurisdiction in certain respects, the issue posed by those other
paragraphs of the Answer should obviously be dealt with at the
threshold. Accordingly Jimenez' counsel are ordered to file an appropriate motion and supporting memorandum in this Court's
chambers (with a copy of course being transmitted
contemporaneously to government counsel) on or before October 29,
2004, after which this Court will determine the appropriate
course of further proceedings.*fn1
All other facial problems presented by the new pleading relate
to the ADs. Here are the problems (or questions):
1. ADs 1 and 2 pose no substantive problems as to
their content, but like the earlier-mentioned
paragraphs of the Answer they ought to be resolved at
the outset. Accordingly the prior directive as to the
filing (or nonfiling pursuant to n. 1) of a motion
and supporting memorandum applies to those subjects
2. Although AD 5 says a bit more than the purely
conclusory assertion that had been set out in AD 8 of
the original pleading, it is still not sufficiently
informative to give government counsel and this Court
a real notion of Jimenez' contentions. It is true
that notice pleading and not fact pleading is the
mode in the federal court system, but something more should be said than AD 5's general
reference to "inconsistent communications and actions
with respect to Defendant and the alleged wetlands."