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U.S. v. JIMENEZ LANDSCAPING CORPORATION

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


October 15, 2004.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
JIMENEZ LANDSCAPING CORPORATION, et al., Defendants.

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

MEMORANDUM ORDER

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 as well.
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."


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