United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
August 10, 2005.
UNITED TRANSFER, INC., Plaintiff/Counterdefendant,
ALLIED WASTE TRANSPORTATION, INC., Defendant/Counterplaintiff.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: MILTON SHADUR, Senior District Judge
United Transfer, Inc. ("United") has filed its Answer and
Affirmative Defenses ("ADs") to the Counterclaim filed against it
by Allied Waste Transportation, Inc. ("Allied"). This memorandum
order is issued sua sponte to require United's counsel to cure
some fundamental pleading errors contained in that responsive
pleading in that respect, see the Appendix to State Farm Mut.
Auto. Ins. Co. v. Riley, 199 F.R.D. 276, 278 (N.D. Ill. 2001).
To begin with, each of Answer ¶¶ 3, 4 and 11 fails to respond
to the corresponding Counterclaim allegations on the premise that
those allegations "contain legal conclusions to which no response
from United is required." Not so. No such exception is authorized
by the first sentence of Fed.R.Civ.P. ("Rule") 8(b) and see
App. ¶ 2 to State Farm. Those paragraphs of the Answer are
Next, each of Answer ¶¶ 6, 9-11, 17, 21-23 and 26 employs the
locution that some document "speaks for itself." Whatever that
may mean (see App. ¶ 3 to State Farm), it plays no proper part
in federal pleading. All of those assertions are stricken as well.
Finally, each of Answer ¶¶ 9-11 and 17 sets out a purported
denial "to the extent" that certain allegations by Allied are
contrary to one of the documents that assertedly "speaks for
itself." That usage of "to the extent" is a sure tipoff to a
totally uninformative assertion that does not satisfy the notice
pleading concept embodied in the Rules. Hence each of those
paragraphs of the Answer is also stricken.*fn1
United's counsel are granted leave to file an appropriate
amendment to the Answer in this Court's chambers on or before
August 22, 2005 (with a copy being transmitted contemporaneously
to Allied's counsel). Because there is no reason why United
should pay for its counsel's errors, no charge is to be made to
United for the added work and expense incurred in correcting
those errors. United's counsel are ordered to apprise their
client to that effect by letter, with a copy to be transmitted to
this Court's chambers as an informational matter (not for