IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS EASTERN DIVISION
December 17, 2010
C.S., INDIVIDUALLY, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
VILLAGE OF ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, ILLINOIS, DEFENDANT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Milton I. Shadur Senior United States District Judge
Village of Arlington Heights ("Arlington Heights") has filed what its able counsel characterizes as its Answer to the Complaint in this action. This Court sua sponte strikes that response and sends counsel back to the drawing board to submit a more appropriate response.
This Court of course recognizes that the Complaint to which Arlington Heights has responded cannot fairly be characterized as "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief," as Fed. R. Civ. P. ("Rule") 8(a)(2) characterizes the requirement imposed on a plaintiff. That does not however justify the Answer's major departure from Rule 8(b)'s statement of the obligation of a responding party by submitting instead what amounts to a legal brief or memorandum of the type that has been tendered to this Court. Indeed, the assertion in Affirmative Defense E to each count of the Complaint that its allegations "contain nothing but conclusions" is ironic indeed in light of the nature of a good deal of the Answer.*fn1
It is not this Court's responsibility to provide chapter and verse as to the nature of the required rewrite--that is really counsel's responsibility. Suffice it to say that a straightforward compliance with Rule 8(b), coupled with such appropriate affirmative defenses (see App'x ¶5 to State Farm) that Arlington Heights wishes to advance, will do the job.
As stated at the outset, the present Answer is stricken. Arlington Heights is ordered to provide an appropriate Amended Answer on or before January 3, 2011.