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Malekpour v. Lahood

November 30, 2012

MALEKPOUR
v.
LAHOOD



Name of Assigned Judge Sitting Judge if Other or Magistrate Judge Amy J. St. Eve than Assigned Judge

CASE

TITLE

DOCKET ENTRY TEXT

The Court grants Defendant's motion for a more definite statement and motion to strike the Federal Tort Claims Act ("FTCA") allegations from this lawsuit [15]. Plaintiff must file a Fourth Amended Complaint in accordance with this order by no later than 12/21/12. Status hearing set for 12/20/12 is stricken and reset to 1/23/12 at 8:30 a.m. The Clerk's Office is directed to mail plaintiff the form entitled "Complaint of Employment Discrimination" which can be found on the Clerk's Office website.

O[ For further details see text below.] Docketing to mail notices.

STATEMENT

On October 26, 2012, pro se Plaintiff Sharham Malekpour filed the present Third Amended Complaint against Ray LaHood, Secretary of Transportation, alleging employment discrimination against his employer the Federal Aviation Administration ("FAA"). Before the Court is Defendant's motion to strike and for a more definite statement pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(e) and 12(f). For the following reasons, the Court grants Defendant's motion for a more definite statement and motion to strike the Federal Tort Claims Act ("FTCA") allegations from this lawsuit. Plaintiff must file a Fourth Amended Complaint in accordance with this order by no later than December 21, 2012.

LEGAL STANDARDS

I. Motion for a More Definite Statement -- Rule 12(e)

Under Rule 12(e), a "party may move for a more definite statement of a pleading to which a responsive pleading is allowed but which is so vague or ambiguous that the party cannot reasonably prepare a response." Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(e). In general, motions for a more definite statement under Rule 12(e) are appropriate when a "pleading fails to specify the allegations in a manner that provides sufficient notice." Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N.A., 534 U.S. 506, 513-14, 122 S.Ct. 992, 152 L.Ed.2d 1 (2002). "Rule 12(e) and related caselaw make it 'plain that the rule is designed to strike at unintelligibility rather than want of detail.'" Flentye v. Kathrein, 485 F.Supp.2d 903, 911 (N.D. Ill. 2007); see also Direct Commc'ns, Inc. v. Horizon Retail Const., Inc., 387 F.Supp.2d 828, 831 (N.D. Ill. 2005) (Rule 12(e) motion is intended to eliminate confusion, not replace discovery).

II. Motion to Strike -- Rule 12(f)

"Rule 12(f) provides that a district court 'may strike from a pleading an insufficient defense or any redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter.'" Delta Consulting Group, Inc. v. R. Randle Const., Inc., 554 F.3d 1133, 1141 (7th Cir. 2009) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(f)). Motions to strike are appropriate if they serve to expedite litigation. See Heller Fin., Inc. v. Midwhey Powder, 883 F.2d 1286, 1294 (7th Cir. 1989); see also Talbot v. Robert Matthews Distrib. Co., 961 F.2d 654, 664 (7th Cir. 1992) (allegations may be stricken if matter bears no possible relation to controversy). District courts have considerable discretion to strike allegations under Rule 12(f). See Delta, 554 F.3d at 1141-42.

ANALYSIS

Although courts must construe pro se pleadings liberally, see Gomez v. Randle, 680 F.3d 859, 864 (7th Cir. 2012), a plaintiff's pro se status does not absolve him from complying with federal and local procedural rules. See Greer v. Board of Ed. of City of Chicago, 267 F.3d 723, 727 (7th Cir. 2001); see also McNeil v. United States, 508 U.S. 106, 113, 113 S.Ct. 1980, 124 L.Ed.2d 21 (1993) ("we have never suggested that procedural rules in ordinary civil litigation should be interpreted so as to excuse mistakes by those who proceed without counsel."). As such, to the best of his ability, Plaintiff is required to follow the federal notice pleading standards, specifically Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2). Under Rule 8(a)(2), a complaint must include "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). The short and plain ...


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