IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS EASTERN DIVISION
January 22, 2013
PHILLIP J. KOECKRITZ, PLAINTIFF,
KOECKRITZ RUGS, INC. AND GEORGE KOECKRITZ, DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Milton I. Shadur Senior United States District Judge
Koeckritz Rugs, Inc. ("Rugs") and George Koeckritz ("George") have filed their initial Answer and an affirmative defense to the copyright action brought against them by Phillip Koeckritz ("Phillip"). This sua sponte memorandum order is occasioned by one aspect of the Answer.
There are a number of places where Rugs and George have appropriately invoked the disclaimer provisions of Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(b)(5) but then go on with impermissible language: Answer ¶¶ 12 and 25 state "and therefore deny" as to the disclaimed allegations, while Answer ¶¶ 2, 3 and 18 couple that same denial language with "and demand strict proof thereon." "Strict proof" is a meaningless term, while the denials themselves make no sense. It is of course oxymoronic for a party to assert (presumably in good faith) that it lacks even enough information to form a belief as to the truth of an allegation, then proceed to deny it. Because such a denial is at odds with the pleader's obligations under Fed. R. Civ. P. 11(b), the quoted language is stricken from each of those paragraphs of the Answer.
One inadvertent glitz also bears brief mention. Answer ¶ 1 begins: "Plaintiffs admit" rather than "Defendants admit." That response will be understood as intended to be read in the latter form, without any need for Rugs and George to file an amendment to the Answer.
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