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Villars v. Kubiatowski

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

May 14, 2014

JULIO VILLARS, Plaintiff,
v.
STEPHEN KUBIATOWSKI as Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; MAURY STRAUB as Ozaukee County Sheriff; JEFFREY SAUDER as Ozaukee County Jail Administrator; DOES OZAUKEE COUNTY JAIL DEPUTIES 1-8; COUNTY OF OZAUKEE; KENNETH COPPES, PATRICK MURRAY, and MICHAEL BARR as Village of Round Lake Beach Police Officer; the VILLAGE OF ROUND LAKE BEACH; GARY BITLER as Round Lake Beach Police Chief; LAKE COUNTY; MARK CURRAN as Sheriff of Lake County; DOES LAKE COUNTY JAIL DEPUTIES SHERIFF 9-13, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

ROBERT M. DOW, Jr., District Judge.

Before the Court is Plaintiff's motion to strike Defendant Ozaukee County's affirmative defenses [68]. For the reasons set forth below, the Court grants Plaintiff's motion as to affirmative defenses (2) and (6), but denies the motion as to affirmative defenses (1), (3), (4), and (5).

I. Background

Plaintiff Julio Villars commenced this suit on June 13, 2012 and filed a twenty-one count second amended complaint on August 1, 2013. On August 30, 2013, Defendant Ozaukee County filed its answer and pled the following six affirmative defenses:

1. Plaintiff's claims against the fictitious defendants in their individual capacities are barred by applicable statutes of limitations because plaintiff was released on February 1, 2011 and has failed to identify the fictitious defendants within the two year statute of limitations applicable to this matter;
2. Plaintiff's complaint contains claims which fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted because he has failed to identify unconstitutional conditions of confinement, illegal imprisonment, illegal strip searches, failure to prosecute actions subject to his alleged failure to access law library materials, and because he was represented by counsel;
3. These answering defendants are protected from suit by immunities including qualified immunity because any individual capacity claims are barred by the fact that their actions were constitutional and existing law does not deem their actions unconstitutional;
4. No joint and several liability exists for the claims raised by the plaintiff against defendants because 42 U.S.C. does not allow for joint and several liability;
5. Plaintiff's injuries or damages, if any, were not caused by a governmental policy or practice of these answering defendants, barring his official capacity claims against the named individual defendants and municipal claims against Ozaukee County;
6. Plaintiff's claims against these answering defendants insurer are subject to the definitions, exclusions, and limitations within the policy; the defendant insurer shall, in no way, be liable for amounts alleged or awarded above its policy limits.

Plaintiff now moves to strike these defenses, arguing that they are "conclusory... without pleading any facts that form the basis for these defenses" in violation of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(f).

II. Analysis

A. Legal Standard

Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(f) "the court may strike from a pleading an insufficient defense or any redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter." Motions to strike affirmative defenses may be used to expedite a case by "remov[ing] unnecessary clutter from the case." Heller Fin., Inc. v. Midwhey Powder Co., Inc., 883 F.2d 1286, 1294 (7th Cir. 1989); Man Roland, Inc. v. Quantum Color Corp., 57 F.Supp.2d 576, 578 (N.D. Ill. 1999); Codest Eng'g v. Hyatt Int'l Corp., 954 F.Supp. 1224, 1228 (N.D. Ill. 1996). Affirmative defenses will be stricken only when they are facially insufficient; therefore it would be inappropriate to strike an affirmative defense where the issues are complex. Heller, 883 F.2d at 1294. "Ordinarily, defenses will not be struck if they are sufficient as a matter of law or if they present questions of law or fact. Affirmative defenses are pleadings and, therefore, are subject to all pleading ...


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