Miller et al v. Peoples Federal Savings Bank
OPINION AND ORDER: Plaintiffs have until 2/12/2013 to file an amended complaint as outlined in Order. Failure to file an amended complaint may result in dismissal of this action without prejudice. Clerk directed to forward a copy of this Opinion and Order to each Plaintiff at their last known address. Signed by Magistrate Judge Roger B Cosbey on 1/28/13. (lhc)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
FORT WAYNE DIVISION
:KENNY-LAVERN: MILLER, and
PEOPLES FEDERAL SAVINGS BANK,
CAUSE NO. 1:12-CV-434
OPINION AND ORDER
On December 6, 2012, Plaintiffs Lavern Joseph Miller, Kenny Lavern Miller, and Monte
Edwin Mueller1 filed a pro se Complaint against Defendant Peoples Federal Savings Bank.
(Docket # 1.) Attached to the Complaint is a copy of a mortgage between Lavern Joseph Miller
and Peoples Federal Savings Bank. (See Compl. 14-24.) Although this gives the Court some
basic idea as to the nature of this action, the Complaint itself remains utterly incomprehensible
and nonsensical.2 (See Compl. 1-13.)
Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a), a complaint must contain each of the
(1) a short and plain statement of the grounds for the court’s jurisdiction, unless the
court already has jurisdiction and the claim needs no new jurisdictional support;
(2) a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
The Court in the balance of this Opinion and Order is spelling the Plaintiffs’ names in the usual and
customary way. The Court has attempted to use their stylized spelling in the caption.
The mortgage is comprehensible, but Plaintiffs have covered it with incomprehensible annotations.
(3) a demand for the relief sought, which may include relief in the alternative or
different types of relief.
FED. R. CIV. P. 8(a). The second requirement is intended to provide the defendant with “fair
notice” of the plaintiff’s claim and its basis. Appert v. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Inc., 673
F.3d 609, 622 (7th Cir. 2012). Moreover, “[e]ach allegation must be simple, concise, and
direct.” FED. R. CIV. P. 8(d)(1). At the same time, courts must construe pro se complaints
liberally and hold them to a less stringent standard than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.
Arnett v. Webster, 658 F.3d 742, 751 (7th Cir. 2011) (citations omitted).
In the instant case, however, even when construing the pro se Complaint liberally, none
of Rule 8(a)’s requirements are met. Amongst the thirteen pages of single-spaced, underlined,
randomly bolded, and incoherent text, the Court is completely unable to discern either the
grounds for its jurisdiction, Plaintiffs’ claim or claims for relief, or the relief they seek.
Furthermore, its allegations are anything but “simple, concise, and direct.” FED. R. CIV. P.
8(d)(1). Rather, the Complaint is unintelligible and “exhibits ‘the lack of organization and basic
coherence [that] renders a complaint too confusing to determine the facts that constitute the
alleged wrongful conduct.’” Lawrence v. Sec’y of State, 467 F. App’x 523, 524 (7th Cir. 2012)
(unpublished) (quoting Stanard v. Nygren, 658 F.3d 792, 798 (7th Cir. 2011)). As such, the
Complaint also fails to provide sufficient notice to Defendant. See Davis v. Ruby Foods, Inc.,
269 F.3d 818, 820 (7th Cir. 2001) (stating that an unintelligible complaint “fails to give the
defendant the notice to which he is entitled”).
Instead of waiting for Defendant to waste further time and resources responding to this
Complaint, Plaintiffs are given up to and including February 12, 2013, to file an amended
complaint that complies with the requirements of Rule 8(a). If Plaintiffs either fail to file an
amended complaint or fail to file one that meets Rule 8(a)’s pleading requirements by this
deadline, the Court may, sua sponte, dismiss this action without prejudice. See Stanard, 658
F.3d at 797-98 (stating that unintelligibility is a legitimate reason for rejecting a complaint);
Davis, 269 F.3d at 820 (noting that “[t]he dismissal of a complaint on the ground that it is
unintelligible is unexceptionable”).
The Clerk is directed to send a copy of this Opinion and Order to each Plaintiff at their
last known address.
Entered this 28th day of January, 2013
/S/ Roger B. Cosbey
Roger B. Cosbey,
United States Magistrate Judge