Wambles v. Army Fleet Support, LLC, et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER as follows: 1. The Motion for Partial Dismissal 8 filed by Ronald Reeves is DENIED as moot because Counts II and III are only asserted against Defendant Army Fleet Support, LLC. 2. The Motions for More Definite Statement 7 , 11 are GRANTED and the Plaintiff has until March 9, 2012 to file an Amended Complaint as further set out. Signed by Honorable Judge W. Harold Albritton, III on 2/24/2012. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Appeals Checklist)(jg, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
VICKIE WAMBLES a/k/a VICKIE JONES, )
ARMY FLEET SUPPORT, LLC, and
Civil Action No. 1:12cv20-WHA
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
This cause is before the court on a Motion for More Definite Statement filed by
Defendant Ronald Reeves (Doc. #7), a Motion for Partial Dismissal filed by Defendant Ronald
Reeves (Doc. #8), and a Motion for More Definite Statement as to Claim for Invasion of Privacy
(Doc. #11) filed by Army Fleet Support, LLC.
The Plaintiff, Vickie Wambles, filed a Complaint in this case bringing claims against
Army Fleet Support, LLC (“Army”) for hostile environment (Count I), against Army for
negligent supervision and retention (Count II), against Army for wanton supervision and
retention (Count III), against Ronald Reeves (“Reeves”) and Army for invasion of privacy
(Count IV), against Reeves and Army for outrageous conduct (Count V), and against Reeves and
Army for assault and battery (Count VI).
In the Complaint, the Plaintiff has detailed acts of alleged sexual harassment to which she
states she was subjected by her supervisor, Reeves, while employed by Army. In paragraphs 8
through 163 Wambles details her allegations of harassment and the circumstances surrounding
The counts for relief incorporate the factual paragraphs by reference. The counts
specifically identified in the Motion for More Definite Statement filed by Reeves are the counts
of invasion of privacy, outrageous conduct, and assault and battery, and the count identified in
the Motion for More Definite Statement by Army is the claim for invasion of privacy.
Reeves seeks dismissal of Counts II and III.
For reasons to be discussed, the Motions for More Definite Statement are due to be
GRANTED and the Motion for Partial Dismissal is due to be DENIED as moot.
II. STANDARDS FOR MOTION TO DISMISS AND FOR MORE DEFINITE
The court accepts the plaintiff's factual allegations as true, Hishon v. King & Spalding,
467 U.S. 69, 73 (1984), and construes the complaint in the plaintiff's favor, Duke v. Cleland, 5
F.3d 1399, 1402 (11th Cir. 1993). In analyzing the sufficiency of pleading, the court is guided
by a two-prong approach: one, the court is not bound to accept conclusory statements of the
elements of a cause of action and, two, where there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court
should assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to entitlement
to relief. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, _ U.S. _, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949-50 (2009).
obligation to provide the ‘grounds’ of his ‘entitle[ment] to relief’ requires more than labels and
conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). Id. (citation omitted). To survive a
motion to dismiss, a complaint need not contain “detailed factual allegations,” but instead the
complaint must contain “only enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Id. at 570. The factual allegations “must be enough to raise a right to relief above the
speculative level.” Id. at 555.
Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(e), a party may move for a more definite
statement when a pleading is "so vague or ambiguous that the party cannot reasonably prepare a
As to the Motion for Partial Dismissal filed by Reeves as to Counts II and III, Reeves
contends that the counts should be dismissed as against him because no relief is sought against
him in those counts. The Plaintiff responds that because Counts II and III are only asserted
against Army and not against Reeves, the motion should be denied as moot. The court agrees
that there is no need to dismiss Counts II and III as against Reeves as those counts are brought
explicitly only against Army. Therefore, the Motion for Partial Dismissal is due to be DENIED
As to the Motion for More Definite Statement by Reeves, in her response, the Plaintiff
does not address the argument that she ought to have pled which of the alleged actions in her
Complaint she means to assert as claims of invasion of privacy, outrageous conduct, and assault
and battery, other than to state that her claims have been sufficiently pled. Army has also
argued that there are multiple legal bases for a claim of invasion of privacy, but it is unclear
which legal basis is relied upon by the Plaintiff. The Plaintiff has not responded to that
An invasion of privacy claim has been recognized under Alabama law where there is an
invasion of privacy stemming from sexual harassment. See Phillips v. Smalley Maintenance
Services, Inc., 435 So.2d 705 (Ala.1983). This appears to be the theory that the Plaintiff is
asserting, but if the Plaintiff intends to proceed on any other invasion of privacy theory, she
should so specify in an Amended Complaint.
Especially with regard to the assault and battery claim, it is unclear whether the Plaintiff
actually intends claim multiple acts as separate claims of assault and battery, or whether only one
act forms the basis of that claim. Because the Complaint incorporates all of the factual
paragraphs by reference, it is also unclear whether the Plaintiff seeks to base her claims of
invasion of privacy and outrageous conduct on a single action in each count, or, if she is relying
on multiple facts for a single claim, which facts make up each of those claims. Therefore, the
court will grant the Motions for More Definite Statement and give the Plaintiff time in which to
file an Amended Complaint so as to specify which of the alleged facts form the basis of her
invasion of privacy, outrageous conduct, and assault and battery claims.
For the reasons discussed, it is hereby ORDERED as follows:
1. The Motion for Partial Dismissal (Doc. #8) filed by Ronald Reeves is DENIED as
moot because Counts II and III are only asserted against Defendant Army Fleet Support, LLC.
2. The Motions for More Definite Statement (Doc. #7, #11) are GRANTED and the
Plaintiff has until March 9, 2012 to file an Amended Complaint which specifies whether she
intends to assert multiple claims, or only one claim, for invasion of privacy, outrageous conduct,
and assault and battery, and the invasion of privacy theory or theories under which she seeks to
proceed. If she intends to make multiple claims, the separate claims should be set out in separate
counts. The Amended Complaint should also specify which of the factual statements alleged in
the Complaint form the basis of the claims for invasion of privacy, outrageous conduct, and
assault and battery.
The Amended Complaint should be complete unto itself, pursuant to Local Rule 15.1.
Done this 24th day of February, 2012.
/s/ W. Harold Albritton
W. HAROLD ALBRITTON
SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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