Cox v. Asset Acceptance LLC
MEMORANDUM OPINION Signed by Judge William M Acker, Jr on 5/5/15. (SAC )
2015 May-05 PM 03:36
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
IN THE UNITED STAT1ES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
CALVIN BRADLEY COX,
ASSET ACCEPTANCE LLC,
CIVIL ACTION NO.
On March 24, 2015, defendant Asset Acceptance LLC (“Asset”)
filed a motion for more definite statement on the basis that the
complaint filed by Calvin Bradley Cox is a “shotgun pleading.”
(Doc. 8). “The persistence of the shotgun pleading problem is
particularly frustrating because . . . [n]othing is stopping
plaintiffs from refraining from writing shotgun pleadings . . .
[and] nothing is stopping defense lawyers from asking for a more
definite statement.” Paylor v. Hartford Fire Ins. Co., 748 F.3d
1117, 1127 (11th Cir. 2014). For the reasons stated below,
Asset’s motion will be granted.
“[S]hotgun pleading . . . has been roundly, repeatedly, and
consistently condemn[ed] for years.” Davis v. Coca-Cola Bottling
Co. Consol., 516 F.3d 955, 979 (11th Cir. 2008). “These types of
cases invariably begin with a long list of general allegations,
most of which are immaterial to most of the claims for relief.”
Johnson Enterprises of Jacksonville, Inc. v. FPL Grp., Inc., 162
F.3d 1290, 1333 (11th Cir. 1998). “Shotgun pleadings are those
that incorporate every antecedent allegation by reference into
each subsequent claim for relief or affirmative defense.” Wagner
v. First Horizon Pharm. Corp., 464 F.3d 1273, 1279 (11th Cir.
2006). This type of pleading “wreak[s] havoc on the judicial
system,” Id., and allows “a straightforward dispute [to]
metastasize into [a] years-long discovery sinkhole.” Paylor,
748 F.3d at 1125.
Here, Cox’s complaint “is the proverbial shotgun pleading.”
Wagner, 464 F.3d at 1279. Of Cox’s approximately one-hundred
numbered allegations, most are general and conclusory
allegations. (Doc. 1 at 3-15). Further, the first paragraphs of
Counts I-XII identically incorporate by reference the antecedent
allegations (Doc. 1 at 15-21, 24) and the first paragraphs of
Counts XIII and XIV incorporate by reference all allegations in
the complaint (Doc. 1 at 25-26). Taken together, along with the
“wholly conclusory statement[s]” under each Count heading1, Bell
Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 561 (2007), it is difficult
to tell which specific factual allegations underlie Cox’s
Therefore, the court will by separate order grant Asset’s
motion, and require Cox to amend his complaint by May 13, 2015 to
For example, “Defendant Asset violated Section 1692d by
collecting this debt as alleged in this Complaint.” (Doc. 1 at
eliminate the shotgun pleadings and conform with Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure 8 and 10.
DONE this 5th day of May, 2015.
WILLIAM M. ACKER, JR.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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