Holmes v. Behr Press Corporation et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION Signed by Judge William M Acker, Jr on 6/2/15. (SAC )
2015 Jun-02 PM 04:51
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
IN THE UNITED STAT1ES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
MARY LEE HOLMES,
BEHR PROCESS CORPORATION, et
CIVIL ACTION NO.
On May 18, 2015, defendant Behr Process Corporation (“Behr
Process”) and defendant Behr Paint Corporation (“Behr Paint”)
filed a motion for a more definite statement on the basis that
the complaint filed by plaintiff Mary Lee Holmes is a “shotgun
pleading.” (Doc.17 at 8). For the reasons stated below, the joint
motion will be granted.
As this court recently emphasized, “[s]hotgun pleadings
wreak havoc on the judicial system.” Cox v. Asset Acceptance,
LLC, 2:15-cv-0266-WMA, at *2 (May 5, 2015) (Doc. 9) (quoting
Wagner v. First Horizon Pharm. Corp., 464 F.3d 1273, 1279 (11th
Cir. 2006)). Not only does this type of ambiguous pleading fail
to “give the defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the
grounds upon which it rests,” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007), but also when dealing with multiple
defendants such ambiguous pleading makes difficult determining
“‘[s]pecific’ or ‘case-linked’ jurisdiction, [which] “depends on
an ‘affiliatio[n] between the forum and the underlying
controversy.’” Walden v. Fiore, 134 S. Ct. 1115, 1122, n.6 (2014)
(quoting Goodyear Dunlop Tires Operations, S.A. v. Brown, 131
S.Ct. 2846, 2851 (2011)).
Here, Holmes’ complaint has the hallmarks of the “proverbial
shotgun pleading.” Wagner, 464 F.3d at 1279. Holmes’ complaint
“begin[s] with a long list of general allegations.” Johnson
Enterprises of Jacksonville, Inc. v. FPL Grp., Inc., 162 F.3d
1290, 1333 (11th Cir. 1998) and (Doc. 1 at 3-15). Holmes also
incorporates “every antecedent allegation by reference into each
subsequent claim for relief or affirmative defense,” Wagner, 464
F.3d at 1279 and (Doc. 1 at 15, 17, 19, 21, 22, 24, 26, 27, 28,
29, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 37). The ambiguities of Holmes’ “shotgun
pleading” are compounded by the fact there are multiple
defendants and Holmes’ conflation of Behr Process Corporation and
Behr Paint Corporation as “Kilz.” (Doc. 1 at 1-2). Therefore, the
court will by separate order grant the joint motion, and require
Holmes to amend her complaint by June 9, 2015 to eliminate the
“shotgun pleadings” and associated ambiguities thereby conforming
with Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 8 and 10.
DONE this 2nd day of June, 2015.
WILLIAM M. ACKER, JR.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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