Johnson et al v. Champion
Order striking the 33 Response to Defendants' Answers filed by Shirley Johnson-Young, Reginald Johnson. Signed by Chief Judge William H. Steele on 12/19/2012. Copy mailed to Plaintiffs. (tgw)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
REGINALD JOHNSON, et al.,
RANDALL CHAMPIONS, et al.,
)CIVIL ACTION 12-0334-WS-M
Certain defendants have filed an answer. (Doc. 32). The plaintiffs have
now filed “plaintiffs response to defendants answers to the amended complaint.”
The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provide that “[o]nly these pleadings
are allowed: (1) a complaint; (2) an answer to a complaint; (3) an answer to a
counterclaim designated as a counterclaim; (4) an answer to a crossclaim; (5) a
third-party complaint; (6) an answer to a third-party complaint; and (7) if the court
orders one, a reply to an answer.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 7(a). The defendants’ answer
did not include a counterclaim, and the Court has not ordered a reply to the
“Absent a counterclaim denominated as such, a reply to an answer
ordinarily is unnecessary and improper in federal practice.” 5 Charles A. Wright
& Arthur R. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure § 1185 at 27 (3rd ed. 2004).
“A substantial reason must be given or necessity must be demonstrated by the
movant to justify the court ordering a reply to an answer.” Id. at 31. “This
standard has proven difficult to satisfy ….” Id. Efforts by the plaintiff, rather than
the defendant, to justify a reply to an answer are especially suspect, because “the
reply in the former context is much more likely to be self-serving and not based on
any legitimate need than in the latter context.” Id. at 34. The plaintiffs’ filing falls
squarely within this description.
For the reasons set forth above, the plaintiffs’ response to the defendants’
answer is stricken.
DONE and ORDERED this 19th day of December, 2012.
s/ WILLIAM H. STEELE
CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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