Bledsoe v. Central Credit Holdings Incorporated et al
ORDER denying 21 Motion to Strike. Signed by Judge David G Campbell on 5/26/2011.(NVO)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA
Pamela Bledsoe, on behalf of herself and all
others similarly situated,
Central Credit Holdings, Inc.; Central
Credit Services, Inc.; and James J.
Eccleston, in his individual capacity,
Pursuant to Rule 12(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Plaintiff has filed a
motion to strike the affirmative defenses asserted by Defendants in their amended
answer. Doc. 21. The motion is fully briefed. Docs. 24, 35. No party has requested oral
argument. For reasons stated below, the motion will be denied.
The affirmative defenses (Doc. 16 at 14-16) are insufficient, Plaintiff argues,
because they are without factual basis or a showing of plausibility as required by Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007).
Doc. 21 at 4.
Twombly addressed only the sufficiency of a complaint under Rule 8(a), Plaintiff argues
that the Twombly pleading standard should apply equally to affirmative defenses. Id.
The Court previously has rejected this argument, concluding that any extension of
Twombly should be left to the Supreme Court or this Circuit. See Ameristar Fence
Prods., Inc. v. Phoenix Fence Co., No. CV-10-299-PHX-DGC, 2010 WL 2803907, at *1
(D. Ariz. July 15, 2010).
The pleading of affirmative defenses is governed by Rule 8(c)(1). That rule
requires the responding party to “state” any affirmative defense, and lists, in bullet-point
fashion, certain specific defenses covered by the rule. Significantly, the language in Rule
8(a) requiring a short and plain statement of the claim “showing” the pleader is entitled to
relief is found nowhere in Rule 8(c)(1). See J & J Sports Prods., Inc. v. Khachatrian, No.
CV-10-1567-GMS-PHX, 2011 WL 720049, at *1 n.1 (D. Ariz. Feb. 23 2011); see also
Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(b)(1)(A). The Court continues in its view that the pleading standards
enunciated in Twombly and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937 (2009), have no application
to affirmative defenses pled under Rule 8(c)(1). See Ameristar, 2010 WL 2803907, at *1.
“Application of Twombly and Iqbal to affirmative defenses would significantly change
federal civil practice and likely increase the burden on federal courts.”
Nu-Source, Inc., No. 10-4477 (DWF/SER), 2011 WL 1560672, at *9 (D. Minn. Apr. 25,
2011); see also Falley v. Friends Univ., No. 10-1423-CM, 2011 WL 1429956, at *4 (D.
Kan. Apr. 14 2011).
“The decision to grant or deny a motion to strike is committed to the discretion of
the Court.” Wine Group LLC v. L. & R. Wine Co., No. 2:10-cv-02204-MCE-KJN, 2011
WL 1233132, at *1 (E.D. Cal. Mar. 31, 2011). Motions to strike under Rule 12(f) are,
however, “disfavored and infrequently granted.” Bassett v. Ruggles, No. CV-F-09-528
OWW/SMS, 2009 WL 2982895, at *24 (E.D. Cal. Sept. 14, 2009). The Court cannot
conclude, particularly given Plaintiff’s class action allegations, that the affirmative
defenses asserted by Defendants are insufficient as a matter of law. The Court will
exercise its discretion and deny the motion to strike.
IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff’s amended motion to strike (Doc. 21) is denied.
Dated this 26th day of May, 2011.
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