Fisher et al v. Rodriquez et al
ORDER DISMISSING CASE pursuant to the attached order. The Clerk's Office is directed to close this case. Signed by Judge Vanessa L. Bryant on 02/24/2017. (Lee, E.)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT
ROBERT FISHER, et al.
CECILE RODRIGUEZ, et al.
CASE NO. 3:16-cv-1763 (VLB)
February 24, 2017
RULING AND ORDER DISMISSING CASE
This action was commenced on October 26, 2016, by the Plaintiffs Robert
Fisher and Jessie Fisher. The Court construes the allegations of the Amended
Complaint to challenge a foreclosure proceeding pending in Connecticut
Superior Court [See Dkt. 23 (Second Am. Compl.) at 4 of 34]. On November 28,
2016, the Plaintiffs filed in this federal District Court a 29-page Amended
Complaint accompanied by 22 exhibits totaling 216. The Amended Complaint
lists 17 defendants including private legal entities, private citizens in their
individual and official capacities, and Connecticut Superior Court judges.
January 5, 2017, the Court sua sponte ordered Plaintiffs to file a Second
Amended Complaint on or before January 26, 2017, as the Amended Complaint
failed to satisfy the pleading standard under Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. Plaintiffs timely filed their Second Amended Complaint on January
The Court has reviewed the Second Amended Complaint and
determines that it too fails to comport with the Rule 8 pleading standard.
Therefore, this case is DISMISSED.
Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires that a complaint
contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). Although detailed allegations are not
required, “a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to
state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face. A claim has facial plausibility
when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (internal quotation marks and citations
omitted). A complaint that includes only “‘labels and conclusions,’ ‘a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action’ or ‘naked assertion[s]’ devoid of
‘further factual enhancement,’” does not meet the facial plausibility standard. Id.
(quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 557 (2007)). Although
courts still have an obligation to interpret “a pro se complaint liberally,” the
complaint must include sufficient factual allegations to meet the standard of
facial plausibility. See Harris v. Mills, 572 F.3d 66, 72 (2d Cir. 2009) (citations
The Court may dismiss a claim sua sponte for failure to comply with
Rule 8. Salahuddin v. Cuomo, 861 F.2d 40, 42 (2d Cir. 1988).
The Court acknowledges that Plaintiffs attempted to comply with certain
directions of Court. For example, the Plaintiffs formatted the Second Amended
Complaint with separate counts that each listed a different Defendant. Plaintiffs
also attempted to partially comply with the Court’s direction to number each fact
in separate numbered paragraphs, as Counts 1, 6, 8-11, parts of 121, 13, and 16
contain numbered paragraphs (albeit each Count begins at paragraph 1).
However, the content within each count still fails to meet the pleading standard
as the Second Amended Complaint contains the same broad and fundamental
First, Plaintiffs still cite a long list of “claims” which appear to be
headnotes, without providing any factual content.
See Dkt. 23 (Second Am.
Compl.) at 3 of 34].
Second, Plaintiffs also continue to state legal conclusions without factual
support. Where Plaintiffs allege instances of fraud, Plaintiffs fail to “state with
particularity the circumstances causing fraud or mistake.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 9(b).
For example, with respect to Count 2 against Todd Galiszewski, Plaintiffs
contend, “It is impossible to allege firsthand knowledge of accounts validity prior
to him becoming the assistant vice president.
It is fraud as to how he has
firsthand knowledge about the accounts. . . . The vice president and the
instruments.” [Dkt. 23, at 7 of 34]. The absence of any other factual content in
Count 2 certainly warrants dismissal under Rule 8 let alone the heightened
pleading standard under Rule 9. This is one example among many.
Third, Plaintiffs’ 34-page Second Amended Complaint is prolix warranting
dismissal. See Salahuddin, 861 F.2d at 42 (acknowledging that a court has the
The first three paragraphs of Count 12 are numbered. Plaintiffs then fail to
number several paragraphs, begin numbering again for two paragraphs, and then
restart paragraph numbers from the beginning.
power to dismiss a prolix complaint, particularly “where leave to amend has
previously been given and successive pleadings remain prolix and unintelligible.
. . .”); Melvin v. Connecticut, No. 3:16-cv-537 (RNC), slip op. at 1 (D. Conn. June
14, 2016) (dismissing the 48-page complaint containing 94 paragraphs with 57
pages of supplemental materials). Count 1 against Bank of America addresses
issues of standing, breach of contract, materially altered documents (which the
Court will assume relate to an allegation of fraud), and chain of assignment, and
the count also simply lists other legal claims such as aid and abetting. [Id. at 5-6
of 34]. The descriptions of the mortgage note, assignment, and debt contained in
the count conflate the various claims asserted within one count.
interpreting the pro se Plaintiffs’ complaint liberally, the Court still cannot
ascertain claims for which relief can be granted or the forms of relief to which the
Plaintiffs are entitled.
The Court recognizes and fully agrees with the preference to adjudicate
cases on the merits rather than on formalities, and it further acknowledges that
“it will generally be an abuse of discretion to deny leave to amend when
dismissing a nonfrivolous original complaint on the sole ground that it does not
constitute the short and plain statement required by Rule 8.” Salahuddin, 861
F.2d at 42. A frivolous complaint is one that “lacks an arguable basis in law or
fact.” Coleman v. Suffolk Cty., 154 F. App’x 250, 251 (2d Cir. 2005) (citing Neitzke
v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989)). However, in this circumstance, the Court is
not dismissing the case on mere formality issues. Rather, the Court has given
Plaintiffs an opportunity to amend their complaint and finds that the Second
Amended Complaint is both frivolous on its face and prolix for all the reasons
mentioned above. See Salahuddin, 861 F.2d at 42; see also Mendes Da Costa v.
Marcucilli, No. 16-587, 2017 WL 104304, at *1 (2d Cir. Jan. 10, 2017) (upholding a
district court’s sua sponte dismissal of the amended complaint as frivolous). The
case warrants dismissal as the Second Amended Complaint certainly fits within
one that “is so confused, ambiguous, vague, or otherwise unintelligible that its
true substance, if any, is well disguised.” Salahuddin, 861 F.2d at 42. Allowing
Plaintiffs to amend the complaint a third time would be futile.
Therefore, this case is hereby DISMISSED in its entirety with prejudice for
repeated failure to satisfy Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Digitally signed by Vanessa Lynne Bryant
DN: o=Administrative Office of the US Courts,
cn=Vanessa Lynne Bryant
Date: 2017.02.24 17:34:33 -05'00'
Hon. Vanessa L. Bryant
United States District Judge
Dated at Hartford, Connecticut
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?