Mangel v. Daza
ORDERED: Defendant Ani Katiuska Daza's Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 10) is GRANTED to the extent the Amended Complaint is an impermissible shotgun pleading. The Amended Complaint (Doc. 8) is DISMISSED without prejudice. Plaintiff Mangel m ay file a Second Amended Complaint on or before October 24, 2019. Failure to file a timely amended pleading will result in the closure of this case without further notice. If warranted, Defendant may file a motion to dismiss the Second Amended Complaint on or before November 7, 2019. Signed by Judge Sheri Polster Chappell on 10/9/2019. (AEH)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
FORT MYERS DIVISION
RYAN SEAN MANGEL, individually
Case No.: 2:19-cv-525-FtM-38MRM
ANI KATIUSKA DAZA,
OPINION AND ORDER1
Before the Court is pro se Defendant Ani Katiuska Daza’s (“Daza”) Motion to
Dismiss (Doc. 10) filed on September 19, 2019. Plaintiff Ryan Sean Mangel (“Mangel”)
filed a Response to Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 11) on October 2, 2019. For the
following reasons, the Court finds the Amended Complaint is due to be dismissed as an
impermissible shotgun pleading.
Mangel brings this defamation action against his ex-wife, Daza. (Doc. 8). Fifteen
years ago, Mangel and Daza, a citizen of Venezuela, married in Canada. (Id. at 3).
Mangel adopted Daza’s son, M.M. (Id.). Daza and M.M. obtained residency in Canada.
(Id.). Together Mangel and Daza had a daughter, A.M., who is a Canadian citizen. (Id.).
Disclaimer: Documents filed in CM/ECF may contain hyperlinks to other documents or
websites. These hyperlinks are provided only for users’ convenience. Users are
cautioned that hyperlinked documents in CM/ECF are subject to PACER fees. By
allowing hyperlinks to other websites, this Court does not endorse, recommend, approve,
or guarantee any third parties or the services or products they provide on their websites.
Likewise, the Court has no agreements with any of these third parties or their websites.
The Court accepts no responsibility for the availability or functionality of any hyperlink.
Thus, the fact that a hyperlink ceases to work or directs the user to some other site does
not affect the opinion of the Court.
In March 2016, Mangel relocated his family to Naples, Florida, and began the process of
obtaining United States Green Cards for Daza and their children. (Id.).
Due to martial strife, Mangel filed for divorce in February 2017.
(Id. at 4).
Ultimately, however, Mangel dismissed the divorce action. (Id.). Subsequently, Daza
petitioned Mangel for divorce, which became final in August 2018. (Id.). Meanwhile,
Daza allowed her and M.M.’s Canadian residency to expire. (Id.). Because Daza’s Green
Card was predicated on her marriage to Mangel, her application for United States
citizenship was due to be cancelled. (Id. at 3). Based on her illegal immigration status,
Daza and her children faced deportation to Venezuela. (Id. at 5). To gain attention about
her immigration crisis, Daza took to the local news media in February 2019. (Id.). Mangel
states Daza published the following five false or implicitly false statements about him to
the media, which were broadcast by television and the internet:
It came as a shock when he asked for a divorce;
Mangel moved away and has not petitioned his children to become citizens;
Mangel destroyed M.M.’s dream of going to college and becoming a videogame developer;
Mangel does not care for his children;
Daza can’t file paperwork to be a citizen here in the U.S. because she has no
legal standing unless Mangel petitions her or she marries an American citizen.
Daza doesn’t want to return to Venezuela because of the war and hunger in
the country, the neighborhood is crime ridden, and her children don’t even
(Id. at 7-8). As a result of Daza’s statements, Mangel contends he has suffered a strained
relationship with his children and a loss to his reputation and business opportunities as a
doctor. (Id. at 8-9).
Now, Mangel sues Daza for one count of defamation. (Id. at 6-10). Daza moves
the Court to dismiss the Amended Complaint for failure to state a claim. (Doc. 10).
However, because the Third Amended Complaint constitutes an impermissible shotgun
pleading, the Court has a duty to intervene sua sponte and order repleader. See Byrne
v. Nezhat, 261 F.3d 1075, 1133 (11th Cir. 2001) (abrogated on other grounds) (“[I]f in the
face of shotgun complaint, the defendant does not move the district court to require a
more definite statement, the court . . . must intervene sua sponte and order repleader).
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 8 and 10 set the minimum requirements for
pleadings. Rule 8(a)(2) requires a complaint to contain “a short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). And Rule
10(b) says “[a] party must state its claims . . . in numbered paragraphs, each limited as
far as practicable to a single set of circumstances.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 10(b). Problems arise
when a plaintiff does not follow these rules. And a shotgun pleading is such a problem.
There are four impermissible shotgun pleadings, one of which is at issue here. This “type
of shotgun pleading is one that commits the sin of not separating into a different count
each cause of action or claim for relief.” Weiland v. Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office,
792 F.3d 1313, 1323-24 (11th Cir. 2015) (footnote omitted).
“Courts in the Eleventh Circuit have little tolerance for shotgun pleadings.” Vibe
Micro, Inc. v. Shabanets, 878 F.3d 1291, 1295 (11th Cir. 2018) (citations omitted). They
“waste scarce judicial resources, inexorably broaden[ ] the scope of discovery, wreak
havoc on appellate court dockets, and undermine[ ] the public’s respect for the courts.”
Id. (internal quotes and citation omitted). And they fail “to give the defendants adequate
notice of the claims against them and the grounds upon which each claim rests.” Weiland,
792 F.3d at 1323 (footnoted omitted).
The Amended Complaint is a shotgun pleading because Mangel attempts to plead
two distinct torts (defamation and defamation by implication) into one count. These
causes of action are similar yet have distinct elements. See Jews For Jesus, Inc. v. Rapp,
997 So. 2d 1098, 1106 (Fla. 2008) (stating, under a variation of defamation, Florida courts
also recognize a claim of defamation by implication, which occurs when truthful
statements create a false impression). By lumping two separate causes of action into
one count, Daza and the Court face the onerous task of sifting through the Amended
Complaint to determine which of the five defamatory statements amount to defamation or
defamation by implication. Because the Amended Complaint contravenes procedural
pleading rules, the Court will require Mangel to replead its claims.
Accordingly, it is now
1. Defendant Ani Katiuska Daza’s Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 10) is GRANTED
to the extent the Amended Complaint is an impermissible shotgun
2. The Amended Complaint (Doc. 8) is DISMISSED without prejudice.
a. Plaintiff Mangel may file a Second Amended Complaint on or
before October 24, 2019.
Failure to file a timely amended
pleading will result in the closure of this case without further
b. If warranted, Defendant may file a motion to dismiss the Second
Amended Complaint on or before November 7, 2019.
DONE and ORDERED in Fort Myers, Florida this 9th day of October, 2019.
Copies: All Parties of Record
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?