Mast et al v. Farmer State Bank
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING 7 MOTION to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim by Defendant Farmer State Bank; 9 Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim by Defendant Farmer State Bank. This action is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. Clerk DIRECTED to enter final judgment. Signed by Senior Judge James T Moody on 4/25/13. (cer)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
SOUTH BEND DIVISION
:LEVI-D: MAST, LOU-ETTA: MAST:, )
and :DAVID-WYNN: MILLER,
J.P. MORGAN CHASE,
No. 1:12 CV 432
OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiffs Levi D. Mast, Lou-Etta Mast and David Wynn Miller (spelling their
names in the ordinary way, as opposed to the stylized method in the complaint, which
the court has attempted to reproduce above) filed a document they appear to intend
function as a complaint against defendant Farmers State Bank.1 The complaint,
including attachments, is twenty-six pages long and is completely unintelligible.2 Not
surprisingly, defendant moved to dismiss3 this action based on, in essence, the
complaint’s failure to state a claim because of its unintelligibility and because of its
failure to give defendant fair notice of the claim. (DE # 7; DE # 9.) Plaintiffs have filed
nothing in response to the motions to dismiss.
Defendant is incorrectly named as “Farmer” State Bank in the complaint.
The third attachment beginning at CM/ECF page 15 appears to be all or part of
a real property mortgage document, and is not itself unintelligible. What is
unintelligible is the meaning intended to be conveyed by the various annotations
plaintiffs have made on the document.
For unknown reasons, defendant filed two motions to dismiss, a day apart. The
substance of the motions is the same and the court considers them in tandem.
RULE 12(b)(6) of the FEDERAL RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 12(b)(6) permits
dismissal for “failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” FED. R. CIV. P.
12(b)(6). RULE 8 establishes the pleading requirements for a complaint filed in federal
court. RULE 8(a) states:
A pleading that states a claim for relief must contain:
(1) a short and plain statement of the grounds for the court’s
jurisdiction, unless the court already has jurisdiction and the
claim needs no new jurisdictional support;
(2) a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the
pleader is entitled to relief; and
(3) a demand for the relief sought, which may include relief in the
alternative or different types of relief.
FED. R. CIV. P. 8(a). “A plaintiff . . . must provide only enough detail to give the
defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests, and,
through his allegations, show that it is plausible, rather than merely speculative, that he
is entitled to relief.” Tamayo v. Blagojevich, 526 F.3d 1074, 1083 (7th Cir. 2008) (quotation
marks and citations omitted); see also Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007).
The court agrees with defendant that the complaint plaintiffs filed is completely
incoherent and unintelligible. As such, it fails to provide, in a short and plain statement
of the claim, fair notice of the claim or the grounds upon which it rests, or to present
any facts from which it can be inferred that any plaintiff is plausibly entitled to some
form of relief due to actions taken by the defendant. The indecipherable allegations lack
any cognizable legal theory or sufficient facts to support a cognizable theory. A
“plaintiff must give enough details about the subject-matter of the case to present a
story that holds together,” Swanson v. Citibank, N.A., 614 F.3d 400, 404 (7th Cir. 2010),
but the court is unable even to determine what story plaintiffs are attempting to tell
through their assertions.
[W]here the lack of organization and basic coherence renders a complaint too
confusing to determine the facts that constitute the alleged wrongful conduct, dismissal
is an appropriate remedy.” Stanard v. Nygren, 658 F.3d 792, 798 (7th Cir. 2011); see also
Hoskins v. Polestra, 320 F.3d 761, 762 (7th Cir. 2003) (“District judges have ample
authority to dismiss frivolous or transparently defective suits spontaneously, and thus
save everyone time and legal expense . . . even when the plaintiff has paid all fees for
filing and service.”). Although a district court should “allow ample opportunity for
amending the complaint when it appears that by doing so the pro se litigant would be
able to state a meritorious claim,” Marshall v. Knight, 445 F.3d 965, 970 (7th Cir. 2006)
(quoting Donald v. Cook Cnty. Sheriff's Dept., 95 F.3d 548, 555 (7th Cir. 1996)), nothing
here suggests plaintiffs would be able to state a meritorious claim.4 See also Davis v. Ruby
Foods, Inc., 269 F.3d 818, 820 (7th Cir. 2001) (“The dismissal of a complaint on the
ground that it is unintelligible” is completely acceptable.”).
Plaintiff Miller, who appears to be the source for a score of similar actions filed
using virtually identical complaints, has failed to file a coherent amended complaint in
any of the several actions in which the court has afforded him that opportunity.
The complaint’s allegations are rooted in an incomprehensible method of written
communication,5 and the complaint suffers from more than a technical defect or curable
shortcoming. Accordingly, defendant’s motions to dismiss (DE # 7; DE # 9) are
GRANTED, and this action is dismissed with prejudice. Clerk to enter final judgment.
Date: April 25, 2013
s/ James T. Moody
JUDGE JAMES T. MOODY
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
A website purporting to be published by plaintiff Miller attempts to explain the
communication method, but the court finds that explanation itself to be gibberish. See
http://dwmlc.com/dwm/pages/category.php?category=1 (last visited April 24, 2013).
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?