Farmers Cooperative Society Sioux Center Iowa v. Leading Edge Pork LLC
ORDER re 60 Response to 55 Order to Show Cause: A comparison of the 24 October 4 Answer and the 46 December 13 Answer reveals that the counterclaims alleged therein are virtually identical. A response to the December 13 Answer was not required, and the court shall not treat the factual allegations included in the December 13 Answer as admitted (see text of Order). Signed by Judge Linda R Reade on 5/10/2017. (skm)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF IOWA
FARMERS COOPERATIVE SOCIETY,
SIOUX CENTER, IOWA
LEADING EDGE PORK LLC &
LEADING EDGE PORK LLC,
FARMERS COOPERATIVE SOCIETY,
SIOUX CENTER, IOWA,
The matter before the court is Plaintiff Farmers Cooperative Society, Sioux Center,
Iowa’s (“FCS”) Response to Order to Show Cause (“Response”) (docket no. 60), filed on
May 5, 2017.
In an order dated May 2, 2017, the court observed that, on December 13, 2016,
Defendants Leading Edge Pork LLC and Brent Legred (collectively, “Leading Edge”) filed
an Amended Answer and Counterclaims (“December 13 Answer”) (docket no. 46),
alleging several counterclaims against FCS. See May 2, 2017 Order (docket no. 55) at
2 n.1. Because FCS submitted no responsive pleading to the counterclaims alleged in the
December 13 Answer, the court ordered FCS “to show cause as to why the court should
not treat as admitted the factual allegations made” therein. See id. at 5.
In the Response, FCS states that the counterclaims in the December 13 Answer are
identical to the counterclaims alleged by Leading Edge on October 4, 2016, in its Answer
and Counterclaims (“October 4 Answer”) (docket no. 24). See Response at 1. FCS states
that it responded to the October 4 Answer and the counterclaims therein on two separate
occasions—in its Reply and Answer to Counterclaims (docket no. 27) and its Amended
Reply and Answer to Counterclaims (docket no. 38). See Response at 1-2. FCS does not
claim that it submitted any further response to the counterclaims when realleged in the
December 13 Answer. However, FCS argues that its responses to the October 4 Answer
sufficiently embrace the identical counterclaims appearing in the December 13 Answer,
such that no further response was required. See id. at 2-3. The court agrees.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(b)(6) provides that “[a]n allegation—other than
one relating to the amount of damages—is admitted if a responsive pleading is required and
the allegation is not denied.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(b)(6). If a plaintiff responds to a
counterclaim when it is first raised by a defendant, the plaintiff is not required to provide
an additional response if the defendant files an amended answer that includes a “seemingly
identical” counterclaim. Barkley, Inc. v. Gabriel Bros., Inc., No. 13-01013-CV-W-JTM,
2014 WL 6604457, at *4 (W.D. Mo. Nov. 20, 2014). In such a circumstance, “the failure
to respond to an amended pleading does not result in admissions under Rule 8 when the
answer to the original pleading had the effect of denying the crucial allegations in the
amended pleading.” Id. (alterations omitted) (quoting Wright, Miller, et al., Federal
Practice and Procedure § 1279); see also LaGorga v. Kroger Co., 407 F.2d 671, 673 (3d
Cir. 1969) (“While it would have been preferable for the [party] to respond directly to the
amended complaint, [where the party previously denied substantially similar allegations],
the failure to specifically respond did not result in an admission under Rule 8.”).
With respect to the instant case, a comparison of the October 4 Answer and the
December 13 Answer reveals that the counterclaims alleged therein are virtually identical.
Because FCS filed responsive pleadings to the October 4 Answer, in which it denied “the
crucial allegations” of the counterclaims, a response to the December 13 Answer was not
required, and the court shall not treat the factual allegations included in the December 13
Answer as admitted.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED this 10th day of May, 2017.
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