Scheppf v. U.S. Attorney General et al
RULING AND ORDER granting 32 Motion to Strike, Defendant Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence, without prejudice. The 18 Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1), 12(b)(2), and 12(b)(6) is DENIED AS MOOT. Signed by Judge John W. deGravelles on 6/15/2017. (LLH)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
PAUL DAN SCHEPPF
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
GENERAL, et al
RULING AND ORDER
This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff’s Motion to Strike. (Doc. 32.) The motion
is unopposed. Additionally, the Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence (“the
Tennessee Coalition”) has filed a Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1), 12(b)(2), and
12(b)(6). (Doc. 18.) For the reasons that follow, Plaintiff’s Motion to Strike is GRANTED and
the Tennessee Coalition’s Motion to Dismiss is DENIED AS MOOT.
Plaintiff Paul Dan Scheppf (“Plaintiff”) initiated this action by filing a complaint and
motion to intervene on behalf of a minor child, KJS.1 (Doc. 1.) Plaintiff alleges that KJS, born in
2006 in the Republic of Angola, is his natural and legal daughter. (Docs. 1 at 3; 13 at 1.) Among
others, Plaintiff named as a defendant the Tennessee Coalition, a nonprofit organization registered
and operating in Tennessee.
On November 15, 2016, the Tennessee Coalition filed a motion to dismissed pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1), 12(b)(2), and 12(b)(6). (Doc. 18.) The following day,
the Court issued a briefing schedule, allowing Plaintiff to file an opposition within twenty-one (21)
days, not to exceed ten (10) pages in length, allowed the Tennessee Coalition to file a five-page
reply within fourteen (14) days of the filing of the opposition, and noted the Tennessee Coalition
To protect the identity of the minor child, the Court will refer to her only by her initials.
need not seek leave of court to file its reply. (Doc. 19.) It further stated, “Sur-Reply briefs will be
permitted only with leave of Court for extraordinary reasons supported by sufficient facts.” (Id.)
On January 18, 2017, Plaintiff filed his memorandum in opposition. (Doc. 20.) On
February 1, 2017, Defendant filed a motion to strike Plaintiff’s opposition, arguing that it failed to
comply with Local Rules 7(f) and 7(g) and lamented that Plaintiff’s opposition was “43 days late
and 18 meandering pages too long without any showing of good cause or the required Leave of
Court.” (Doc. 21 at 1.) Conscious of the fact that Plaintiff is a pro se litigant with no legal
background, the Court denied the Tennessee Coalition’s motion to strike on February 2, 2017.
(Doc. 23.) The Tennessee Coalition then filed its reply brief. (Doc. 25.)
On February 22, 2017, Plaintiff attempted to file a sur-reply, captioned as “Opposition and
Response to Reply Memorandum in Response”. (Doc. 26.) Despite the mandate of the briefing
schedule, Plaintiff did not seek leave of court to file his sur-reply. On February 24, 2017, the
Tennessee Coalition filed a Motion to Strike Doc. 26 “on the grounds that the filing disregards this
Court’s Briefing Schedule and Local Rules 7(f) and 7(g). [Plaintiff’s] Surreply was filed without
any showing of good cause or the required Leave of Court and is ten (10) pages long – double the
permissible length, when permitted at all.” (Doc. 27 at 1.) Through an Order issued on February
27, 2017 (Doc. 28), the Court granted the Tennessee Coalition’s Motion to Strike Plaintiff’s surreply. Plaintiff did not seek leave of court to re-file his sur-reply, nor did he contest the granting
of the Tennessee Coalition’s motion to strike.
On June 6, 2017, Plaintiff filed a motion captioned as a Motion to Strike pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(f),2 seeking to dismiss without prejudice the Tennessee Coalition as a
Although the Motion is captioned as a Motion to Strike pursuant to Rule 12(f), the substance of Plaintiff’s motion
reveals that the relief he seeks is actually couched in Rule 12(b), as he admits that he cannot allege a valid claim
against Defendant upon which relief can be granted. Notwithstanding this discrepancy, the outcome is the same,
resulting in the dismissal of Defendant from this case.
party to the litigation, or in the alternative, to strike all claims against the Tennessee Coalition in
his initial and amended complaint. (Doc. 32 at 1.) Plaintiff alleges that in light of the Court’s
striking his sur-reply from the record, he “now [has] no reasonable chance to legally prevail against
the Tennessee Coalition in this litigation and any further litigation against the Tennessee Coalition
would be immaterial under Rule 12(f); would be frivolous, impede judicial efficiency and cause
an economic and judicial disservice to this Court and to the Tennessee Coalition.” (Id. at 2.)
Rule 12(f) states that the court may strike from a pleading an insufficient defense or any
redundant, immaterial, impertinent or other scandalous matter. Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(f); see also
Clewis v. Medco Health Solutions, Inc., 578 Fed. App’x 469, 470 n. 2 (5th Cir. 2014). In light of
Plaintiff’s admission that his claims against the Tennessee Coalition are “immaterial under Rule
12(f)”, the Court grants his motion to strike the Tennessee Coalition from the complaint.
IT IS ORDERED that the Plaintiff’s Motion to Strike (Doc. 32) is GRANTED and that
all claims against the Tennessee Coalition be DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Tennessee Coalition’s Motion to Dismiss pursuant
to Rule 12(b)(1), 12(b)(2), and 12(b)(6) (Doc. 18) is DENIED AS MOOT.
Signed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on June 15, 2017.
JUDGE JOHN W. deGRAVELLES
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
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