Ramirez v. Fredericktown, Missouri, City of
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER re: 5 MOTION for More Definite Statement filed by Defendant Fredericktown, Missouri, City of. IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the defendant's motion for more definite statement 5 be and is GRANTED. Plaintiff shall file, on or before January 16, 2013, an amended complaint which more clearly sets out her claims of employment discrimination, in separate counts and with sufficient factual background to provide the defendant with proper notice of the content of her claims. Furthermore, plaintiff shall attach to her amended complaint a copy of her EEOC charge. No extensions of time shall be granted except for good cause shown. Failure to comply with the Court's order risks the imposition of sanctions, including but not limited to, the dismissal of this cause of action. ( Amended/Supplemental Pleadings due by 1/16/2013.). Signed by District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr on 1/2/2013. (JMC)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
LACEY L. RAMIREZ,
THE CITY OF FREDERICKTOWN, MO., )
Case No. 4:12CV1649SNLJ
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Plaintiff has filed this Title VII employment action alleging that she was subject to sexual
harassment while employed as a police officer. She further appears to allege that she was subject
to retaliation and sex discrimination when she was ultimately discharged from her employment as
a police officer. This matter is before the Court on the defendant City of Fredericktown’s
(hereinafter referred to as simply as defendant City) motion for more definite statement , filed
October 5, 2012. Responsive pleadings have all now been filed.
Defendant contends that 1) plaintiff has failed to meet the administrative prerequisites to
file her Title VII lawsuit because she filed her complaint without filing her administrative “Notice
to Sue”; and 2) plaintiff’s allegations concerning a “text message” as giving rise to this lawsuit
lack minimal facts and are vague, overbroad, and conclusory; thereby failing to meet the pleading
requirements of Rule 8 Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Plaintiff counters by filing with her response a copy of her Right to Sue letter from the
EEOC. She further contends summarily that her complaint is not insufficient under Rule 8 and
provides sufficient notice to the defendant City of plaintiff’s cause of action.
After carefully reviewing the plaintiff’s complaint, the Court finds that it fails to meet
federal pleading standards.
The Federal Rules provide for liberalized pleading of claims and defenses. Generally, the
function of a complaint is simply to inform the opposing party of the nature and the grounds for
the lawsuit, and the relief to which the pleader believes s/he is entitled. Rule 8(a) Fed.R.Civ.P.
Rule 8(e)(1) requires only that a pleader set forth his/her averments in a "simple, concise and
direct" manner. These general statements do not require any supporting evidentiary material;
supporting factual data is subject to discovery. 5 C. Wright & Miller, Federal Practice and
Procedure, §1281 (1990).
Rule 10(b) Fed.R.Civ.P. further states that "[a]ll averments of claim or defense shall be
made in numbered paragraphs..." and that "[e]ach claim founded upon a separate transaction or
occurrence ... shall be stated in a separate count ... whenever a separation facilitates the clear
presentation of the matters set forth."
Plaintiff’s complaint is a running narrative under “Statement of Claims”. It appears to
bring claims for sexual harassment, sex discrimination, and/or retaliation regarding one or more
text messages from the Mayor of Fredericktown, failure of one or more of plaintiff’s supervisors
to follow-up on her complaints regarding these text messages, being followed by one or more of
her supervisors, and her termination from employment. None of these alleged acts contain any
factual support, including but not limited to, the content of the alleged text message(s)1, dates of
alleged meetings with her supervisors and/or the Mayor, how she was “treated differently” by her
supervisors after making her complaint, and the dates and nature of the alleged “stalking” of her
Plaintiff cites only to one (1) text message allegedly from the Mayor asking her if she
wanted to “play 20 questions”; however, she then repeatedly refers to “text messages”; i.e. in the
by one of her supervisors. Although plaintiff need not provide every specific fact giving rise to
her lawsuit, she must provide enough factual support to give both the defendant and this Court
sufficient notice of the content of her claims.
Furthermore, plaintiff’s complaint not only lacks sufficient factual background, but
contains numerous overbroad and conclusory statements. For example, in Paragraph 23, plaintiff
surmises that Sergeant Nettles failed to follow protocol2 and instead “in an effort to improve his
chances at the open Captain position, he informed Mayor Tripp that Plaintiff was making sexual
harassment complaints about him.” Plaintiff’s Complaint , pg.4, ¶23. Plaintiff further states
that Captain Nettles also worked the same shifts as the plaintiff and “purposely failed to respond
to many dispatches in effort to make Plaintiff’s workload more difficult.”. Plaintiff’s Complaint
, pg. 4, ¶26. Statements such as these are nothing more than plaintiff’s own speculations
lacking any factual context.
Finally, as stated previously, plaintiff’s complaint is a running narrative in which she has
apparently set out three (3) separate claims of employment discrimination involving the actions of
several different people. Rule 10 Fed. R.Civ. P. requires that these claims be set out in separate
counts clearly defining the acts involved and the persons responsible for taking the alleged
As for plaintiff meeting the administrative prerequisites of filing her Title VII complaint,
although plaintiff has now filed a copy of the Right to Sue letter, the Court directs the plaintiff to
file a copy of her EEOC complaint with her amended complaint. It is imperative upon this Court
to make sure that the plaintiff’s claims before this Court were the subject of her administrative
charge and were administratively investigated and exhausted prior to filing the instant complaint.
Again, plaintiff fails to set out in any manner what constitutes “protocol”.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the defendant’s motion for more definite statement 
be and is GRANTED. Plaintiff shall file, on or before January 16, 2013, an amended complaint
which more clearly sets out her claims of employment discrimination, in separate counts and with
sufficient factual background to provide the defendant with proper notice of the content of her
claims. Furthermore, plaintiff shall attach to her amended complaint a copy of her EEOC charge.
No extensions of time shall be granted except for good cause shown. Failure to comply with the
Court’s order risks the imposition of sanctions, including but not limited to, the dismissal of this
cause of action.
day of January, 2013.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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