Wagner v. Gober et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff's Response to Defendant Warner's Affirmative Defenses, construed as a reply to the defendants Answer, is STRICKEN from the record of this case. [Doc. 24] IT IS FUR THER ORDERED that the Clerk of the Court shall delete from the record of this case Document 24, plaintiff's reply to the defendant's Answer (docketed as "Plaintiff's Response to Defendant Warners Affirmative Defenses"). Signed by District Judge Charles A. Shaw on 3/31/16. (JWD)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
JAMES GOBER, et al.,
No. 4:15-CV-1789 CAS
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on review of the file. On March 25, 2016, plaintiff filed a
document titled “Plaintiff’s Response to Defendant Warner’s Affirmative Defenses.” The Court
construes this filing as a reply.
Rule 7(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure specifies the pleadings which are permitted
to be filed in a federal civil case. The Rule states:
(a) Pleadings. Only these pleadings are allowed:
(1) a complaint;
(2) an answer to a complaint;
(3) an answer to a counterclaim designated as a counterclaim;
(4) an answer to a crossclaim;
(5) a third-party complaint;
(6) an answer to a third-party complaint; and
(7) if the court orders one, a reply to an answer.
Rule 7(a), Fed. R. Civ. P. (emphasis added).
Under Rule 7, the pleadings generally conclude when there is a responsive pleading to a
complaint, in this case, defendant Warner’s Answer. See 2 James Wm. Moore, et al., Moore’s
Federal Practice § 7.02[a] (3d ed. 2014). “All defenses or allegations in the last such responsive
pleading are deemed to be denied, including affirmative defenses.” Id.; see Rule 8(b)(6), Fed. R.
Civ. P. (“If a responsive pleading is not required, an allegation is considered denied or avoided.”).
As a result, “a reply is allowed only on a court order and in limited circumstances.” 2 Moore’s
Federal Practice § 7.02[a]. “A clear showing of necessity or of extraordinary circumstances of
a compelling nature will usually be required before the court will order a reply. Even an allegation
of new matter that goes beyond the allegations of the responsive pleading is not a sufficient ground
for a reply. Id., § 7.02[b]. “Thus, replies to affirmative defenses generally will not be permitted
or required.” Id.
In this case, the defendant’s answer did not contain a counterclaim and the Court did not
order plaintiff to file a reply to the answer. The document filed by plaintiff merely seeks to reply
to defendant’s affirmative defenses and does not indicate a clear showing of necessity or of
extraordinary circumstances of a compelling nature. Plaintiff’s reply is therefore not properly filed
under Rule 7(a), Fed. R. Civ. P., and will be stricken from the record. Accordingly,
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff’s Response to Defendant Warner’s Affirmative
Defenses, construed as a reply to the defendant’s Answer, is STRICKEN from the record of this
case. [Doc. 24]
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of the Court shall delete from the record of this
case Document 24, plaintiff’s reply to the defendant’s Answer (docketed as “Plaintiff’s Response
to Defendant Warner’s Affirmative Defenses”).
CHARLES A. SHAW
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated this 31st day of March, 2016.
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