SEARCH MARKETING GROUP, INC. v. JUNK A CAR, INC. et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER granting 4 Motion for More Definite Statement. Plaintiffs are to file a RICO Case Statement pursuant to Local Civil Rule 16.1(b)(4) and Appendix O no later than 30 days from the date of this memorandum opinion and order; Defendants may renew their motions to dismiss no later than thirty (30) days thereafter. The Clerk shall TERMINATE the motions at [ECF Nos. 4, 14, 23, 26, 29, 30]. Signed by Magistrate Judge James B. Clark on 11/8/17. (sr, )
NOT FOR PUBLICATION
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
SEARCH MARKETING GROUP, INC. et
JUNK A CAR, INC. et al.,
Civil Action No. 17-1840 (JMV)
CLARK, Magistrate Judge
Currently pending before the Court are Defendants’ motions for a more definite statement
[ECF No. 4], to dismiss [ECF Nos. 14, 23], and to stay discovery [ECF Nos. 26, 29, 30]. Plaintiffs
oppose Defendants’ motions [ECF Nos. 11, 18, 24, 31] and Defendants have replied [ECF Nos.
15, 22, 25, 32]. The Court has reviewed and considered the parties’ submissions pursuant to Fed.
R. Civ. P. 78 and L. Civ. R. 78.1. For the reasons set forth more fully below, Defendants’ motion
for a more definite statement is GRANTED, and all motions to dismiss and to stay discovery are
Defendants request that this Court issue an order requiring Plaintiffs to file the RICO case
statement as allowed by the Local Civil Rule 16.1(b)(4) prior to Defendant’s filing their responsive
pleading. See Def.s’ Mot. at 1, ECF No. 4. Defendants argue that Plaintiffs’ Complaint is devoid
of details that would be necessary to adequately analyze the basis of Plaintiffs’ RICO claims
against each individual defendant as well as the defendants in the aggregate. Id. In response,
Plaintiffs contend that the Complaint must only sufficiently describe the circumstances of the
alleged fraud in order to place Defendants on notice of the precise misconduct they are charged.
See Pl.s’ Br. Opp’n at 4, ECF No. 11. Plaintiffs further argue that the Complaint contains detailed
factual allegations sufficient to allow the moving Defendants to analyze the basis of Plaintiffs’
RICO claims and file responsive pleadings. Id.
The Court notes that specificity is imperative in this matter, both because Plaintiffs' fraud
allegations implicate the heightened pleading standard of Rule 9(b) and because the RICO statute
itself requires specificity, particularly in light of the heavy penalties imposed upon an unsuccessful
RICO defendant. See Grant v. Turner, No. CIV.A. 09-2381 GEB, 2010 WL 4004719, at *4 (D.N.J.
Oct. 12, 2010).
Therefore, the Court will terminate the motions to dismiss and exercise its authority
pursuant to Local Civil Rule 16.1(b)(4) to require that Plaintiffs file a RICO Case Statement in the
form set forth in Appendix O to the Local Civil Rules. This statement “is equivalent to a
supplemental pleading which shall include the facts Plaintiffs are relying upon to initiate this RICO
complaint as a result of the ‘reasonable inquiry’ standard required by Fed.R.Civ.P. 11.” L. Civ. R.,
App. O. The RICO Case Statement is “designed to aid plaintiffs in framing their claims with
particularity sufficient for the requirements of the RICO statute.” Northland Ins. Co. v. Shell Oil
Co., 930 F.Supp. 1069, 1073 (D.N.J.1996).
To ensure that these issues are resolved in a timely manner and to avoid any need for the
filing of redundant motion papers on the same issues, the Court will set a schedule for submission
of the RICO Case Statement and renewed motion briefing. Plaintiffs shall submit their RICO Case
Statement no later than thirty days from the date of this memorandum opinion and order.
Defendants may renew their motions to dismiss no later than thirty days thereafter, and they need
only supplement their prior moving papers as to those matters materially affected by the RICO
Case Statement. Plaintiffs' opposition to Defendants' renewed motions and Defendants' subsequent
reply papers must be filed in accord with Local Rule of Civil Procedure 7.1. Upon the filing of
Defendants’ responsive pleadings, the Court will determine how discovery in this matter shall
IT IS on this 8th day of November, 2017,
ORDERED Plaintiffs are to file a RICO Case Statement pursuant to Local Civil Rule
16.1(b)(4) and Appendix O no later than thirty (30) days from the date of this memorandum
opinion and order; and it is further
ORDERED that Defendants may renew their motions to dismiss no later than thirty (30)
days thereafter, and they need only supplement their prior moving papers to those maters
materially affected by the RICO Case Statement; and it is further
ORDERED that Plaintiffs’ opposition to Defendants’ renewed motions and Defendants’
subsequent reply papers must be filed in accord with the Local Rules of Civil Procedure 7.1.; and
it is further
ORDERED that the Clerk of Court shall TERMINATE the motions at [ECF Nos. 4, 14,
23, 26, 29, 30].
s/ James B. Clark, III
JAMES B. CLARK, III
United States Magistrate Judge
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