Ball v. Beckley et al
MEMORANDUM ORDER - Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT Dr. Famiglios motion to strike (Doc. 91 .) is DENIED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT the Plaintiffs motions filed in opposition to Dr. Famiglios motion for summary judgment (Doc. 86 .) and in opposition to a brief that Dr. Famiglio filed relating to another motion (Doc. 99 .) are DENIED. The Court will consider Balls brief in opposition to the motion for summary judgment (Doc. 87 .) as filed. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT Plaintiffs motion for miscellaneousrelief (Doc. 94 .) is GRANTED insofar as it seeks permission to add Exhibit F to the appendix to the counterstatements of material fact. Exhibit F is attached an exhibit to Document No. 100 on the docket in this case. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the motion (Doc. 94 .) is DENIED insofar as it seeks to strike Dr. Famiglios declaration. There is no basis to strike the declaration, and the Court may consider it and give it such weight as is appropriate when considering the pending motion for summary judgment. Signed by Magistrate Judge Martin C. Carlson on December 21, 2012. (kjn)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
LT. BUCKLEY, et al.,
Civil No. 1:11-CV-1829
(Chief Judge Kane)
(Magistrate Judge Carlson)
Now pending before the Court is the motion of Dr. Famiglio to strike the
plaintiff’s statements of undisputed facts, which the Plaintiff filed in response to
Dr. Famiglio’s motion for summary judgment. (Doc. 91.) As support for the
motion, Dr. Famiglio argues that the Plaintiff’s responsive statements of fact
violate the Local Rule 56.1, which governs counterstatements of material fact filed
in opposition to motions for summary judgment, in that the Plaintiff’s
counterstatements were not directly responsive to Dr. Famiglio’s own statement of
facts. In addition, Dr. Famiglio complains that the Plaintiff’s appendix filed at
Document No. 90 does not support the paragraphs set forth in the
counterstatements of material facts at Document No. 88 and 89, and do not seem
to have any relevance to the Plaintiff’s allegations about the use of pepper spray
alleged in this case.
The Plaintiff, Dawn Ball, opposes the motion to strike, representing that she
is pro se and proceeding to the best of her ability. In addition, Ball requests that
she be permitted to file an amended counterstatement of material facts in the event
her original filing is stricken.
Upon consideration, we do not find it necessary to strike Ball’s
counterstatements of fact. We recognize that those documents do not technically
conform to the requirements of the Local Rules of this Court, and we agree that
the documents as filed are confusing and in many instances unresponsive or not
probative of the issues in this lawsuit. Nevertheless, we do not believe it is
necessary to strike the counterstatements or the appendix that Ball has filed, and
we will instead consider Dr. Famiglio’s motion for summary judgment and all
other documents filed in support of and opposition to the motion as they are
currently docketed. By proceeding in this manner, Dr. Famiglio will not be
prejudiced, and the litigation will proceed without the unnecessary delay that
would be caused by striking the counterstatements and directing the Plaintiff to
attempt to file a new counterstatement that more closely adheres to the Local
Rules of this Court.
Pursuant to Rule 12(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, “[t]he court
may strike from a pleading any insufficient defense or any redundant, immaterial,
impertinent, or scandalous matter.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(f). “The purpose of a
motion to strike is to clean up the pleadings, streamline litigation, and avoid
unnecessary forays into immaterial matters.” Fiorentino v. Cabot Oil & Gas
Corp., 750 F. Supp. 2d 506, 509 (M.D. Pa. 2010) (quoting Natale v. Winthrop
Resources Corp., 2008 WL 2758238 (E.D. Pa. July 9, 2008)) In general, motions
to strike are disfavored, Symbol Technologies, Inc. v. Aruba Networks, Inc., 609
F. Supp. 2d 353, 356 (D. Del. 2009), and “a courts should not grant a motion to
strike a defense unless the insufficiency of the defense is ‘clearly apparent.’”
Cipollone v. Liggett Group, Inc., 789 F.2d 181, 188 (3d Cir. 1986), rev’d on other
grounds, 505 U.S. 504 (1992) (citations omitted).
Mindful of these considerations, Dr. Famiglio’s motion to strike the
Plaintiff’s counterstatements of fact will be denied. The Court is capable of
assessing the counterstatements as filed, notwithstanding their failure to conform
to the Local Rules of this Court, and despite being in many instances irrelevant or
inscrutable. We thus find it unnecessary to strike the documents, and conclude
that striking the documents and directing new filings by the Plaintiff would
actually only serve to prolong this litigation and would otherwise be an inefficient
and more confusing way to proceed.
By ruling on the motion to strike in this way, we will also summarily
dispose of several related filings that currently are unresolved. We will grant
Ball’s motion to submit Exhibit F as part of the appendix she has filed in
opposition to summary judgment, and deny her motion to strike Dr. Famiglio’s
declaration filed in support of his motion for summary judgment. (Doc. 94.)
Plaintiff’s motion and the Defendant’s response do not merit a substantive
discussion in this order. Suffice it to say that Ball provides no substantial basis for
the Court to strike Dr. Famiglio’s declaration, and nothing will be harmed by
permitting Ball to include an additional exhibit as part of her opposition papers.
We will also deny Plaintiff’s erroneously filed “motion” in opposition to Dr.
Famiglio’s motions for summary judgment (Doc. 86.), and her “motion to deny the
Defendants opposition brief”, (Doc. 99.). These motions simply have no basis.
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT Dr. Famiglio’s motion to
strike (Doc. 91.) is DENIED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT the Plaintiff’s “motions” filed in
opposition to Dr. Famiglio’s motion for summary judgment (Doc. 86.) and in
opposition to a brief that Dr. Famiglio filed relating to another motion (Doc. 99.)
are DENIED. The Court will consider Ball’s brief in opposition to the motion for
summary judgment (Doc. 87.) as filed.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT Plaintiff’s motion for miscellaneous
relief (Doc. 94.) is GRANTED insofar as it seeks permission to add Exhibit F to
the appendix to the counterstatements of material fact. Exhibit F is attached an
exhibit to Document No. 100 on the docket in this case. IT IS FURTHER
ORDERED that the motion (Doc. 94.) is DENIED insofar as it seeks to strike Dr.
Famiglio’s declaration. There is no basis to strike the declaration, and the Court
may consider it and give it such weight as is appropriate when considering the
pending motion for summary judgment.
/S/ Martin C. Carlson
Martin C. Carlson
United States Magistrate Judge
Dated: December 21, 2012
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