“judges and adverse parties need not try to fish a gold coin from a bucket of mud”
In documents filed today the US Government notified the US District Court of New Jersey that it intended to move to dismiss the lawsuit brought by Mario Apuzzo on behalf of Charles Kerchner.
Obama Conspiracy Theories has been following this lawsuit closely, publishing 2 feature articles:
The round of delays is now over and the government has responded with notice of a forthcoming motion for dismissal.
I want to add a personal note here. When I went through Kercher’s 2nd Amended Complaint, replying point by point to the substantive claims it made, I wrote, “There are over 300 of these freaking points!” expressing the royal pain it was to schlog through the misinformation and twisted rhetoric. Imagine my delight to learn that there are federal rules against such things. The government said:
POINT III – PLAINTIFFS’ SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT SHOULD BE STRICKEN BECAUSE IT FAILS TO PROVIDE A SHORT AND PLAIN STATEMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH FED. R. CIV. P. 8(a)(2).
Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(f), a motion to strike provides the appropriate remedy to eliminate redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter in any pleading. Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(f). A complaint “‘laden with unnecessary factual narrative’” is the proper subject of a motion to strike. … Indeed, “[c]ourts have looked with disfavor on complaints that appear to detail every instance of alleged wrongful conduct on the part of a defendant.” Id. (citations omitted).
Pursuant to Federal Rule Civil Procedure 8(a)(2), a pleading shall contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Plaintiffs’ second amended complaint in this case is anything but short and plain. Instead, its prolix nature invites the Defendants’ attorneys to respond at their peril should they fail to adequately investigate each allegation, or fail to interview each person identified before answering the factual morass contained within it.
Defendants’ attorneys are not required to undertake their own burdensome and time-consuming full-scale investigation of Plaintiffs’ verbose complaint, before they may find themselves in a position where they are able to comprehend and respond to it. See, e.g., Untracht v. Fikri, 368 F. Supp. 2d 409, 414-15 (W.D. Pa. 2005) (collecting cases dealing with dismissal of pleadings laden with unnecessary factual narrative). The goal behind Rule 8(a) is
to provide the opposing litigant with fair notice of what the plaintiff’s claim is, and the grounds on which it rests, Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957), with only enough facts pleaded to show the right to relief above the speculative level. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555-56. In that respect, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure discourage the pleading of evidence. Drysdale v. Woerth, No. 98-3090, 1998 WL 966020, *2 (E.D. Pa. Nov. 18, 1998) (dismissing prolix complaint that described in unnecessary and burdensome detail every instance of defendant’s alleged misconduct); Burks v. City of Philadelphia, 904 F. Supp. 421, 424 (E.D. Pa. 1995) (dismissing complaint without prejudice because of its unnecessary, burdensome, and improper argumentative detail). “Rule 8(a) requires parties to make their pleadings
straightforward, so that judges and adverse parties need not try to fish a gold coin from a bucket of mud.” United States ex rel. Garst v. Lockheed-Martin Corp., 328 F.3d 374, 378 (7th Cir. 2003), quoted in Parker v. Learn The Skills Corp., No. 03-6936, 2004 WL 2384993, *1 (E.D. Pa. Oct. 25, 2004) (dismissing complaint without prejudice because it was lengthy in its factual allegations of wrongful conduct and lacked clarity).
In this case, Plaintiffs’ second amended complaint utterly fails to conform to the notice pleading requirements of Rule 8(a). The second amended complaint is 87 pages long, consisting of 387 paragraphs of allegations, a 30-paragraph prayer for relief, and 43
single-spaced endnotes, some of which are quite lengthy. See Dkt. Entry 3. Plaintiffs plead a host of needless detail, the relevancy of which is not clear, and to which Defendants cannot respond because it is drawn from various internet webpages and sundry outside sources. See, e.g., endnote 5 (CNN Electoral Map Calculator); endnote 8 (referencing Thomas Paine’s Common Sense and the Magna Carta); endnote 10 (citation to the Honolulu Star Bulletin); endnote 12 (quotations from the State of Hawaii’s Department of Health, Vital Records webpage; (references to Snopes and FactCheck). Defendants move to strike the second amended complaint under Rule 8(a) because it imposes an unduly burdensome task upon the Defendants in attempting to understand and respond to it in its present excessively lengthy
form. Accordingly, Defendants urge this Court to strike Plaintiffs’ second amended complaint.