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Peay v. Sager

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

February 13, 2017

STRATTON PEAY, Plaintiff,
v.
CO SAGER, et al., Defendant. ECF No. 21

          MEMORANDUM ORDER

          Lisa Pupo Lenihan United States Magistrate Judge.

         Pending before the Court is a Motion for More Definite Statement filed by the Defendants on February 7, 2016. (ECF No. 21.) Defendants aver that Plaintiff's Complaint (ECF No. 3) violates numerous Rules of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and they request that the Court order Plaintiff to file a more definite pleading which identifies his separate claims or causes of actions, and explains what each Defendant did and when as stated in Fed.R.Civ.P. 8, 10, 12(e), and 20. After reviewing Plaintiff's Complaint, the Court agrees with the Defendants that it is insufficient in numerous regards, as identified by the Defendants in their Brief in Support of their Motion for More Definite Statement, (ECF No. 22). Therefore, if Plaintiff wishes to proceed with this action, he shall file an Amended Complaint that is in compliance with the Rules and the following instructions.

         Instructions for Filing an Amended Complaint

         A. Caption and Heading

         Plaintiff must place his full name at the top of the amended complaint. Plaintiff must also add the names of each defendant. Plaintiff must name as defendants only those persons who are responsible for the alleged constitutional violation(s).[1]

         B. Jurisdiction

         Plaintiff must inform the Court why the case should be heard in federal court rather than state court or some other forum. If Plaintiff's action is generally one for a violation of civil rights, 42 U.S.C. § 1983 will normally be the basis for the claim. In order for Plaintiff's action to be heard in federal court under Section 1983, he must be able to show that the defendant(s), at the time of the claims alleged in the amended complaint, were acting under the authority or color of state law.

         C. Parties

         As the person initiating the lawsuit, Plaintiff must identify himself as such. Also, for each defendant named in the amended complaint, Plaintiff should list their current address and description of their employment. In addition, Plaintiff should explain briefly how or in what capacity each defendant acted under authority given to them by state or local government.

         D. Statement of Claim

         Plaintiff must state what rights under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States have been violated. It is improper for Plaintiff to merely list constitutional rights or federal rights. Plaintiff must provide a description of how the defendant(s) violated his rights.

         E. Statement of Facts

         Plaintiff must provide specific details of precisely how his civil rights were allegedly violated. Plaintiff should note that, in civil rights cases, more than conclusory and vague allegations are required to state a cause of action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff should clearly describe how each named defendant is involved in the alleged constitution violation(s). This description should include references to relevant dates, times, and locations. It should explain to the Court what happened by specifically describing each defendant's behavior or action and how that behavior or action - or lack of action - resulted in the alleged violations. Plaintiff should not include legal argument in his amended complaint. Citations to case law and other statutes are not appropriate in the complaint, but rather may be included in a response to a dispositive motion or at the time of trial. However, Plaintiff should be specific about the particulars of the event, each defendant's misconduct, and how such misconduct resulted in a violation or denial of the civil right at issue.

         Where the amended complaint includes more than one incident, Plaintiff should clearly distinguish between them by preparing a separate description - usually a paragraph - for each incident. Each incident should be identified as a separate count, and each count must include appropriate facts and evidence in support of the claims made in the count. Each incident must be clearly and specifically described; it should include the relevant time, date, and location. Each ...


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