United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
C. CARLSON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
BACKGROUND OF THIS CASE IS AS FOLLOWS
personal injury case began as a pro se lawsuit.
However, following the filing of this initial pro se
complaint, the plaintiffs retained counsel, who filed an
amended complaint. (Doc. 9.) That amended complaint is now
the operative pleading in this lawsuit.
March 17, 2017, the defendant moved to strike certain
allegations from this amended complaint. (Doc. 13.)
Specifically, the defendant moved to strike paragraph 18 of
the amended complaint, which appears to be a typographical
error since it apparently refers to a different lawsuit.
Further, the defendant sought to strike the specified sums of
unliquidated damages, $1, 500, 000 set forth in the amended
complaint. Finally, the defendant moved to strike all
references to “reckless” conduct from the amended
plaintiffs have not responded to this motion, and the time
for filing a response has now passed. Therefore, in the
absence of any response from the plaintiffs, the motion will
be deemed ripe for resolution.
reasons set forth below, the motion to strike will be
GRANTED, in part, in that paragraph 18 of the amended
complaint, and the specified sums of unliquidated damages
will be STRICKEN from the amended complaint.
12(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governs motions
to strike pleadings and provides, in part, that:
(f) Motion to Strike. The court may strike
from a pleading an insufficient defense or any redundant,
immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter.
Fed. R.Civ. P. 12(f).
rulings on motions to strike rest in the sound discretion of
the court, Von Bulow v. Von Bulow, 657 F.Supp. 1134,
1146 (S.D.N.Y. 1987), that discretion is guided by certain
basic principles. Because striking a pleading is viewed as a
drastic remedy, such motions are “generally
disfavored.” Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Sales,
Inc. v. Avondale Shipyards, Inc., 677 F.2d 1045, 1057
(5th Cir. 1982). As one court has aptly observed:
“striking a party's pleadings is an extreme
measure, and, as a result, . . . ‘[m]otions to strike
under Fed .R.Civ.P. 12(f) are viewed with disfavor and are
infrequently granted.' Lunsford v. United
States, 570 F.2d 221, 229 (8th Cir.1977) (citing 5
Wright & Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure.
Civil § 1380 at 783 (1969)). See also
Resolution Trust Corp. v. Gibson, 829 F.Supp. 1103, 1106
(W.D.Mo.1993); 2 James Wm. Moore et al., Moore's
Federal Practice § 12.37 (3d ed. 2000).”
Stanbury Law Firm v. I.R.S., 221 F.3d 1059, 1063
(8th Cir. 2000). In practice, courts should exercise this
discretion and strike pleadings only when those pleadings are
both “redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or
scandalous” and prejudicial to the opposing party.
Ruby v. Davis Foods, Inc., 269 F.3d 818, 820 (7th
case, we note at the outset that, under the Local Rules of
this Court the plaintiffs should be deemed to not oppose this
motion, since the plaintiffs have failed to timely oppose the
motion. Local Rule 7.6 of the Rules of this Court imposes an
affirmative duty on the plaintiffs to respond to motions and
Any party opposing any motion, other than a motion for
summary judgment, shall file a brief in opposition within
fourteen (14) days after service of the movant's brief,
or, if a brief in support of the motion is not required under
these rules, within seven (7) days after service of the
motion. Any party who fails to comply with this rule
shall be deemed not to oppose such motion. Nothing in
this rule shall be construed to limit the authority of the
court to grant any motion before expiration of the prescribed
period for filing a brief in opposition. A brief in
opposition to a motion for summary judgment and LR 56.1
responsive statement, ...