United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
C. CARLSON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Statement of Fact and of The Case
a pro se civil rights lawsuit brought by the
plaintiff, Samira Randolph-Ali, against an array of local law
enforcement and children and youth agencies and employees.
Randolph-Ali commenced this case on August 5, 2016, filing a
complaint, (Doc. 1), which she later amended on September 26,
2016. (Doc. 10.)
assuredly do not write upon a blank slate in this case. Quite
the contrary, the legal sufficiency of the plaintiff's
first amended complaint has been the subject of protracted
litigation, a comprehensive Report and Recommendation by our
colleague, Judge Mehalchick, (Doc. 13), and a thoughtful
decision by the district court. (Doc. 21.) In this January
18, 2017 ruling, the district court dismissed many of
Randolph-Ali's claims, dismissing a number of claims with
prejudice, but dismissing other claims without prejudice and
granting Randolph-Ali the opportunity to amend her complaint.
(Id.) Randolph-Ali took advantage of this
opportunity afforded by the court and filed a pleading styled
as a second amended complaint in this case on March 20, 2017.
(Doc. 23.) The defendants moved to dismiss that second
amended complaint on April 3, 2017. (Doc. 25.) This motion is
fully briefed by the parties and will be the subject of a
separate Report and Recommendation.
six months then passed until, on September 29, 2017,
Randolph-Ali filed a document styled as a third amended
complaint. Randolph-Ali filed this pleading while the motion
to dismiss her second amended complaint remained pending
before the court. Moreover, Randolph-Ali's third amended
complaint is virtually identical to the second amended
complaint which is the subject of this pending motion to
dismiss. Indeed, it appears that Randolph-Ali simply crossed
out the word “second” and then wrote in the word
“third” on this latest pleading. Moreover, this
third amended complaint was filed more than five months after
the defendants filed their motion to dismiss, and
Randolph-Ali has never sought leave of court to further amend
these facts, the defendants have moved to strike this third
amended complaint. (Doc. 34.) This motion is also fully
briefed by the parties and is, therefore, ripe for
resolution. For the reasons set forth below, it is
recommended that this motion to strike be granted.
Amendment and Striking of Complaints: Standards of
12(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure generally
governs motions to strike pleadings and provides, in part,
(f) Motion to Strike. The court may strike from a pleading an
insufficient defense or any redundant, immaterial,
impertinent, or scandalous matter.
Civ. P. 12(f).
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). However, the exercise of this
discretion is guided by certain basic principles. For
example, when, as in this case, a motion to strike relates to
a second or successive amended complaint, other legal
considerations come into play.
outset, Rule 15 of the Federal Rules of Procedure prescribes
certain procedural requirements for amendment of ...