United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
C. Carlson United States Magistrate Judge
Statement of Fact and of the Case
pro se, in forma pauperis lawsuit comes before us
for consideration of a motion for more definite statement
filed by the defendant, Geisinger Medical Center. (Doc. 22.)
This motion raises a well-founded concern that the
plaintiffs' allegations are insufficiently pleaded to
allow for an intelligible response by the defendants.
examination of the plaintiffs' complaint indicates that
the plaintiffs are attempting to bring some sort of
employment discrimination lawsuit since they caption this
pleading as a “Complaint for Employment
Discrimination.” (Doc. 1.) What then follows, though,
is a collection of workplace complaints by Luisa Liberto
relating to a wide array of matters such as access to office
keys, requests to change work cubicles, laptop computer
access, and workplace ventilation and acoustics.
(Id.) In addition, the plaintiffs allege that
Liberto's son, Jeffrey Liberto, who allegedly suffers
from some developmental disability, was subjected to some
form of discrimination during his volunteer work at the
this much is clear, the manner in which the plaintiffs'
grievances are expressed often defies understanding. Thus, it
is often difficult to discern how specific actions alleged by
the plaintiffs are related to discrimination in violation of
federal law. It is also frequently difficult to discern
precisely what type of discrimination is being alleged by the
plaintiffs since the compliant simply asserts in a conclusory
fashion discrimination based upon race, color and disability,
but often does not link alleged workplace disputes to any of
these allegations of discrimination. For example, the
complaint sets forth the following narrative which defies any
ready response, with the plaintiffs alleging that the
with this form of complaint, the defendants have filed a
motion seeking a more definite statement of the
plaintiffs' claims pursuant to Rule 12(e) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure. This motion is fully briefed by the
parties and is, therefore, ripe for resolution. For the
reasons set forth below, finding that the plaintiffs'
pleadings are “so vague or ambiguous that the
[defendants] cannot reasonably prepare a response, ”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(e), this motion for a more definite
statement, (Doc. 22) will be GRANTED.
assessing the adequacy of a complaint, the Supreme Court of
the United States has advised trial courts that they must:
[B]egin by identifying pleadings that because they are no
more than conclusions are not entitled to the assumption of
truth. While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a
complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations.
When there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court
should assume their veracity and then determine whether they
plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
well-pleaded complaint must contain more than mere legal
labels and conclusions. Rather, a complaint must recite
factual allegations sufficient to raise the plaintiff's
claimed right to relief beyond the level of mere speculation.
As the United States Court of ...