United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division
K. DUBOSE CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
action is before the Court on Plaintiff Nicholas Andre
Haulcomb's fourth amended complaint, the motion to
dismiss filed by Defendant Naphcare, Inc., and the motion to
dismiss filed by Defendant Sam Cochran, et al.,
(docs. 86, 87, 88). Upon consideration, the motions to
dismiss are GRANTED and this action is dismissed
without prejudice for failure to comply with the
orders of this Court.
filed his pro se complaint on January 24, 2018 (doc.
1). He moved to amend to correct certain names and various
errors in the original complaint (doc. 4). The motion was
granted and his complaint was deemed first amended (doc. 12).
On September 5, 2018, Plaintiff filed a pro se
motion for leave to amend the complaint (doc. 46). The motion
was stricken because Plaintiff was represented by counsel
(doc. 48). Plaintiff then filed a second amended complaint
(doc. 52) which was stricken because he had not filed a
motion for leave to amend (doc. 54).
October 29, 2018, Plaintiff filed a motion for leave to
amend, motion to supplement the record, and second motion to
supplement (docs 57, 62, 70). Defendants opposed the motions
(64, 66, 72). The motion for leave to amend was granted in
part and denied in part and Plaintiff was ordered to file a
third amended complaint “which conforms with this
Court's Order” (doc. 73). In addition to denying
Plaintiff leave to amend to add certain claims, counts, and
Defendants, the Court also stated as follows:
Defendants argue that the proposed amended complaint is an
impermissible shotgun pleading and leave to amend should be
denied on that basis. They assert that Plaintiff did not
allege what specific conduct supports each claim and did not
allege how each defendant is responsible for the alleged
constitutional violations or medical negligence. Defendants
point out that Plaintiff makes it impossible to determine
which allegations are directed to which claim because he
incorporates by reference all 200 plus preceding paragraphs,
into each count, as well as incorporating each count into the
next. Defendants also point out that many paragraphs contain
irrelevant allegations and legal arguments that are
inappropriate in a complaint.
Middle District of Alabama recently explained the types of
shotgun pleadings, as follows:
A complaint “must contain ... a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Each allegation in
the complaint “must be simple, concise, and
direct.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(d)(1). The complaint must also
“state [the plaintiff's] claims ... in numbered
paragraphs, each limited as far as practicable to a single
set of circumstances.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 10(b).
The purpose of [Rule 8(a)(2) and Rule 10(b)] is self-evident,
to require the pleader to present his claims discretely and
succinctly, so that [ ] his adversary can discern what he is
claiming and frame a responsive pleading, the court can
determine which facts support which claims and whether the
plaintiff has stated any claims upon which relief can be
granted, and, at trial, the court can determine that evidence
which is relevant and that which is not.
Weiland v. Palm Beach Cty. Sheriff's Office, 792
F.3d 1313, 1320 (11th Cir. 2015) (quoting T.D.S. Inc. v.
Shelby Mut. Ins. Co., 760 F.2d 1520, 1544 n.14 (11th
Cir. 1985) (Tjoflat, J., dissenting)); see also [Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007))]
(holding that the purpose of Rule 8(a)(2) is to “give
the defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the
grounds upon which it rests” [. . . ]).
“Complaints that violate either Rule 8(a)(2) or Rule
10(b), or both, are often disparagingly referred to as
‘shotgun pleadings,' ” and have been
uniformly rejected by the Eleventh Circuit. Weiland,
792 F.3d at 1320. There are four types of shotgun pleadings:
(1) pleadings that “contain[ ] multiple counts where
each count adopts the allegations of all preceding counts,
causing each successive count to carry all that came before
and the last count to be a combination of the entire
complaint”; (2) pleadings that are “guilty of the
venial sin of being replete with conclusory, vague, and
immaterial facts not obviously connected to any particular
cause of action”; (3) pleadings that “commit[ ]
the sin of not separating into a different count each cause
of action or claim for relief”; and (4) pleadings that
commit “the relatively rare sin of asserting multiple
claims against multiple defendants without specifying which
of the defendants are responsible for which acts or
omissions, or which of the defendants the claim is brought
against.” Id. at 1321.
Zaunich v. Hankook Tire America Corporation, 2018 WL
6709466, at *2 (M.D. Ala. Dec. 20, 2018) (slip copy).
Despite the fact that the amended complaint is a disfavored
shotgun pleading, the Court finds that denying the motion for
leave to amend on this basis is not appropriate at this time.
The Court has denied in part Plaintiff's motion for leave
to amend his complaint and ordered Plaintiff to file an
amended complaint which will conform to this order. Having
brought the inappropriateness of shotgun pleading to
Plaintiff's counsel's attention, the Court ...