United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
RULING AND ORDER
BRIAN A. JACKSON, Chief District Judge.
Before the Court are a Motion to Dismiss Defendant/Counterclaimant Block Builders, LLC's Counterclaim (Doc. 40) and a Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim of Defendant/Counterclaimant Vintala Perkins Road Owner, LLC's Counterclaim (Doc. 41) filed by Plaintiff-Counter Defendant Factor King, LLC ("Factor King"). Factor King seeks dismissal of both Block Builders, LLC's ("Block Builders") and Vintala Perkins Road Owner, LLC's ("Vintala Perkins, " collectively "Defendants") counterclaims against it pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure ("Rule") 12(b)(6). In the alternative, Factor King seeks an order for each Defendant-Counterclaimant to provide a more definite statement pursuant to Rule 12(e). (Doc. 40 at p. 1; Doc. 41 at p. 1). Neither Defendant-Counterclaimant has opposed either motion. Oral argument is not necessary. Jurisdiction is proper pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332. For the reasons stated below, Factor King's alternative motions for a more definite statement regarding the counterclaims filed against it by Block Builders and Vintala Perkins are GRANTED.
A. Factor King's Allegations
In its Amended Complaint, Plaintiff-Counter Defendant Factor King sets forth allegation of breach of contract, detrimental reliance, wrongful payment,  and nonpayment of an open account against Defendant-Counterclaimant Block Builders. (Doc. 34). Factor King also claims a lien foreclosure against Defendant-Counterclaimant Vintala Perkins. ( Id. ).
Factor King alleges that in June 2013, Block Builders entered into an agreement with non-party BMP Construction ("BMP") to provide labor and material in connection with a construction project ("the Project") to be completed on real property owned by Vintala Perkins. ( Id. at ¶¶ 7, 8). Factor King further claims that in August 2013, it entered into an agreement with BMP under which BMP sold and assigned to Factor King certain of BMP's accounts receivables, including the receivables generated for work performed by BMP for Block Builders on the Project. ( Id. at ¶¶ 9, 10). As part of the agreement between BMP and Factor King, BMP assigned to Factor King the right to collect on any included account and to file mechanics' liens. ( Id. at ¶ 10).
Factor King asserts that BMP notified Block Builders of the sale and assignment of BMP's receivables to Factor King by letter on December 20, 2013. ( Id. at ¶ 11). Factor King further attests that it followed BMP's notification with a letter to Block Builders on December 24, 2013 that informed Block Builders of the sale and assignment of BMP's receivables, and directed Block Builders to pay Factor King all amounts due on outstanding and future receivables. ( Id. at ¶ 12). Factor King maintains that Jason Keller, Block Builders' Managing Member, executed and returned BMP's letter on January 2, 2014; it also contends that Block Builders received Factor King's letter on January 6, 2014. ( Id. at ¶¶ 13, 14).
Factor King contends that BMP completed its work for Block Builders on the Project on or about February 6, 2014, and generated and invoice in the amount of $215, 077.82. ( Id. at ¶ 15). Factor King avers that this amount due was among the receivables sold and assigned to it by BMP. ( Id. at ¶ 16). Factor King further avers that it entered into a contract with Block Builders on or about February 7, 2014 under which Block Builders agreed to pay Factor King the invoice amount "without recoupment, setoff, defense or counterclaim, " but that Block Builders has failed to do so, despite Factor King's demand. ( Id. at ¶¶ 19, 21). Factor King also alleges that Block Builders improperly paid several other vendors and failed to pay Factor King the balance due on an open account that BMP had assigned to Factor King. ( Id. ¶¶ 30-43). Factor King additionally maintains that, pursuant to a provision in its agreement with BMP that allowed it to file liens on BMP's behalf, it filed a lien against Vintala Perkins on January 16, 2015 that Vintala Perkins has refused to pay. ( Id. at ¶¶ 45-49).
As relief, Factor King seeks from Block Builders all monies it is purportedly due under its February 7, 2014 contract with Block Builders, or damages suffered from its detrimental reliance on this contract, and pre-judgment interest and costs. ( Id. ). Similarly, Factor King seeks a judgment adjudicating its lien against Vintala Perkins' real property; judicial sale of the property to reimburse Factor King for the money it is purportedly owed; and costs, attorney's fees, and interest. ( Id. at p. 8).
B. Block Builders' and Vintala Perkins' Answers and Counterclaims
In its Answer,  Block Builders admits that it received the December 20, 2013 and December 24, 2013 letters from BMP and Factor King, and that Keller "acknowledged receipt" of BMP's letter, but "denies the legal efficacy of same and denies any liability whatsoever to Factor [King]." (Doc. 22 at ¶¶ 11-14; Doc. 23 at ¶¶ 11-14). Block Builders also argues that BMP's "purported assignment of receivables to Factor [King]" is "null and void" because the June 2013 subcontract between Block Builders and BMP prohibits BMP's assignment of rights without Block Builders' prior written consent. (Doc. 22 at ¶ 51; Doc. 23 at ¶ 51). Block Builders further maintains that Louisiana statutes render the BMP-Factor King agreement null and void insofar as it "purports to relieve Block [Builders] and/or BMP and/or Factor [King] of such payment obligations or otherwise contravenes the said rules of public order...." (Doc. 22 at ¶ 52; Doc. 23 at ¶ 52). Additionally, Block Builders avers that Louisiana law entitles it to set off against any judgment in Factor King's favor any monies that Block Builders paid BMP's material suppliers. (Doc. 22 at ¶ 53; Doc. 23 at ¶ 53). Lastly, Block Builders has filed a counterclaim against Factor King alleging that Factor King's lien against it was improperly filed. (Doc. 22 at ¶¶ 54-56; Doc. 23 at ¶¶ 54-56). As relief, Block Builders seeks reimbursement for all damages, including reasonable attorney's fees, it incurred in connection with Factor King's filing of and refusal to cancel the purportedly improper lien. (Doc. 22 at p. 16; Doc. 23 at p. 16).
In its Answer, Vintala Perkins either denies, or states that it lacks sufficient information to either admit or deny, Factor King's substantive allegations. (Doc. 39). Vintala Pekins also filed a counterclaim identical to that of Block Builders that challenges the propriety of Factor King's lien against it. ( Id. at ¶¶ 51-53). Vintala Perkins seeks reimbursement for all damages, including reasonable attorney's fees, it suffered in connection with Factor King's filing of and refusal to cancel the purportedly improper lien. ( Id. at p. 10).
C. Procedural History
Factor King filed its original Complaint against Block Builders on September 16, 2014 (Doc. 1), and its Amended Complaint against Block Builders and Vintala Perkins on February 23, 2015 (Doc. 34). Block Builders filed its Answers to Amended Complaint, Counterclaim, and Third Party Demand on February 13, 2015. Vintala Perkins filed its Answer to Amended Complaint and First Counterclaim on February 26, 2015. (Doc. 39). Factor King filed the instant motions seeking to dismiss Block Builders' ...