United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lafayette Division
SAMANTHA J. JACKSON
STANDARD MORTGAGE CORPORATION, ET AL.
PATRICK J. HANNA, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
pending before the court is the plaintiff's motion to
strike the defendants' answer. (Rec. Doc. 26). The motion
is opposed. Considering the evidence, the law, and the
arguments of the parties, and for the reasons fully explained
below, the motion is DENIED.
plaintiff filed an original complaint (Rec. Doc. 1) and a
first amended complaint (Rec. Doc. 6), which restated her
claims in full. She alleged that she entered into mortgage
loan agreements with defendant Standard Mortgage Corporation
in 2013 and again in 2016. She alleged that various
miscalculations were made in the loan documents, that the
defendants violated federal truth-in-lending statutes,
violated the federal trade commission act, breached the loan
contracts, violated her privacy by sharing her loan
information, and caused consumer injury.
Jackson is proceeding in this lawsuit without the assistance
of legal counsel. A pro se litigant's pleadings
are construed liberally and held to “less stringent
standards than formal pleadings drafted by
lawyers.” However, a pro se
“plaintiff must prove, by a preponderance of the
evidence, that the court has jurisdiction based on the
complaint and evidence.” Furthermore, a pro se
plaintiff must also abide by the rules that govern federal
courts and properly plead sufficient facts that,
when liberally construed, state a plausible claim to
relief. A court may sua sponte dismiss a
plaintiff's claims on its own motion under Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim so
long as the plaintiff has notice of the court's intention
to do so and an opportunity to respond. However, a court
should generally allow a pro se plaintiff an
opportunity to amend his complaint before dismissing it for
failure to state a claim.
time, there are no motions to dismiss before the court. The
only pending motion is the plaintiff's motion seeking to
strike the defendants' answer to her complaint.
support of her motion to strike, the plaintiff set forth what
she contends are twelve causes of action, apparently in
response to the affirmative defenses set forth in the
defendants' answer. But no response to the
defendants' answer was necessary and none of the
information set forth in the first few pages of the
plaintiff's submission is relevant to her motion to
strike. She seeks to strike the defendants' answer, in
whole, because it was not served on her “within a
reasonable time.” (Rec. Doc. 26 at 6). She cites no
controlling statutory or jurisprudential authority permitting
the striking of an answer on that basis.
to strike are governed by Rule 12(f) of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure, which states that “[t]he court may
strike from a pleading an insufficient defense or any
redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous
matter.” Deciding whether to strike all or a portion of
a pleading lies within the court's
discretion. A motion to strike under Rule 12(f)
“is a drastic remedy to be resorted to only when
required for the purposes of justice.” Accordingly, Rule
12(f) motions to strike are viewed with disfavor, and are
infrequently granted. Furthermore, such motions generally
are not granted unless the movant shows it has been
case, the plaintiff seeks to strike the defendants'
answer on the basis that it was not served on her within a
reasonable time. She did not allege that the answer or any
part of it was redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or
scandalous matter. Therefore, there is no basis for striking
defendants' answer was filed in the record on January 10,
2019. The defendants contend that they mailed a copy of the
answer to the plaintiff that same day. However, the plaintiff
claims that she contacted the defendants on January 24
because she had not received the answer. Apparently, she
received a copy of the answer promptly thereafter. While
there is no explanation for the plaintiff's delay in
receiving the answer if all of these facts are accurate, any
such delay did not result in any prejudice to the plaintiff.
No. scheduling order has been issued yet, and there are no
critical deadlines that were jeopardized by the delay.
Accordingly, this is not the type of situation in which the
ends of justice would be served by striking the
defendants' answer. Because the plaintiff failed to
provide legal authority for her motion to strike and because
she was not prejudiced by the defendants' delay in
providing her with a copy of their answer, the motion to
strike is denied.
the foregoing reasons, IT IS ORDERED that the plaintiffs
motion to ...