United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
SULEIMAN A. IBRAHIM
DAVID BERNHARDT, SECRETARY U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
WELLS ROBY CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
the Court is Defendants' Motion for More Definite
Statement (Rec doc. 26). The motion is not opposed.
The motion was heard on the briefs.
Ibrahim (“Ibrahim” or “Plaintiff”), a
former engineer, with the Department of the Interior filed
this lawsuit alleging that he was the victim of on-the-job
discrimination, while he worked at the Bureau of Safety and
Environmental Enforcement (“BSEE”). Ibrahim
contends that he was retaliated against for filing an EEOC
complaint. The alleged retaliation consisted of a 14-day
suspension without pay that occurred on April 22, 2016.
generally complains of discrimination based upon his national
origin, Sudanese, reprisal which resulted in lower ratings on
Employee Performance Appraisal Plan compared to other
engineers and religious discrimination because he was denied
the ability to take off on Ramadan, a fasting day. He also
alleges that he was subjected to harassment and a hostile
work environment by his supervisors, and that they falsified
and destroyed official government personal records. He
doesn't further describe the experiences that result in
the harassment and hostile environment.
defendant filed the subject motion seeking an order requiring
Ibrahim to restate his complaint so that it complies with
Rules 12(e) and 8(a). The defendant contends that the form of
the complaints along with the administrative record extracts
fail to make assertions of fact in a manner such that the
Secretary is unable to frame a response.
Standard of Review
Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 12(e) provides for a more
definite statement when the pleading at issue “is so
vague or ambiguous that the party cannot reasonably prepare a
response.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(e). “If a pleading
fails to specify the plaintiff's allegations in a manner
that provides sufficient notice, a defendant can move for a
more definite statement under Rule 12(e) before
responding.” Jones v. CNT Chartis Ins. Agency,
Inc., No. CIV 11-402 BB/GBW, 2011 WL 13291151, at *2
(D.N.M. Aug. 9, 2011), citing Swierkiewicz v. Sorema
N.A., 534 U.S. 506, 514 (2002).
standard for evaluating a motion for more definite statement
is whether the complaint “is so excessively vague and
ambiguous as to be unintelligible and as to prejudice the
defendant seriously in attempting to answer it.”
Advanced Communications Technologies, Inc. v. Li,
No. 05 Civ. 4628, 2005 WL 3215222, at *3 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 30,
2005) (citing Bower v. Weisman, 639 F.Supp. 532, 538
evaluating a motion for more definite statement, the Court
must assess the complaint in light of the minimal pleading
requirements of Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure, which provides in pertinent part, “A
pleading which sets forth a claim for relief ... shall
contain ... a short and plain statement of the claim showing
the pleader is entitled to relief ...” Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 9(f), which should be read in conjunction
with Rule 8, states that averments of time and place are
material for the purpose of testing the sufficiency of a
pleading; specific pleading of these averments, however, is
12(e) motion is disfavored, in that “in view of the
great liberality of F.R.Civ. P. 8, permitting notice
pleading, it is clearly the policy of the Rules that Rule
12(e) should not be used to frustrate this policy by lightly
requiring a plaintiff to amend his complaint which under Rule
8 is sufficient to withstand a motion to dismiss.”
Mitchell v. E-Z Way Towers, Inc., 269 F.2d 126, 132
(5th Cir.1959). See generally 5A C. Wright and A. Miller,
Federal Practice and Procedure § 1377 (2nd ed.1990).
defendant contends that Ibrahim complaints filed on January
7, 2019 do not clearly state claims but does cite to the
Civil Rights Act and Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
The defendant contends that the complaint is almost entirely
devoid of factual allegations, ...