The opinion of the court was delivered by: Chief Judge Curtis L. Collier
Before the Court is a curious proposed order to "show cause" which was delivered by the plaintiffs to the Court's chambers but was not filed via the electronic filing system or with the Clerk's office. This order is supported by an even more curious "letter memorandum" (no motion has been filed), the format of which is in obvious violation of Local Rules 5.1 and 7.1. This order and memorandum were apparently filed simultaneously with the complaint. The defendants in this matter have not yet appeared. There is no evidence the defendants have even been served.
The "verified complaint" (Court File No. 1) alleges various state law causes of action against a Tennessee corporation and several of its directors. The complaint also alleges a civil violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act ("RICO"), 18 U.S.C. § 1964. It is this Court's practice for litigants to require parties filing civil RICO claims to file a "RICO Statement," in the form set forth below. It is also this Court's practice to provide all litigants with a fair hearing. The plaintiffs, via their "show cause" order, attempt to circumvent the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure by a "summary proceeding," instead of permitting the defendants to answer the complaint and moving forward in a typical plenary action. The plaintiffs miscite New Hampshire Fire Ins. Co. v. Scanlon, 362 U.S. 404 (U.S. 1960). In this case, the United States Supreme Court held the law at issue did not justify a summary proceeding. There, as here, the matter was an "everyday, garden-variety controversy that regular, normal court proceedings are designed to take care of" and there was no statutory authority, there or here, which would "relax or alter the safeguards of plenary proceedings," id. at 409-10. Accordingly, the Court DENIES the plaintiffs' apparent (although unfiled) motion to propagate the show cause order. This matter will proceed as a typical civil action and will be set for a scheduling conference after the defendants appear and after the plaintiffs submit the RICO Statement.
Thus: The plaintiffs shall file, within twenty (20) days hereof, a RICO Statement. This case statement shall include the facts the plaintiffs are relying upon to initiate this RICO complaint as a result of the "reasonable inquiry" required by Fed. R. Civ. P. 11. In particular, this case statement shall be in a form which uses the numbers and letters set forth below, and shall contain in detail and with specificity the following information.
1. State whether the alleged unlawful conduct is in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1962(a), (b), (c), and/or (d).
2. List each defendant and state the alleged misconduct and basis of liability of each defendant.
3. List the alleged wrongdoers, other than the defendants listed above, and state the alleged misconduct of each wrongdoer.
4. List the alleged victims and state how each victim was allegedly injured.
5. Describe in detail the pattern of racketeering activity or collection of unlawful debts alleged for each RICO claim. A description of the pattern of racketeering shall include the following information:
a. List the alleged predicate acts and the specific statutes which were allegedly violated;
b. Provide the dates of the predicate acts, the participants in the predicate acts, and a description of the facts surrounding the predicate acts;
c. If the RICO claim is based on the predicate offenses of wire fraud,*fn1 mail fraud, or fraud in the sale of securities, the "circumstances constituting fraud or mistake shall be stated with particularity." Fed. R. Civ. P. 9(b). Identify the time, place and contents of the alleged misrepresentations, and the identity of persons to whom and by whom the alleged misrepresentations were made;
d. State whether there has been a criminal conviction for violation of the predicate acts;
e. State whether civil litigation has resulted in a judgment in regard to ...