United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Knoxville
UNITED SADAT TRANSPORTATION AND LOGISTICS COMPANY LTD, Plaintiff,
ERIC WAYNE BARTON, and VANQUISH WORLDWIDE, LLC, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Clifford Shirley, Jr. United States Magistrate Judge
case is before the undersigned pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
636, the Rules of this Court, and Standing Order 13-02.
before the Court is the Defendants' Motion to Strike
[Doc. 9]. The Plaintiff has filed a Response [Doc. 11] in
opposition to the Motion. The Motion is now ripe for
adjudication. Accordingly, for the reasons explained below,
the Court DENIES the Defendants' Motion to Strike [Doc.
POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES
Defendants' Motion [Doc. 9] requests that paragraphs 3
through 5 and 14 through 29 of the Complaint be stricken
pursuant to Federal Rules of Procedure 8 and 12(f). For
grounds, the Motion states that the allegations therein are
immaterial, impertinent or scandalous and that the Complaint
is not a short and plain statement of the claim showing that
the pleader is entitled to relief. The Defendants assert that
the paragraphs of the Complaint are immaterial to the
Plaintiff's claim of default under the promissory note
and that the Plaintiff's reference to fraud has been
nullified by the parties' previous settlement agreement.
The Defendants argue that the Plaintiff references such
allegations to scandalize the Defendants. The Defendants
continue that paragraphs 3 through 5 as well as paragraphs 14
through 29 of the Complaint detail a long and arduous factual
and legal history between the parties, all of which were
resolved by a global settlement agreement. The Defendants
contend that the settlement agreement completely nullified
the fraud claims against them. The Defendants assert that the
Plaintiff is attempting to paint the Defendants in a
scandalous matter over reasons that no longer exist because
of the settlement agreement.
Plaintiff responds [Doc. 11] that the background information
and procedural history described in the Complaint are neither
impertinent nor immaterial. Further, the Plaintiff asserts
that the Defendants have not shown that the challenged
allegations are scandalous. In addition, the Plaintiff
contends that the Defendants have not shown significant, or
Court has considered the parties' positions, and the
Court finds the Defendants' Motion not well-taken.
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(f) allows a court to “strike
from a pleading an insufficient defense or any redundant,
immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter.” Motions
to strike are viewed with disfavor and are not frequently
granted. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. v. United
States, 201 F.2d 819, 822 (6th Cir. 1953). The purpose
of the motion is to “avoid the expenditure of time and
money that must arise from litigating spurious issues by
dispensing with” them early in the case. Kennedy v.
City of Cleveland, 797 F.2d 297, 305 (6th Cir. 1986)
(quoting Sidney-Vinstein v. A.H. Robins Co., 697
F.2d 880, 885 (9th Cir. 1983)). Motions to strike should only
be granted when “the allegations being challenged are
so unrelated to plaintiff's claims as to be unworthy of
any consideration as a defense and that their presence in the
pleading throughout the proceeding will be prejudicial to the
moving party.” E.E.O.C. v. FPM Grp., Ltd., 657
F.Supp.2d 957, 966 (E.D. Tenn. 2009) (quoting 5A Charles A.
Wright & Arthur R. Miller, Federal Practice and
Procedure § 1380 at p. 650 (2nd ed. 1990)).
“Striking a pleading is considered ‘a drastic
remedy to be resorted to only when required for the purposes
of justice' and it ‘should be sparingly used by the
courts.'” Id. (quoting Brown &
Williamson Tobacco Corp, 201 F.2d at 822).
the above guidance in mind, the Court turns to the paragraphs
at issue in the instant matter. Specifically, the Defendants
have moved to strike paragraphs 3 through 5 and 14 through
29. The Court has reviewed these paragraphs and finds that
the allegations therein do not rise to the level of being
immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous. Instead, the
paragraphs explain the alleged history of the parties and
merely provide context for the present dispute. See
Starnes Family Office, LLC v. McCullar, 765 F.Supp.2d
1036, 1059 (W.D. Tenn. 2011) (explaining that “[w]here
the challenged allegations ‘might serve to achieve a
better understanding of the ... claim for relief or perform
some other useful purpose in promoting the just and efficient
disposition of litigation, ' a motion to strike should be
denied”) (quoting Sherrills v. Beison, No.
1:05-CV-310, 2005 WL 1711132, at *1 (W.D. Mich. July 21,
2005)). Further, the Defendants have not established that the
above paragraphs have caused, or will cause, them any
prejudice. The Court finds the Complaint in this case is
consistent with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8, which
requires pleadings to contain short and plain statements.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a) and (b). Accordingly, the
Court finds the Defendants' Motion to Strike not
and for the reasons explained above, the Defendants'