United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
JEFFERY S. FRENSLEY, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
before the Court is the pro se Plaintiff's Motion for
Judgment on the Pleadings. Docket No. 39. Defendants have
filed a response in opposition to the motion. Docket No. 45.
For the reasons stated herein, the undersigned recommends
that Plaintiff's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings be
DENIED. Docket No. 39.
filed this action on January 30, 2019. Docket No. 1. The
Parties have engaged in some preliminary motion practice
regarding the proper parties to this action. The pro se
Plaintiff has also filed several motions for default
judgment. Docket Nos. 29, 30, 31, 37, 47. In addition to the
motions for default, Plaintiff has filed the instant motion
for judgment on the pleadings. Docket No. 39.
motion is essentially a motion for default under another
name. Plaintiff argues that the Defendant has failed to
answer or file another responsive pleading to the Complaint
and there is no legal or factual dispute between the Parties
and Plaintiff is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. She
argues that because Defendant has not answered the Complaint,
all of the allegations in her Complaint should be taken as
true and she should therefore be entitled to the relief
requested therein. Id.
Defendants have responded in opposition to the
Plaintiff's motion denying her allegation that they have
failed to answer or otherwise pled in the case. Docket No.
45. In addition to the early litigation regarding proper
parties, Defendants point to the denial of Plaintiff's
motion for default indicating that “Defendant clearly
has evidenced an intent to defend against this action.”
Id. citing Docket No. 43. They further point out
that because their partial motion and memorandum to dismiss
Plaintiff's Complaint remains pending, the Defendant
continues to actively defend the case and Plaintiff's
motion should be DENIED.
Civ. P. 12(c) states:
After the pleadings are closed but within such time as not to
delay the trial, any party may move for judgment on the
pleadings. If, on a motion for judgment on the pleadings,
matters outside the pleadings are presented to and not
excluded by the court, the motion shall be treated as one for
summary judgment and disposed of as provided in Rule 56...
on the pleadings should be granted if the movant is entitled
to judgment as a matter of law. See Lavado v.
Keohane, 992 F.2d 601, 605 (6th Cir. 1993) (internal
citations omitted). When evaluating a Motion for Judgment on
the Pleadings, the Court may consider all of the pleadings
and any attachments to them. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
10(c). The Court is required to construe the facts in the
light most favorable to the nonmoving party and must accept
the nonmovant's allegations as true. Wallin v.
Norman, 317 F.3d 558, 561 (6th Cir. 2003),
citing Lavado, 992 F.2d at 605 (internal
citations omitted). Despite the Court's responsibility to
liberally construe the facts in favor of the nonmoving party,
“more than bare assertions of legal conclusions is
ordinarily required to satisfy federal notice pleading
requirements.” See Scheid v. Fanny Farmer
Candy Shops, Inc., 859 F.2d 434, 436 (6th Cir.
1988). Accordingly, the Court does not have to accept as true
mere legal conclusions and unwarranted inferences of fact.
Morgan v. Church's Fried
Chicken, 829 F.2d 10, 12 (6th Cir. 1987).
noted above, Plaintiffs motion is effectively yet another
motion for default under a different name. Plaintiffs basis
for her motion is the same as is articulated in her various
motions for default; that the Defendants have not answered
the Complaint in this case and therefore she is entitled to
judgment. Plaintiffs contention in this regard is simply
incorrect and not supported by the record. Defendants have
done nothing to indicate that they have no interest in
defending this lawsuit. In fact, the contrary is true. They
have filed multiple motions including the currently pending
Motion to Partially Dismiss Plaintiffs Complaint. Docket No.
35. Because the Defendants have properly responded to the
Complaint as allowed by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
and the Court has yet to address the partial motion to
dismiss, judgment on the pleadings under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c)
is inappropriate and the undersigned recommends that
Plaintiffs Motion for Judgement on the Pleadings. (Docket No.
39) be DENIED.
Rule 72(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, any party
has fourteen (14) days from receipt of this Report and
Recommendation in which to file any written objections to
this Recommendation with the District Court. Any party
opposing said objections shall have fourteen (14) days from
receipt of any objections filed in this Report in which to
file any response to said objections. Failure to file
specific objections within fourteen (14) days of receipt of
this Report and Recommendation can constitute a waiver of