United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division
VIRGINIA M. HERNANDEZ COVINGTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court upon sua sponte review of pro
se Plaintiff Ali Taj Bey's Second Amended Complaint (Doc.
# 18), filed on May 19, 2017. For the reasons that follow,
the Court dismisses the Second Amended Complaint and grants
Bey leave to file a third amended complaint by June 26, 2017.
initiated this action on March 30, 2017, by filing his
Complaint against Defendant American Honda Financial Services
Corporation and a motion for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis. (Doc. ## 1, 2). Bey then filed an Amended
Complaint on April 25, 2017, invoking this Court's
federal question jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331.
(Doc. # 5). On April 27, 2017, the Court denied Bey's
motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis and
dismissed the Amended Complaint. (Doc. # 8). In that Order,
the Court explained the issues with Bey's jurisdictional
allegations. The Court also advised Bey that “because
his claims rest on transactions entered under the name Craig
Myrick, Bey should explicitly identify in his second amended
complaint whether Myrick is his legal name.”
(Id. at 11).
has filed a Second Amended Complaint, invoking this
Court's diversity jurisdiction. (Doc. # 18). The Second
Amended Complaint states that “CRAIG ALLEN MYRICK,
assumed name, through its authorized representative Ali Taj
Bey” is the plaintiff in this action. (Id. at
1). Additionally, “[t]he Plaintiff is an unincorporated
business tradename organized under the laws of New Jersey
State” and “Plaintiff is an agency created under
the laws of the land in which it is domiciled, New Jersey,
and is a New Jersey National, (New Jersian), of the
age of majority.” (Id. at 2) (emphasis
original). Bey insists he is “proceeding in sui juris,
jus soli, not pro se.” (Id.). The Second
Amended Complaint also alleges American Honda is
“incorporated in the state of California.”
(Id.). Although Bey alleges neither party is a
citizen of Florida, he argues the Tampa Division of the
Middle District of Florida is the proper venue because
“[American Honda] regularly transacts business here in
Florida State. The contract was executed in Hillsborough
County, Florida State, the property (2016 Honda HR-V) is
located in Hillsborough County.” (Id.).
Second Amended Complaint contains the same six common law
causes of action as the Amended Complaint: Count 1 - breach
of contract; Count 2 - willful and negligent refusal to
rescind; Count 3 - unjust enrichment; Count 4 -breach of
fiduciary duty; Count 5 - conversion; and Count 6 - fraud in
the inducement. (Doc. # 18). Bey alleges he purchased a 2016
Honda HR-V in December of 2015, and that American Honda
financed his purchase. Bey asserts he paid the loan in full -
overpaid it, in fact - but American Honda refuses to
acknowledge his payment. As a result, Bey has continued to
make payments under protest and suffered damages. He demands
“all proceeds from the sale of the note, plus all money
paid on account for a total judgment of $120, 721.71 $91,
250.50 (notes sold) for a total judgment of $211,
972.21.” (Id. at 9).
Court construes pro se pleadings liberally and holds them to
a less stringent standard than those drafted by attorneys.
Hughes v. Lott, 350 F.3d 1157, 1160 (11th Cir.
2003). But, “a pro se litigant is still required to
conform to procedural rules, and a district judge is not
required to rewrite a deficient pleading.” McFarlin
v. Douglas Cty., 587 F. App'x 593, 595 (11th Cir.
2014). A district judge may sua sponte dismiss a complaint
for failure to comply with the federal rules. Id.
(citations omitted). Likewise, “[t]he district judge
also has the inherent authority sua sponte to require the
plaintiff to file a more definite statement.”
Id. (citing Fikes v. City of Daphne, 79
F.3d 1079, 1083 n.6 (11th Cir. 1996)).
to Rule 8(a), Fed. R. Civ. P., a pleading that states a claim
must contain, among other things, “a short plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief.” Additionally, Rule 10(b) provides that
“[a] party must state its claims or defenses in
numbered paragraphs, each limited as far as practicable to a
single set of circumstances.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 10(b). Taken
together, these rules “require the pleader to present
his claims discretely and succinctly . . . .” Fikes, 79
F.3d at 1082 (citation omitted).
that fail to plead discretely and succinctly are often
shotgun complaints. The Eleventh Circuit has described four
varieties of shotgun complaints: (1) “a complaint
containing multiple counts where each count adopts the
allegations of all preceding counts”; (2) a complaint
that is “replete with conclusory, vague, and immaterial
facts not obviously connected to any particular cause of
action”; (3) a complaint that does “not
separat[e] into a different count each cause of action or
claim for relief”; and (4) a complaint that
“assert[s] multiple claims against multiple defendants
without specifying which of the defendants are responsible
for which acts or omissions, or which of the defendants the
claim is brought against.” Weiland v. Palm Beach
Cty. Sheriff's Office, 792 F.3d 1313, 1322-23 (11th
Cir. 2015). “The unifying characteristic of all types
of shotgun pleadings is that they fail to . . . give the
defendants adequate notice of the claims against them and the
grounds upon which each claim rests.” Id. at
cases, it is “virtually impossible to know which
allegations of fact are intended to support which claim(s)
for relief.” Anderson v. Dist. Bd. of Trs. of Cent.
Fla. Cmty. Coll., 77 F.3d 364, 366 (11th Cir. 1996). A
defendant faced with such a complaint is not expected to
frame a responsive pleading. Id. “The Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure, pertinent precedent, sound
principles of litigation management, and fairness to the
opposing party almost uniformly commend requiring a litigant
to submit a complaint that is not a ‘shotgun
pleading' and that otherwise complies with the salutary
rules of pleading.” Stevens v. Barringer, No.
2:11-cv-697-UA-SPC, 2013 WL 24272, at *2 (M.D. Fla. Jan. 2,
a federal court may raise jurisdictional issues on its own
initiative at any stage of litigation, and the Court may
dismiss a complaint for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction
based on the complaint alone. Butler v. Morgan, 562
F. App'x 832, 834 (11th Cir. 2014).
it is an improvement upon the Amended Complaint, the Second
Amended Complaint should be dismissed for a number of
reasons. The Second Amended Complaint violates Rule 10(b)
because it does not have numbered paragraphs throughout.
Rather, Bey stops numbering paragraphs before the
“Substantive Allegations” section. If he chooses
to file a third amended complaint, Bey should number every