United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division
B. SMITH, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
before the Court is Plaintiffs' Amended Motion to Strike
Amended Declaration in Support of Removal (Doc. 20).
Defendant has submitted a response in opposition to the
motion (Doc. 22).
filed this case in state court, alleging their home was
damaged in a storm, and that their insurance carrier,
Defendant, has refused to pay for the loss (Doc. 2).
Defendant removed the case to this Court based upon the
alleged existence of diversity jurisdiction (Doc. 1).
Defendant claims that the parties are citizens of different
states and the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000
(Id., ¶¶ 4-6, 10-12). The removal
paperwork includes the Declaration of Kathleen Spinella, Vice
President of Personal Lines and Property Claims of AIG
Claims, Inc. (Doc. 1-4). According to Ms. Spinella,
Plaintiffs demanded payment of $94, 411.70; Defendant
accepted coverage for the loss; and paid Plaintiffs $19,
368.11 after applying the insurance policy's $2, 500
deductible (Doc. 1-4).
have filed a motion to remand the case on the ground that
their claim is less than $75, 000 (Doc. 4). Defendant has
filed Ms. Spinella's Amended Declaration in which she
states that Plaintiffs demanded a net amount of $93, 661.90
and an additional claim of $749.80 for other structures,
making a total of $94, 411.70; and that Defendant has paid
$19, 368.11 (Doc. 5-1). Ms. Spinella also declares that
Plaintiffs are demanding reasonable attorney's fees
which, in her “experience will easily exceed $10,
000.” (Id., ¶ 9).
contend that the Amended Declaration should be stricken
because it “fails to incorporate the $11, 270.00
deductible that applies [sic] this matter.” (Doc. 20,
¶ 4). Defendant counters that the purpose of the Amended
Declaration is to provide clarification, and that it
accurately states the amount in controversy when the case was
removed to this Court (Doc. 22 at 1-2).
initial matter, Plaintiffs' motion is due to be denied
because it does not contain “a memorandum of legal
authority in support of the request, ” as required by
Local Rule 3.01(a).
to the merits, Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(f) authorizes district courts
to “strike from a pleading an insufficient defense or
any redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous
matter.” The court has broad discretion in making this
determination. Honus Wagner Co. v. Luminary Grp.
LLC, No. 17-cv-61317-BLOOM/Valle, 2017 WL 6547899, at *4
(S.D. Fla. Dec. 21, 2017). The court may strike allegations
from a pleading on its own motion or on a “motion made
by a party either before responding to the pleading or, if a
response is not allowed, within 21 days after being served
with the pleading.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(f). The purpose of
a motion to strike “is to ‘clean up the
pleadings, streamline litigation, and avoid unnecessary
forays into immaterial matters.'” Wiand v.
Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 938 F.Supp.2d 1238, 1250 (M.D.
Fla. 2013) (quoting Slone v. Judd, No.
8:09-cv-1175-T-27TGW, 2009 WL 5214984, at *1 (M.D. Fla. Dec.
to strike are disfavored and not granted “unless
clearly warranted.” Brown v. Joiner Int'l,
Inc., 523 F.Supp. 333, 336 (S.D. Ga. 1981). A motion to
strike will be denied unless “the pleading to be
stricken has no possible relation to the controversy.”
Augustus v. Board of Public Instruction of Escambia
Cty., 306 F.2d 862, 868 (5th Cir. 1962). Absent a showing
of prejudice, a motion to strike does nothing to advance the
litigation, and the Court will not strike allegations
“to merely polish the pleadings.” Duramed
Pharm., Inc. v. Watson Lab., Inc., No.
3:08-CV-00116-LRH-RAM, 2008 WL 5232908, at *4 (D. Nev. Dec.
12, 2008); see also Michael v. Clark Equip. Co., 380
F.2d 351, 352 (2d Cir. 1967) (“A great deal of time has
been spent in this case in a struggle to get the
plaintiff's pleading into better shape. As this court has
often remarked, time spent in this way is usually
argue that Ms. Spinella's Amended Declaration should be
stricken because she did not acknowledge that their
deductible is $11, 270. Defendant now agrees that the
deductible is $11, 270 (Doc. 17). However, it argues that
when it removed the case, Plaintiffs' were claiming the
deductible was only $1, 000 (Doc. 22 at 2). Therefore,
Defendant maintains that $1, 000 is the correct amount to use
when calculating the amount in controversy at the time of
removal (Doc. 22). This is an issue the district judge will
decide when he rules on Plaintiffs' motion for remand. In
the meantime, the Court is not persuaded that the Amended
Declaration is “redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or
scandalous” and therefore, the motion to strike is
DENIED. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(f).
 The Declaration does not explain the
relationship between Defendant and AIG Claims, Inc.
 In Bonner v. City of
Pritchard, 661 F.2d 1206, 1209 (11th Cir.1981) (en
banc), the Eleventh Circuit adopted as precedent the
decisions the former Fifth Circuit ...