United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division
OPINION AND ORDER 
SHERIPOLSTER CHAPPELL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is Defendant City of Fort Myers' Motion
to Dismiss Amended Complaint (Doc. 32), Defendant
Detective Gloria Camacho's Motion to Dismiss the Amended
Complaint (Doc. 35), and pro se Plaintiff
Mamberto Real's responses in opposition (Doc.
34; Doc. 37). For the following reasons, the
Court grants the City's and Detective Camacho's
motions and dismisses the Amended Complaint without
a federal civil rights suit stemming from about eight months
ago when Fort Myers Police Detective Camacho arrested Real
for battery. The underlying incident occurred when Real, who
was working at a retail store, fought a shoplifter in
“self- defense.” (Doc. 31 at ¶ 14).
Someone (likely Real) called the Fort Myers Police
Department. (Id. at ¶ 18). When Detective
Camacho arrived on scene, she allegedly “distorted the
facts” to pin Real as the perpetrator and the
shoplifter as the victim because of her racial
bias. (Id. at ¶¶ 13, 16).
Detective Camacho did so because she and the shoplifter are
Puerto Rican while Real is Cuban. (Id. at ¶
13). Approximately a month after Real's arrest, his
battery charge was dropped. (Id. at ¶ 10).
the Court can tell, Real brings this suit against the City
and Detective Camacho for false arrest and malicious
prosecution under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court
dismissed Real's first complaint but gave him leave to
file an amended complaint - which he did. (Doc. 29;
Doc. 31). The Amended Complaint is the operative
pleading and the subject of the City's and Detective
Camacho's latest motions to dismiss.
Rules of Civil Procedures 8 and 10 set the minimum
requirements for pleadings. Under Rule 8, a pleading must
contain “a short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.”
Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). This rule is designed to
“give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim
is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (internal
quotation omitted). Rule 10 also has pleading requirements: 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.
Rules 8 and 10 work together to “require the pleader to
present his claims discretely and succinctly, so that his
adversary can discern what he is claiming and frame a
responsive pleading[.]” Fikes v. City of
Daphne, 79 F.3d 1079, 1082 (11th Cir. 1996).
pleading does not follow Rules 8 and 10, it is a shotgun
pleading. See Weiland v. Palm Beach Cty. Sheriff's
Office, 792 F.3d 1313, 1320 (11th Cir. 2015).
There are four types of shotgun pleadings - most (if not all)
of which the Amended Complaint embodies. A shotgun pleading
may (1) have multiple counts and each count adopts the
allegations of all preceding counts; (2) be filled with
conclusory, vague, or immaterial facts not tied to any
particular claim for relief; (3) state multiple claims for
relief but fail to separate each claim into a different
count; and (4) assert multiple claims for relief against
multiple defendants without clarity as to which claim is
alleged against which defendant. See id. 1321-23.
“Courts in the Eleventh Circuit have little tolerance
for shotgun pleadings.” Vibe Micro, Inc. v.
Shabanets, 878 F.3d 1291, 1295 (11th Cir. 2018). The
intolerance is largely because shotgun pleadings “waste
scarce judicial resources, ‘inexorably broaden [ ] the
scope of discovery, ' ‘wreak havoc on appellate
court dockets, ' and ‘undermine[ ] the public's
respect for the courts.'” Id. (citing
Davis v. Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consol., 516 F.3d
955, 981-83 (11th Cir. 2008)).
said, courts hold a pro se litigant's pleading
“to a less stringent standard than pleadings drafted by
attorneys[.]” Tannenbaum v. United States, 148
F.3d 1262, 1263 (11th Cir. 1998). But courts are under no
duty to “re-write” a pro se
litigant's complaint to find a claim. See
Washington v. Dep't of Children and Families,
256 Fed.Appx. 326, 327 (11th Cir. 2007). A pro se litigant
must still follow the procedural rules. See
Albra v. Advan, Inc., 490 F.3d 826, 829 (11th Cir.
stated, Real has filed an Amended Complaint because the Court
dismissed his first pleading for failure to state a claim.
Although the Amended Complaint adds new factual allegations,
it falls short of Rule 8(a)(2)'s and Rule 10(b)'s
pleading requirements. The Amended Complaint is a
quintessential shotgun pleading - even under the most liberal
reading. The claims are cumulative, and they incorporate all
the preceding paragraphs and claims. Indeed, the first
paragraph of all three counts states, “Plaintiff
incorporates all Paragraphs of this Complaint as if fully set
forth under this claim and further alleges that[.]”
(Doc. 31 at ¶¶ 19-21). This type of
pleading makes it “virtually impossible to know which
allegations of fact are intended to support which claim(s)
for relief.” Anderson v. District Bd. of Trustees
of Cent. Fla. Cmty. Coll., 77 F.3d 364, 366 (11th Cir.
1996); see also Davis v. Boston Sci. Corp., No.
2:17-cv-682-FtM-38CM, 2018 WL 339937, at *1 (M.D. Fla. Jan.
more, the Amended Complaint does not separate the claims
against the City from those against Detective Camacho into
distinct counts. See Fontaine v. JPMorgan Chase Bank,
N.A., No. 3:15-cv-193, 2016 WL 111575, at *4 (11th Cir.
Jan. 1, 2016) (“[I]n a case with multiple defendants,
the complaint should contain specific allegations with
respect to each defendant; generalized allegations
‘lumping' multiple defendants together are
insufficient to permit the defendants, or the Court, to
ascertain exactly what a plaintiff is claiming.”
(citations omitted)). Because the pleading bleeds together
claims against the City and Detective Camacho, it is
difficult to know what Real alleges against each Defendant.
See West Coast Roofing and Waterproofing, Inc. v. Johns
Manville, Inc., 287 Fed.Appx. 81, 86 (11th Cir. 2008)
(stating “the complaint should contain specific
allegations with respect to each defendant” (citation
omitted)). For example, the first claim alleges that
Detective Camacho and the City denied him equal protection
and due process under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments
through a pattern of customary racial policies. (Doc. 31
at ¶ 19). In the same count, he also says the City
“had notice of Gloria Camacho prior customary
misbehavior upon (Nate Allen Football Player's case).
However, that its failure for the defendant the City of Fort
Myers to act strictly and to train [Detective] Camacho
strictly upon such knowledge; caused upon Plaintiff a product
of malicious prosecution and false arrest[.]”
(Id. at ¶ 19c). The second claim is identical
to the first, except it expands on how the City's
“informal or implicit consent of customary violation of
the Constitution” damaged Real and highlights Detective
Camacho's alleged bias against African Americans.
(Id. at ¶ 20a). The second claim also
introduces the City's alleged failure to train 911
operators. (Id. at ¶ 20c). And the third claim
repeats much of the other two claims, only this time Real
adds that Detective Camacho did not properly investigate his
case and arrested him without probable cause. (Id.
at ¶ 21).
the Amended Complaint is that it is full of conclusory,
vague, and immaterial facts not tied to any claim. It is a
rambling mix of legal conclusions and repetitive facts,
leaving Defendants without notice of the claims against them
and the grounds upon which they rest. And the disjointed
allegations make it impracticable for the Court to decide any
attack on the pleading's merits. In short, the Amended
Complaint is anything but a “short and plain”
statement of Real's claims against the City and Detective
the Court grants the City's and Detective Camacho's
motions to dismiss. But, because of Real's pro
se status and in an abundance of caution, the Court will
give Real one final opportunity to amend the pleading. And
the Court again strongly encourages Real ...