United States District Court, S.D. Florida
ORDER ON MOTION TO DISMISS
BLOOM UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
CAUSE is before the Court upon Defendant JPMorgan
Chase Bank, N.A's (“Defendant”) Motion to
Dismiss Amended Complaint or, in the alternative, Motion for
More Definite Statement, ECF No.  (“Motion”).
The Court has carefully reviewed the Motion, all opposing and
supporting materials, the record in this case, the applicable
law, and is otherwise fully advised. For the reasons set
forth below, the Motion is granted.
a pro se litigant, originally filed this action in
the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit in and for Palm Beach County,
Florida, attempting to assert a claim for discrimination.
See ECF No. [1-1] at 10. Defendant then removed the
lawsuit to this Court on the basis of diversity jurisdiction
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332 and sought dismissal of the
Complaint for failure to state a claim. See ECF Nos.
 and . In response, Plaintiff sought leave to file an
Amended Complaint, which this Court granted. See ECF
Nos.  and .
Amended Complaint, Plaintiff purports to state claims for
slander and discrimination and alleges that his “name
has been slandered and [his] rights have been violated
because [he] was strictly prohibited from entering or
remaining on the premises of any retail branch facility of JP
Morgan Chase Bank, N.A.” ECF No.  at 1-2. According
to Plaintiff, “[t]hese false accusations have
prohibited [him] from entering and working as a security
guard at any financial center that has JP Morgan Chase in
it.” Id. Plaintiff further alleges that he
filed a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection
Bureau in which he expressed his concern about his inability
to bank with Chase to which Chase responded as follows:
“Please note: Based on your account activity and its
subsequent closure, we may elect to report relevant
information to credit reporting agencies. This could affect
your ability to open accounts in the future.”
Id. at 1-2. Plaintiff claims that Defendant's
threat to report inaccurate information to credit reporting
agencies will affect his ability to open bank accounts and
build his credit in the future. Id. at 2. The
Amended Complaint characterizes this conduct as
discriminatory and unjust, alleging that Plaintiff is a
“young black man” and that these actions violated
his rights under the United States Constitution. Id.
Through the Amended Complaint, Plaintiff seeks $2 million in
damages for slander and another $2 million in damages for
response to the Amended Complaint, Defendant once again
sought dismissal. See ECF No. . Plaintiff did
not file a timely Response so the Court entered an Order to
Show Cause, requiring that he respond to the Motion in
writing no later than July 24, 2018. See ECF No.
. Plaintiff has since filed a Response opposing
Defendant's Motion. See ECF No. .
Motion to Dismiss
pleading in a civil action 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). Although a
complaint “does not need detailed factual allegations,
” it must provide “more than labels and
conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a
cause of action will not do.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007); see Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (explaining that Rule
8(a)(2)'s pleading standard “demands more than an
accusation”). Nor can a complaint rest on
“‘naked assertion[s]' devoid of
‘further factual enhancement.'”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly,
550 U.S. at 557 (alteration in original)).
reviewing a motion under Rule 12(b)(6), a court, as a general
rule, must accept the plaintiff's allegations as true and
evaluate all plausible inferences derived from those facts in
favor of the plaintiff. See Miccosukee Tribe of Indians
of Fla. v. S. Everglades Restoration Alliance, 304 F.3d
1076, 1084 (11th Cir. 2002); AXA Equitable Life Ins. Co.
v. Infinity Fin. Grp., LLC, 608 F.Supp.2d 1349, 1353
(S.D. Fla. 2009). However, this tenet does not apply to legal
conclusions, and courts “are not bound to accept as
true a legal conclusion couched as a factual
allegation.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555; see
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; Thaeter v. Palm Beach Cty.
Sheriff's Office, 449 F.3d 1342, 1352 (11th Cir.
2006). Moreover, “courts may infer from the factual
allegations in the complaint ‘obvious alternative
explanations,' which suggest lawful conduct rather than
the unlawful conduct the plaintiff would ask the court to
infer.” Am. Dental Ass'n v. Cigna Corp.,
605 F.3d 1283, 1290 (11th Cir. 2010) (quoting Iqbal,
556 U.S. at 682). A court considering a Rule 12(b) motion is
generally limited to the facts contained in the complaint and
attached exhibits, including documents referred to in the
complaint that are central to the claim. See Wilchombe v.
TeeVee Toons, Inc., 555 F.3d 949, 959 (11th Cir. 2009);
Maxcess, Inc. v. Lucent Techs., Inc., 433 F.3d 1337,
1340 (11th Cir. 2005) (“[A] document outside the four
corners of the complaint may still be considered if it is
central to the plaintiff's claims and is undisputed in
terms of authenticity.”) (citing Horsley v.
Feldt, 304 F.3d 1125, 1135 (11th Cir. 2002)).
Motion for a More Definite Statement
Rule 12(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, “a
party may move for a more definite statement of a pleading to
which a responsive pleading is allowed but which is so vague
or ambiguous that the party cannot reasonably prepare a
response.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(e). Since courts have
liberally construed the pleading standard under Rule 8(a),
“a short and plain statement” will be enough,
unless upon motion it is shown that the pleading “is so
ambiguous that a party cannot reasonably” respond.
Betancourt v. Marine Cargo Mgm't, Inc., 930
F.Supp. 606, 608 (S.D. Fla. 1996). “Most courts
disfavor the use of Rule 12(e), ” and “motions
for a more definite statement should not be used as a means
of discovery.” Royal Shell Vacations, Inc. v.
Scheyndel, 233 F.R.D 629, 630 (M.D. Fla. 2005).
Pro Se Litigants
must liberally construe all pleadings submitted by a pro se
litigant. See Jarzynka v. St. Thomas Univ. of Law,
310 F.Supp.2d 1256, 1264 (S.D. Fla. 2004). Notwithstanding
such leniency, courts cannot serve as de facto
counsel for a party and cannot rewrite a deficient pleading
for the sake of sustaining an action. Id. (quoting
GJR Investments, Inc. v. County of Escambia, Fla.,
132 F.3d 1359, 1369 (11th Cir. 1998)). That is, “[t]he
Court cannot simply ‘fill in the blanks' to infer a
claim.” Grady v. Georgia Dep't of
Correction, No. CV409-103, 2010 WL 322881, at *2 (S.D.
Ga. Jan. 27, 2010). In determining whether a pro se litigant
has stated a claim, “the court ought not penalize the
litigant for linguistic imprecision in the more ...