United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division
EDWARD T. SAADI, Plaintiff,
PIERRE A MAROUN, et al., Defendants.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
S. SNEED UNTIED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
MATTER is before the Court on Impleaded Defendant,
Maroun's International, LLC's, Motion to Dismiss
and/or Motion to Strike (“Motion”) (Dkt. 408),
with Edward T. Saadi's response in opposition (Dkt. 412).
For the reasons that follow, the Court recommends that the
Motion be granted, and the impleader complaint be dismissed
Edward T. Saadi (“Mr. Saadi”), obtained a
judgment in this case against Pierre A. Maroun (“Mr.
Maroun”) on October 2, 2009 in the total amount of $90,
000. (Dkt. 230.) Since that date, Mr. Saadi has been
unsuccessfully attempting to collect on the judgment. On
November 7, 2009, Mr. Saadi filed a motion seeking an
assignment of Mr. Maroun's ownership interest in
Maroun's International LLC (“MILLC”). (Dkt.
251.) After a hearing on January 19, 2010, Magistrate Judge
Pizzo entered an endorsed order denying the motion. (Dkt.
267.) Mr. Saadi sought review of that order with the District
Judge and the Court approved the order. (Dkt. 270.)
Specifically, the Court noted Mr. Saadi's comment that
the interest might be worthless and agreed with the
Magistrate Judge that the motion was “futile and would
waste the Court's resources.” (Dkt. 270 at 3-4.)
Mr. Saadi filed an emergency motion for a charging order
against Mr. Maroun's interest in Capital Trans
International, LLC (“CTILLC”) (Dkt. 274), which
the Court granted. (Dkt. 276.) Soon after, Mr. Saadi filed a
renewed motion for an assignment and sale of MILLC, and a
motion for a charging order against MILLC. (Dkt. 280.) Mr.
Saadi also filed an ex parte motion for a writ of
garnishment (Dkt. 286), which the Court granted. (Dkt. 289.)
However, the garnishee reported that the account Mr. Saadi
sought to garnish had been closed. (Dkt. 294 at 3.) On
February 23, 2018, Magistrate Judge Pizzo entered a Report
and Recommendation finding that because Mr. Saadi could not
prove Mr. Maroun was the sole member of MILLC, the
“only remedy available” was a charging order
against Mr. Maroun's interest in MILLC. (Dkt. 356 at 6.)
The Court adopted the Report and Recommendation (Dkt. 361)
and a charging order was issued (Dkt. 362.)
Mr. Saadi moved to initiate proceedings supplementary. (Dkt.
364.) On March 21, 2019, the Court granted the motion in
part, impleaded MILLC into this action, and granted Mr. Saadi
leave to file an impleader complaint against MILLC. (Dkt.
389.) On April 4, 2019, Mr. Saadi filed his impleader
complaint. (Dkt. 398.) In response, MILLC filed this Motion,
moving under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) to
dismiss the impleader complaint. (Dkt. 408.) Additionally,
MILLC moves under Rule 12(f) to strike portions of the
impleader complaint. (Dkt. 408.)
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) provides that a complaint 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). Rule 8 “does not require ‘detailed
factual allegations,' but it demands more than an
accusation.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). To withstand a motion to dismiss
under Rule 12(b)(6), “a complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its face, '”
meaning that the complaint contains sufficient factual
allegations to allow the Court “to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Ashcroft, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556, 670).
12(f) allows a court to “strike from a pleading an
insufficient defense or any redundant, immaterial,
impertinent, or scandalous matter.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(f).
Its purpose is to “clean up the pleadings, removing
irrelevant or otherwise confusing materials.”
Williams v. Delray Auto Mall, Inc., 289 F.R.D. 697,
699 (S.D. Fla. 2013). “‘A motion to strike is a
drastic remedy[, ]' which is disfavored by the courts and
‘will usually be denied unless the allegations have no
possible relation to the controversy and may cause prejudice
to one of the parties.'” Thompson v. Kindred
Nursing Ctrs. E., LLC, 211 F.Supp.2d 1345, 1348 (M.D.
Fla. 2002) (alteration in original) (quoting Augustus v.
Bd. of Pub. Instruction of Escambia Cty., 306 F.2d 862,
868 (5th Cir. 1962)).
moving to dismiss, MILLC first argues that the impleader
complaint is an impermissible shotgun complaint. (Dkt. 408 at
2-3.) Mr. Saadi argues that the complaint is acceptably
drafted but cites no supporting cases. (Dkt. 412 at 2.) The
undersigned agrees with MILLC that the impleader complaint is
a shotgun pleading. In Weiland v. Palm Beach County
Sheriff's Office, the Eleventh Circuit identified
“four rough types or categories of shotgun
pleadings.” 792 F.3d 1313, 1322 (11th Cir. 2015). The
first, and most common type, “is a complaint containing
multiple counts where each count adopts the allegations of
all preceding counts, causing each successive count to carry
all that came before and the last count to be a combination
of the entire complaint.” Id. The impleader
complaint does exactly this. It contains four counts,
including three theories of fraud under two different
statutes and one count for reverse piercing of the corporate
veil, each successively incorporating all previous
allegations. (Dkt. 397.) As such, neither the impleader
defendant, nor the Court, can adequately assess which factual
allegations go to the distinct requests for relief.
in the Eleventh Circuit have little tolerance for shotgun
pleadings, ” Vibe Micro, Inc. v. Shabanets,
878 F.3d 1291, 1295 (11th Cir. 2018), because they fail to
adequately “give the defendants adequate notice of the
claims against them and the grounds upon which each claim
rests.” Weiland, 792 F.3d at 1323. “They
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.'” Vibe Micro, 878
F.3d at 1295 (alterations in original) (quoting Davis v.
Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consol., 516 F.3d 955, 981-93
(11th Cir. 2008), abrogated on other grounds by Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007)). “The time
a court spends managing litigation framed by shotgun
pleadings should be devoted to other cases waiting to be
heard.” Byrne v. Nezhat, 261 F.3d 1075, 1131
(11th Cir. 2001), abrogated on other grounds by Bridge v.
Phoenix Bond & Indem. Co., 553 U.S. 639 (2008). For
these reasons, the Eleventh Circuit has “condemned
shotgun pleadings time and again” and has
“repeatedly held that a District Court retains
authority to dismiss a shotgun pleading on that basis
alone.” Jackson v. Bank of Am., N.A., 898 F.3d
1348, 1357 (11th Cir. 2018).
the impleader complaint is a shotgun pleading, Mr. Saadi must
replead. As such, the Court need not rule on the other issues
raised by the Motion, all of which are based on the factual
allegations in the impleader complaint. However, Mr. Saadi
may take the opportunity to “plead any additional facts
which might obviate [MILLC's] arguments regarding
deficient factual allegations.” Davis v. Main
Street Family Pharmacy, LLC, No. 5:16cv45-MW/GRJ, 2016
WL 9185284, at *1 (N.D. Fla. Apr. 18, 2016) (deferring on
other issues raised by a motion to dismiss when dismissing on
shotgun pleading grounds).
it is R ...