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Alexandra Love Prosperous v. Pinellas County Sheriff's Department

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division

October 8, 2019

ALEXANDRA LOVE PROSPEROUS, Plaintiff,
v.
PINELLAS COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT and DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES Defendants.

         ORDER GRANTING “DEFENDANT'S, BOB GUALTIERI AS SHERIFF OF PINELLAS COUNTY FLORIDA, MOTION TO DISMISS AND ACCOMPANYING MEMORANDUM OF LAW”AND “DEFENDANT, DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES', MOTION TO DISMISS PLAINTIFF'S AMENDED COMPLAINT;” ORDER DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S AMENDED COMPLAINT WITH PREJUDICE; AND ORDER DENYING AS MOOT PLAINTIFF'S “MOTION CLERK OF COURT CORRECT DEFENDANTS NAME ON PUBLIC AND COURT RECORDS” AND “MOTION TO CHANGE AND SEAL PLAINTIFFS MAILING ADDRESS”

          TOM BARBER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on “Defendant's, Bob Gualtieri as Sheriff of Pinellas County Florida, Motion to Dismiss and Accompanying Memorandum of Law, ” filed on August 21, 2019, and “Defendant, Department of Children and Families', Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Amended Complaint, ” filed on September 9, 2019. (Doc. ## 36 and 39). On August 26, 2019, Plaintiff filed a response in opposition to the Sheriff's motion to dismiss. (Doc. # 37). She did not file a response in opposition to Department of Children and Families' motion to dismiss. On September 9, 2019, Plaintiff filed her “Motion Clerk of Court Correct Defendants Name on Public and Court Records” and “Motion to Change and Seal Plaintiffs Mailing Address.” After reviewing the motions, response, court file, and the record, the Court finds as follows:

         The form amended complaint purports to invoke the Court's federal question jurisdiction under Amendments I-X of the United States Constitution. (Doc. # 32). Plaintiff claims that there were “numerous violations of civil rights . . . in order to cover up child abuse and sexual battery on an infant/toddler.” Plaintiff requests damages in excess of $500, 000, 000, as well as additional per diem damages.

         Legal Standard

         A shotgun pleading is one where “it is virtually impossible to know which allegations of fact are intended to support which claim(s) for relief” and the defendant therefore cannot be “expected to frame a responsive pleading.” See Anderson v. Dist. Bd. Of Trustees of Cent. Fla. Cmty. College, 77 F.3d 364, 366 (11th Cir. 1996). The Eleventh Circuit has identified four primary types of shotgun pleadings:

(1) Complaints 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;
(2) Complaints that do not commit the mortal sin of re-alleging all preceding counts but are guilty of the venial sin of being replete with conclusory, vague, and immaterial facts not obviously connected to any particular cause of action;
(3) Complaints that commit the sin of not separating into a different count each cause of action or claim for relief; and
(4) Complaints that assert multiple claims against multiple defendants without specifying which of the defendants are responsible for which actions or omissions, or which of the defendants the claim is brought against.

Weiland v. Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, 792 F.3d 1313, 1322-23 (11th Cir. 2015). More important than fitting neatly into these four roughly defined categories is the reason these types of pleadings are so problematic: they all fail “to give the defendants adequate notice of the claims against them and the grounds upon which each claim rests.”[1] Id. at 1323.

         A district court must generally permit a plaintiff at least one opportunity to amend a shotgun complaint's deficiencies before dismissing the complaint with prejudice. Vibe Micro, Inc. v. Shabanets, 878 F.3d 1291, 1295 (11th Cir. 2018). “Implicit in such a repleading order is the notion that if the plaintiff fails to comply with the court's order - by filing a repleader with the same deficiency - the court should strike his pleading or, depending on the circumstances, dismiss his case and consider the imposition of monetary sanctions.” Jackson, 898 F.3d at 1358 (11th Cir. 2018) (internal quotations and citation omitted).

         As Plaintiff in this case is proceeding pro se, the Court more liberally construes the pleadings. Alba v. Montford, 517 F.3d 1249, 1252 (11th Cir. 2018). However, a pro se plaintiff must still conform with procedural rules and the Court does not have “license to act as de facto counsel” on behalf of a pro se plaintiff. United States v. Padgett, 917 F.3d 1312, 1317 (11th Cir. 2019).

         Procedural ...


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