United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division
SPIGOT, INC., POLARITY TECHNOLOGIES LTD., and EIGHTPOINT TECHNOLOGIES LTD., Plaintiffs,
JEREMY MATTHEW HOGGATT and MEDIAVO, INC., Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
E. STEELE, SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on review of defendants'
Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction or,
Alternatively, for Failure to State a Claim Upon Which Relief
Can Be Granted (Doc. #82) filed on December 3, 2019.
Plaintiffs filed an Opposition (Doc. #83) on December 17,
2019. For the reasons that follow, the motion is denied as
September 2018, plaintiffs Spigot, Inc., Polarity
Technologies Ltd., and Eightpoint Technologies Ltd. initiated
this action by filing a Complaint in the Twentieth Judicial
Circuit in and for Lee County, Florida. (Doc. #5.) The
Complaint asserts the following three claims against
defendants Jeremy Hoggatt and Mediavo, Inc.: (1)
misappropriate of confidential and proprietary information
and trade secrets under the Florida Uniform Trade Secrets
Act, § 688.001, Fla. Stat.; (2) violation of
Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act,
§§ 501.201-501.2101, Fla. Stat.; and (3) a claim
for a preliminary injunction. (Id. pp. 22-26.)
November 2018, defendants removed the matter to this Court on
the basis of diversity jurisdiction. (Doc. #1.) In December
2018, defendants filed an initial motion to dismiss based on
lack of personal jurisdiction and failure to state a claim.
(Doc. #16.) Plaintiffs were granted several extensions to
conduct jurisdictional discovery prior to filing a response.
(Doc. ##18, 35, 49.) In September 2019, the Court determined
that for efficiency purposes, the motion should be denied
without prejudice until an on-going discovery dispute was
settled. (Doc. #77.)
December 2019, defendants filed the motion now before the
Court, arguing that dismissal is proper because (1) the Court
lacks personal jurisdiction over the defendants, (2) venue is
improper in Florida, and (3) the plaintiffs fail to state any
claim against the defendants. (Doc. #82, pp. 11-18.)
reviewed the allegations in the Complaint, the Court finds
that it must be dismissed as a shotgun
pleading. Each of the three claims in the Complaint
begins with the following language: “Plaintiffs restate
and re-allege each and every foregoing paragraph of this
Complaint as if fully set forth herein.” (Doc. #5,
¶¶ 73, 84, 94.) Such language constitutes classic
shotgun pleading. See Weiland v. Palm Beach Cty.
Sheriff's Office, 792 F.3d 1313, 1321 (11th Cir.
2015) (describing four types of shotgun pleadings, the most
common of which “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”). Because the Complaint
constitutes an improper shotgun pleading, it will be
dismissed without prejudice. See Ditto v. JPMorgan Chase
Bank, N.A., 234 F.Supp.3d 1217, 1220 n.2 (S.D. Fla.
2017) (“Plaintiff incorporated each of the allegations
in Count I into Count II-a classic example of shotgun
pleading. . . . Even if Count II could survive in the absence
of Count I, the Court would nevertheless be required to
dismiss Count II without prejudice as an improper shotgun
pleading.”); zIT Consulting GmbH v. BMC Software,
Inc., 2016 WL 231215, *2 n.3 (M.D. Fla. Jan. 15, 2016)
(noting that the court was obligated to dismiss a shotgun
pleading sua sponte); see also Vibe Micro, Inc. v.
Shabanets, 878 F.3d 1291, 1295 (11th Cir. 2018)
(“In the special circumstance of non-merits dismissals
on shotgun pleading grounds, we have required district courts
to sua sponte allow a litigant one chance to remedy such
it is now
1. The Complaint is dismissed without
prejudice to filing an Amended Complaint within
FOURTEEN (14) DAYS of this Opinion and
2. Defendants' Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal
Jurisdiction or, Alternatively, for Failure to State a Claim
Upon Which Relief Can Be Granted (Doc. #82) is DENIED