United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY INTERNATIONAL, INC., Plaintiff/Counter-Defendant,
ROBERT DERRICK MORRIS, Defendant/Counter-Plaintiff.
POLSTER CHAPPELL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Plaintiff/Counter-Defendant's Motion to
Dismiss Defendant/Counter-Plaintiff's Amended
Counterclaims With Prejudice (Doc. 66) filed on
December 18, 2019, and Defendant/Counter-Plaintiff's
Response in Opposition (Doc. 69) filed on January
13, 2020. The Court notes that the Third Amended Complaint is
a shotgun pleading and will allow Plaintiff to amend before
ruling on the merits of the dispute.
for Humanity International, Inc. (HFHI) sues one of its
former employees, Robert Derrick Morris, for fraud, unjust
enrichment, and breach of contract due to Morris'
inappropriate use of HFHI resources which was discovered
after Morris' separation pursuant to a severance
agreement. Defendant filed a five-count Amended Counterclaim
(Doc. 63) for race, color, and gender discrimination
under Title VII, race discrimination under 42 U.S.C. §
1981, and age discrimination under the Age Discrimination in
examining the Third Amended Complaint (Doc. 58), the Court
observed that it incorporates each preceding paragraph into
each count instead of limiting the scope of incorporation to
that of the alleged facts. In so doing, Plaintiff has lodged
what is known as a shotgun pleading. Wagner v First
Horizon Pharm. Corp., 464 F.3d 1273, 1279 (11th Cir.
2006).In general, shotgun pleadings “are those that
incorporate every antecedent allegation by reference into
each subsequent claim for relief or affirmative
defense.” Id. The result is that the last
count eventually constitutes a combination of the entire
pleading. See Weiland v. Palm Beach Cty. Sheriff's
Office, 792 F.3d 1313 (11th Cir. 2015) (noting that a
court, acting on its own initiative may sua sponte review a
complaint and strike shotgun pleadings to replead).
[I]f tolerated, [shotgun pleadings] harm the court by
impeding its ability to administer justice. The time a court
spends managing litigation framed by shotgun pleadings should
be devoted to other cases waiting to be heard. Wasting scarce
judicial and parajudicial resources impedes the due
administration of justice and, in a very real sense, amounts
to obstruction of justice.
Byrne v. Nezhat, 261 F.3d 1075 (11th Cir. 2001)
abrogated on other grounds by Bridge v. Phoenix Bond
& Indem. Co., 553 U.S. 639 (2008) (internal
punctuation omitted). Consequently, the Eleventh Circuit has
“roundly, repeatedly, and consistently
condemn[ed]” them. Davis v. Coca-Cola Bottling Co.
Consol., 516 F.3d 955, 979 (11th Cir. 2008). When faced
with a shotgun complaint, the Eleventh Circuit encourages
“courts to demand repleading.” Bailey v.
Janssen Pharm., Inc., 288 Fed.Appx. 597, 603 (11th Cir.
2008) (citations omitted).
Court will not break step with the Eleventh Circuit. Because
Plaintiff has failed to identify the facts relevant to each
claim, the Third Amended Complaint is deficient. Thus, it
must be dismissed. Because “[a]n amended complaint
supersedes a previously filed complaint, ” the Court
will deny the Motion to Dismiss the counterclaims as moot.
Malowney v. Fed. Collection Deposit Grp., 193 F.3d
1342, 1345 n.1 (11th Cir. 1999).
it is now
Plaintiffs Third Amended Complaint (Doc. 58) is
dismissed without prejudice.
Plaintiffs Motion to Dismiss Defendant's Amended
Counterclaims With Prejudice (Doc. 66) is denied as
Plaintiff may file a Fourth Amended Complaint on or before
January 31, 2020. Failure to do so
will result in this case being dismissed with