Prince’s Briefcase: Reis Robotics v. Concept Industries (Glannon Civil Procedure)


Prof. Glannon Civil Procedure: Responding to a Complaint (or Not!)

Here is a case from my Civil Procedure class which explains the rules of responding to a complaint–to strike and/or dismiss affirmative defenses and counterclaims. In this case, a plaintiff can strike and/or dismiss affirmative defenses by the defendant in its answer.

Case Name, Author, Citation
REIS ROBOTICS USA, INC. v. CONCEPT INDUSTRIES No. 06 CV 1430., 462 F.Supp.2d 897 (2006)

prince's briefcase (princesdailyjournal)Procedural History
Plaintiff (Reis Robotics) filed a complaint against Defendant (Concept Industries) for breach of contract. The defendant answered the complaint, asserted 6 affirmative defenses, and brought 1 counterclaims against the Plaintiff. The Plaintiff then moves to strike and dismiss Concept’s affirmative defenses; strike portions of concept’s answer; and dismiss Concept’s counterclaims.

Facts
Same as Procedural History

Issue
Are Reis Robotics’ motion to (1) strike and dismiss concept’s affirmative defenses; (2) strike portions of Concepts answer; (3) dismiss concepts counterclaim sufficient

Holding
1) Yes, go to Reasoning for explanation
2) Yes, go to Reasoning ” ”
3) Yes, go to Reasoning ” ”

Rule
Rule 12(f) A motion to strike are generally disfavored but are nonetheless useful.

Reasoning
For the reasons set forth above, Reis’s motion to strike affirmative defenses (R. 13), motion to strike portions of Concept’s answer (R. 17), and motion to dismiss Concept’s counterclaim (R. 21) are granted to the extent that:

1. Concept’s first, second, third, fourth, and fifth affirmative defenses are stricken without prejudice;

2. Concept’s sixth affirmative defense is stricken with prejudice;

3. Paragraphs 5, 6, 7, 15, 16, and 20 of Concept’s answer are stricken without prejudice;

4. Concept’s negligent misrepresentation counterclaim is dismissed with prejudice;

5. Concept’s overpayment counterclaim is dismissed without prejudice.

Reis’s motions are denied in all other respects. Concept shall file and serve an amended pleading that conforms to this order within 30 days of the date of this order.

From (http://www.leagle.com/decision/20061359462FSupp2d897_11280)

Disposition
Reis Robotics motions were granted in part and denied in part.

Notes
Rule 12(f) MOTION TO STRIKE. The court may strike from a pleading an insufficient defense or any redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter. The court may act:
(1) on its own; or
(2) on motion made by a party either before responding to the pleading or, if a response is not allowed, within 21 days after being served with the pleading.

Prince’s Takeaway
Affirmative defenses are pleadings, so they must be determined by their sufficiency.

All content is the property of Prince’s Daily Journal LLC, any use of distribution without express written permission is strictly prohibited. Copyright (c) 2013 All Rights Reserved

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