United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING AND ORDER
Michael P. Shea United States District Judge
Jeffrey DeAngelis and filed three motions to strike directed
at various defenses asserted by the defendants. In addition,
the defendants seek an extension of time to respond to
numerous discovery requests. For the reasons that follow,
defendants’ motion is granted and plaintiff’s
motions are denied.
Motions to Strike
plaintiff moves to strike the First, Fourth and Fifth
Affirmative Defenses included in the Answer. Rule 12(f) of
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that a court
may strike from “any pleading any insufficient defense
or any redundant, immaterial or scandalous matter.”
Motions to strike are disfavored and not routinely granted.
Hudson v. Babilonia, __ F.Supp.3d__, 2016 WL
3264150, at *1 n.2 (D. Conn. June 14, 2016) (quoting
McKinney v. Dzurenda, No. 3:10-cv-880(AVC), 2013 WL
1296468, at *1 (D. Conn. Mar. 27, 2013)). As the moving
party, it is the plaintiff’s “burden to
demonstrate prejudice by the inclusion of the alleged
offending material.” Tech-Sonic, Inc. v. Sonics
& Materials, Inc., No. 3:12-cv-01376(MPS), 2015 WL
4715329, at *7 (D. Conn. Aug. 24, 2015) (quoting Holmes
v. Fischer, 764 F.Supp.2d 523, 532 (W.D.N.Y.
2011)(internal quotation marks omitted).
prevail on a motion to strike an affirmative defense, the
plaintiff must meet a demanding standard. He “must
establish that: (1) there is no question of fact that might
allow the defense to succeed; (2) there is no substantial
question of law that might allow the defense to succeed; and
(3) [he]would be prejudiced by the inclusion of the
defense.” New England Health Care Emps. Welfare
Fund v. iCare Mgmt., LLC, 792 F.Supp.2d 269, 288 (D.
defendants’ First Affirmative Defense invokes Eleventh
Amendment immunity as to any claims against them for damages
in their official capacities. ECF No. 18 at 7. In his motion
to strike, the plaintiff states that he seeks damages from
the defendants only in individual capacity. As the plaintiff
failed to identify in his complaint the capacity in which he
seeks damages, the defense was properly asserted.
Fourth and Fifth Affirmative Defenses inform the Court of
habeas corpus actions previously filed by the plaintiff
regarding the complaints of back pain that are the subject of
this action. In the Fourth Affirmative Defense, the
defendants state that the plaintiff is barred from
relitigating any issues previously resolved in a state court
action under the doctrine of res judicata. Although the
plaintiff disputes the applicability of res judicata to any
issues included in this action, the defense is properly
asserted and not insufficient.
Fifth Affirmative Defense identifies another state habeas
action. In his motion to strike, the plaintiff states that he
withdrew the state habeas action. The defendants, however,
filed their answer on May 20, 2016. The plaintiff withdrew
the state habeas action four days later. See No.
(last visited Aug. 18, 2016). Thus, the defense was properly
included. Further, application of the doctrine of res
judicata only requires that the plaintiff had an opportunity
to raise his claims, not that the claims actually were
litigated. See Federated Dep’t Stores, Inc. v.
Moitie, 452 U.S. 394, 398 (1981).
addition, the plaintiff has not identified any prejudice that
he will suffer by inclusion of these three affirmative
defenses. The applicability of the defenses will be
considered in the course of litigation and the plaintiff may
raise his claims regarding the defenses at that time. The
plaintiff’s motions to strike are denied.
Motion for Extension of Time
defendants seek a first extension of time, until October 6,
2016, to respond to numerous discovery requests served by the
plaintiff. The requests include seven sets of
interrogatories, seven sets of requests for production, and
five sets of requests for admission.
Rule 7 requires that a party seeking an extension of time
make a “particularized showing that the time limitation
in question cannot reasonably be met despite the diligence of
the party seeking the extension.” D. Conn. L. Civ. R.
Counsel notes the volume of the requests, scheduling
difficulties during the summer with meeting with each
defendant to review his or her responses and the need for the
medical defendants to obtain and review the plaintiff’s
medical records before preparing their responses. The Court
considers the reasons proffered by counsel to demonstrate
good cause. The defendants’ motion for extension of
time is granted.
plaintiff’s motions to strike [ECF Nos. 20, 21, 22] are
DENIED. The defendants’ motion for ...