United States District Court, D. Connecticut
ROBERT FISHER, et al. Plaintiffs,
CECILE RODRIGUEZ, et al. Defendants.
Vanessa L. Bryant United States District Judge.
action was commenced on October 26, 2016, by the Plaintiffs
Robert Fisher and Jessie Fisher. The Court construes the
allegations of the Amended Complaint to challenge a
foreclosure proceeding pending in Connecticut Superior Court
[See Dkt. 23 (Second Am. Compl.) at 4 of 34]. On
November 28, 2016, the Plaintiffs filed in this federal
District Court a 29-page Amended Complaint accompanied by 22
exhibits totaling 216. The Amended Complaint lists 17
defendants including private legal entities, private citizens
in their individual and official capacities, and Connecticut
Superior Court judges. On January 5, 2017, the Court sua
sponte ordered Plaintiffs to file a Second Amended
Complaint on or before January 26, 2017, as the Amended
Complaint failed to satisfy the pleading standard under Rule
8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Plaintiffs timely
filed their Second Amended Complaint on January 25, 2017. The
Court has reviewed the Second Amended Complaint and
determines that it too fails to comport with the Rule 8
pleading standard. Therefore, this case is DISMISSED.
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires that a
complaint contain “a short and plain statement of the
claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Although detailed allegations are not
required, “a complaint must contain sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face. A claim has facial plausibility when
the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (internal quotation
marks and citations omitted). A complaint that includes only
“‘labels and conclusions, ' ‘a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action' or ‘naked assertion[s]' devoid of
‘further factual enhancement, '” does not
meet the facial plausibility standard. Id. (quoting
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 557
(2007)). Although courts still have an obligation to
interpret “a pro se complaint liberally,
” the complaint must include sufficient factual
allegations to meet the standard of facial plausibility.
See Harris v. Mills, 572 F.3d 66, 72 (2d Cir. 2009)
(citations omitted). The Court may dismiss a claim sua
sponte for failure to comply with Rule 8. Salahuddin
v. Cuomo, 861 F.2d 40, 42 (2d Cir. 1988).
Court acknowledges that Plaintiffs attempted to comply with
certain directions of Court. For example, the Plaintiffs
formatted the Second Amended Complaint with separate counts
that each listed a different Defendant. Plaintiffs also
attempted to partially comply with the Court's direction
to number each fact in separate numbered paragraphs, as
Counts 1, 6, 8-11, parts of 12, 13, and 16 contain numbered
paragraphs (albeit each Count begins at paragraph 1).
However, the content within each count still fails to meet
the pleading standard as the Second Amended Complaint
contains the same broad and fundamental deficiencies.
Plaintiffs still cite a long list of “claims”
which appear to be headnotes, without providing any factual
content. See Dkt. 23 (Second Am. Compl.) at 3 of
Plaintiffs also continue to state legal conclusions without
factual support. Where Plaintiffs allege instances of fraud,
Plaintiffs fail to “state with particularity the
circumstances causing fraud or mistake.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
9(b). For example, with respect to Count 2 against Todd
Galiszewski, Plaintiffs contend, “It is impossible to
allege firsthand knowledge of accounts validity prior to him
becoming the assistant vice president. It is fraud as to how
he has firsthand knowledge about the accounts. . . . The vice
president and the department of records provided plaintiff
with material altered, forged instruments.” [Dkt. 23,
at 7 of 34]. The absence of any other factual content in
Count 2 certainly warrants dismissal under Rule 8 let alone
the heightened pleading standard under Rule 9. This is one
example among many.
Plaintiffs' 34-page Second Amended Complaint is prolix
warranting dismissal. See Salahuddin, 861 F.2d at 42
(acknowledging that a court has the power to dismiss a prolix
complaint, particularly “where leave to amend has
previously been given and successive pleadings remain prolix
and unintelligible. . . .”); Melvin v.
Connecticut, No. 3:16-cv-537 (RNC), slip op. at 1 (D.
Conn. June 14, 2016) (dismissing the 48-page complaint
containing 94 paragraphs with 57 pages of supplemental
materials). Count 1 against Bank of America addresses issues
of standing, breach of contract, materially altered documents
(which the Court will assume relate to an allegation of
fraud), and chain of assignment, and the count also simply
lists other legal claims such as aid and abetting.
[Id. at 5-6 of 34]. The descriptions of the mortgage
note, assignment, and debt contained in the count conflate
the various claims asserted within one count. While
interpreting the pro se Plaintiffs' complaint
liberally, the Court still cannot ascertain claims for which
relief can be granted or the forms of relief to which the
Plaintiffs are entitled.
Court recognizes and fully agrees with the preference to
adjudicate cases on the merits rather than on formalities,
and it further acknowledges that “it will generally be
an abuse of discretion to deny leave to amend when dismissing
a nonfrivolous original complaint on the sole ground that it
does not constitute the short and plain statement required by
Rule 8.” Salahuddin, 861 F.2d at 42. A
frivolous complaint is one that “lacks an arguable
basis in law or fact.” Coleman v. Suffolk
Cty., 154 F. App'x 250, 251 (2d Cir. 2005) (citing
Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989)).
However, in this circumstance, the Court is not dismissing
the case on mere formality issues. Rather, the Court has
given Plaintiffs an opportunity to amend their complaint and
finds that the Second Amended Complaint is both frivolous on
its face and prolix for all the reasons mentioned above.
See Salahuddin, 861 F.2d at 42; see also Mendes
Da Costa v. Marcucilli, No. 16-587, 2017 WL 104304, at
*1 (2d Cir. Jan. 10, 2017) (upholding a district court's
sua sponte dismissal of the amended complaint as
frivolous). The case warrants dismissal as the Second Amended
Complaint certainly fits within one that “is so
confused, ambiguous, vague, or otherwise unintelligible that
its true substance, if any, is well disguised.”
Salahuddin, 861 F.2d at 42. Allowing Plaintiffs to
amend the complaint a third time would be futile.
this case is hereby DISMISSED in its entirety with prejudice
for repeated failure to satisfy Rule 8 of the Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure.
 The first three paragraphs of Count 12
are numbered. Plaintiffs then fail to number several
paragraphs, begin numbering again for two paragraphs, and
then restart ...