United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING RE: MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS (DOC.
NO. 17), MOTION TO STRIKE ANSWER (DOC. NO. 18), SUPPLEMENTAL
MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS (DOC. NO. 19) &
MOTION TO STRIKE OBJECTION (DOC. NO. 24)
C. HALL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
se plaintiff Charles Lamont Britt (“Britt”)
filed a Complaint on December 27, 2017, against defendant Elm
City Communities (“Elm City”) in connection with
an eviction from his dwelling. See generally
Complaint (“Compl.”) (Doc. No. 1). On April II,
2018, Elm City filed its Answer (Doc. No. 15). Now before the
court are Britt's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings
(“Pl.'s Mot. for J.”) (Doc. No. 17);
Supplemental Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings
(“Pl.'s Suppl. Mot. for J.”) (Doc. No. 19);
Motion to Strike Answer (“Pl.'s Mot. to Strike
Answer”) (Doc. No. 18); and Motion to Strike Objection
(“Pl.'s Mot. to Strike Obj.”) (Doc. No. 24).
following reasons, all four motions are denied.
MOTIONS TO STRIKE
seeks to strike parts of Elm City's Answer. See
generally Pl.'s Mot to Strike Answer. He also seeks
to strike in its entirety Elm City's Objection to
Plaintiff's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (Doc.
No. 22). See generally Pl.'s Mot. to Strike Obj.
to Rule 12(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the
court may strike from a pleading “any redundant,
immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter.”
However, “[m]otions to strike are not favored.”
IMG Fragrance Brands, LLC v. Houbigant, Inc., No. 09
CIV. 3655 (LAP), 2009 WL 5088750, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 18,
2009). In the Second Circuit, “it is settled that the
motion [to strike] will be denied, unless it can be shown
that no evidence in support of the allegation that movant
wishes to strike would be admissible.” D'Alosio
v. EDAC Techs. Corp., No. 16-CV-769 (VAB), 2017 WL
1439663, at *1 (D. Conn. Apr. 21, 2017) (quoting Lipsky
v. Commonwealth United Corp., 551 F.2d 887, 893 (2d Cir.
1976)) (internal alterations omitted). “[I]n order to
succeed on a Rule 12(f) motion to strike surplus matter from
an answer, plaintiff must show that the allegations being
challenged are so unrelated to the plaintiff's claims as
to be unworthy of any consideration and that their presence
in the pleading throughout the proceeding will be prejudicial
to the moving party.” DDR Const. Servs., Inc. v.
Siemens Indus., Inc., 770 F.Supp.2d 627, 664 (S.D.N.Y.
2011) (quoting 5C Wright et al., § 1380) (internal
alterations omitted); see also Lynch v. Southampton
Animal Shelter Found. Inc., 278 F.R.D. 55, 63 (E.D.N.Y.
2011) (“[T]o prevail on a Rule 12(f) motion to strike,
the movant must show ‘(1) no evidence in support of the
allegations would be admissible; (2) the allegations have no
bearing on the relevant issues; and (3) permitting the
allegations to stand would result in prejudice to the
movant.') (quoting Roe v. City of New York, 151
F.Supp.2d 495, 510 (S.D.N.Y. 2001)).
City's Answer contains only the bare minimum necessary to
answer the Complaint. For each allegation in the Complaint,
Elm City responds with one of three standard answers: (1)
“Admitted”; (2) “Denied”; or (3)
“Based upon information available, the defendant cannot
admit or deny this allegation, therefore leaves the plaintiff
to his proof.” See generally Answer. Britt
contends that some of these answers should be stricken
because they are false. See Pl.'s Mot. to Strike
Answer at 3. However, disagreeing with Elm City's version
of the facts is not a proper basis for striking an answer.
See Fequiere v. Tribeca Lending, No. 14-CV-0812 RRM
LB, 2015 WL 1412580, at *2 (E.D.N.Y. Mar. 20, 2015) (noting
that factual disagreements are not grounds for striking an
answer); Jamison v. Fischer, No. 11 CIV. 4697 RJS,
2012 WL 4767173, at *7 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 27, 2012) (same). As
Elm City's Answer contains no extraneous statements,
Britt's Motion to Strike Answer is denied.
the court will not strike Elm City's Objection to
Plaintiff's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings.
“Rule 12(f) allows a court to strike pleadings
only.” McKinney v. Dzurenda, No. 3:10CV880
AVC, 2013 WL 1296468, at *1 (D. Conn. Mar. 27, 2013).
Objections to motions are not pleadings. See
Fed.R.Civ.P. 7(a) (pleadings only include complaint;
third-party complaint; answer to complaint, counterclaim,
crossclaim, or third-party complaint; and a reply to an
answer, if ordered by the court). It is therefore
inappropriate to strike Elm City's Objection. See
Santiago v. Owens-Illinois, Inc., No.
CIV.3:05CV00405JBA, 2006 WL 3098759, at *1 (D. Conn. Oct. 31,
2006) (denying motion to strike opposition memorandum);
McKinney v. Dzurenda, No. 3:10CV880 AVC, 2013 WL
1296468, at *1 (D. Conn. Mar. 27, 2013) (denying motion to
strike plaintiff's declaration).
Rule 12(f) did not make the Motion to Strike inappropriate,
the court would deny the Motion to Strike for another reason:
there is nothing in Elm City's Objection for which there
is any grounds to strike. Britt merely disagrees with Elm
City's Objection, which, by itself, does not provide a
basis to strike it.
MOTIONS FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS
denied Britt's two Motions to Strike, the court concludes
that there is no basis for granting Britt's two Motions
for Judgment on the Pleadings. “A party is entitled to
judgment on the pleadings under Rule 12(c) if it has
established that it is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law and that no material issue of fact remains
unresolved.” Ross v. New York, No. 15-CV-3286
(JPO), 2017 WL 354178, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 24, 2017) (citing
Juster Assocs. v. City of Rutland, Vt., 901 F.2d
266, 269 (2d Cir. 1990)). Here, Elm City's Answer denies
numerous factual allegations relating to Britt's
eviction. See, e.g., Answer at ¶¶
7-13. Britt does not argue that these disputed factual
allegations are immaterial to his claims. Thus, as Britt has
failed to show the absence of a material issue of fact, the
court denies his Motions for Judgment on the Pleadings.
foregoing reasons, the plaintiff's Motion for Judgment on
the Pleadings (Doc. No. 17), Supplemental Motion for Judgment
on the Pleadings (Doc. No. 19), Motion to Strike Answer (Doc.