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White v. Midwest Block & Brick, LLC

United States District Court, Western District of Missouri, Central Division

February 26, 2015

DEMETRIUS WHITE, Plaintiff,
v.
MIDWEST BLOCK & BRICK, LLC, Defendant.

ORDER

NANETTE K. LAUGHREY, United States District Judge.

Defendant Midwest Block and Brick moves, under Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 11(a), to strike Plaintiff Demetrius White’s pro se complaint. [Doc. 12.] Midwest argues, “Plaintiff’s Complaint is not signed. It also does not include Plaintiff’s address, e-mail address, and telephone number, which Rule 11(a) requires.” [Doc. 12, p. 1, ¶ 3.]

The central purpose of Rule 11 is to deter baseless filings. Cooter & Gell v. Hartmarx Corp., 496 U.S. 384, 393 (1990). Rule 11(a) provides that pleadings, motions, and other papers must be personally signed by unrepresented persons, and that “[t]he court must strike an unsigned paper unless the omission is promptly corrected after being called to the attention” of the signer. White filled out and filed a form “Civil Complaint, ” and attached extra sheets, captioned “Complaint, ” providing more detail about his claim. [Doc. 4, pp. 1 and 4.] The document as a whole constitutes White’s complaint, and he signed it, in the space provided on the third page of the form portion. [Id., p. 3]. Rule 11(a) does not require White’s complaint to be stricken for lack of signature.

Rule 11(a) further provides that filed papers must contain the signer’s address, email address, and telephone number. White’s complaint contains his address. [Id., p. 1.] He did not include his telephone number in the complaint. But he did include his telephone number in his affidavit of financial status, filed on the same day he filed his request for leave to proceed without payment of fees and costs, to which his complaint was attached. [Doc. 2, p. 1.] He has not provided an e-mail address.

The Court does not construe the rule and White’s technical violation of it by omission of his telephone number and an email address from his complaint to require a sanction at this time. However, White is ordered to provide the Court and Midwest with his e-mail address if he has one, or to provide notice that he does not have one, no later than 3/13/2015. White is also cautioned that future filings must comply with Rule 11(a) in all particulars.

In view of the foregoing, Defendant Midwest’s motion to strike [Doc. 12] is denied.


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