United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Northern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
CATHERINE D. PERRY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Stephanie Marie Buchanan is a Missouri state prisoner who is
presently proceeding in this prisoner civil rights action
pro se. After a hearing on July 14, 2016, I allowed
appointed counsel to withdraw and instructed Buchanan to
1) file an amended complaint; 2) inform the Court of her
intent to proceed on her original complaint (ECF #1); or 3)
inform the Court of her intent to proceed on the amended
complaint filed by appointed counsel (ECF #15) but with an
additional claim, specifying the additional claim.
(ECF #41, Order.) Buchanan chose to file a “Second
Amended Complaint, ” after which defendants Hari Kapur,
M.D., and Corizon, LLC, moved for a more definite statement
under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(e). I will grant the motion.
motion for more definite statement may be granted if “a
pleading . . . is so vague or ambiguous that a party cannot
reasonably prepare a response.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(e).
Motions under Rule 12(e) are disfavored and should not be
granted unless the complaint is so vague or ambiguous as to
be unintelligible “that the opposing party cannot
respond to it, even with a simple denial as permitted by Rule
8(b), with a pleading that can be interposed in good faith or
without prejudice to himself.” 5C Wright & Miller,
Federal Practice & Procedure: Civil 3d § 1376 at
311. Defendants argue that they are unable to frame a
response to Buchanan's second amended complaint because
it is vague, ambiguous, convoluted, and lacks specificity and
clarity. I agree.
8(a) requires that every pleading setting forth a claim for
relief contain a short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, and a demand
for the relief sought. Rule 8(d) instructs that each
allegation of the pleading must be simple, concise, and
direct. A complaint must provide the defendant with fair
notice of what each claim is and the ground on which each
claim rests. Gomez v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 676
F.3d 655, 665 (8th Cir. 2012).
second amended complaint contains no short and plain
statement of her claim(s) showing that she is entitled to
relief; nor does it make a demand for the relief sought.
Neither can it be said that the complaint is simple, concise,
and direct. Instead, the complaint “incorporates”
certain paragraphs of Buchanan's original and first
amended complaints, but identifies those paragraphs only by
number. Further, the complaint purports to “include
information regarding spinal injuries” but provides
none. In addition, the complaint instructs to “change
all wording” in numerous paragraphs from previous
complaints, but again identifies those paragraphs only by
number. Neither the Court nor the defendants should be
required to search through prior pleadings in order to piece
together Buchanan's claims. As presented, the second
amended complaint is unintelligible to a degree that a
defendant could not reasonably prepare a response to it.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that defendants Hari Kapur, M.D., and
Corizon, LLC's Motion for More Definite Statement  is
FURTHER ORDERED that, within twenty-one (21) days of the date
of this Order, plaintiff shall file an amended complaint in
the following format:
Plaintiff shall set forth in the caption of the amended
complaint the name of each defendant she wishes to sue.
Plaintiff shall set forth her “Statement of
Claim” by listing the first defendant's name, and
under that name, she shall set forth in separate numbered
paragraphs the allegations supporting her claim(s) as to that
particular defendant, as well as the right(s) that she claims
that particular defendant violated. Plaintiff shall proceed
in this manner with each of the named defendants,
separately setting forth each individual name and
under that name, in numbered paragraphs, the allegations
specific to that particular defendant and the right(s) that
she claims that particular defendant violated.
amended complaint must contain short and plain statements
showing that plaintiff is entitled to relief; the allegations
must be simple, concise, and direct; and the numbered
paragraphs must each be limited to a single set of
Plaintiff shall sign the amended complaint.
an amended complaint replaces the original complaint and all
previously-filed pleadings and supplements, plaintiff must
include each and every one of the claims she wishes to pursue
in the amended complaint. See, e.g., In re Wireless Tel.
Fed. Cost Recovery Fees Litig.,396 F.3d 922, 928 (8th
Cir. 2005). The ...