United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
C. HAMILTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is Plaintiffs' “Motion for leave to Amend
Complaint Second Amended Complaint, ” in which
Plaintiffs request leave to file a Second Amended Complaint.
(ECF 33). Defendant Edward Pultz has filed Suggestions in
Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion. (ECF 34). Also before
the Court is Plaintiffs' Motion for Leave to File Out of
Time. (ECF 35).
Robin Mecey and David Mecey filed a Complaint in this matter
on June 12, 2017. (ECF 1). The Complaint which named fifteen
Defendants, alleged Plaintiffs suffered damages as a result
of a series of events involving Robin Mecey, which events
commenced on March 24, 2014, and which ultimately resulted in
Robin Mecey's conviction for stealing from the J.C.
Penney's Farmington store. Plaintiffs' Complaint
sought, among other things, $15, 000, 000 in damages. (ECF 1
12 and 31, 2017, respectively, Defendant J.C. Penny
Corporation, Inc., (J.C. Penny) and Defendant Victoria
Bollman (Bollman) each filed a Motion to Dismiss, For More
Definite Statement and/or to Strike (ECF 10; ECF 17). In
their Motions to Dismiss, For More Definite Statement, and/or
to Strike Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint, J.C.
Penney and Bollman argued that Plaintiffs' Complaint
named fifteen different defendants, including persons from
various government entities as well as several individuals
not working for governmental entities; that allegations
against all defendants were plead in a single count, with
lengthy paragraphs, setting forth Plaintiffs' claims in a
narrative manner; and that the paragraph in which Plaintiffs
sought damages included self-serving statements regarding
Plaintiffs and, thus, did not provide a simple statement of
the relief Plaintiffs were seeking. (ECF 10, ¶¶
2-3; ECF 17, ¶¶ 2-3).
31, 2017, Defendant Edward Pultz filed a Motion to Dismiss,
or in the Alternative, for More Definite Statement and to
Strike (ECF 18). In his Motion to Dismiss, or in the
alternative, For More Definite Statement and to Strike,
Defendant Pultz argued that Plaintiffs' allegations
against him arose exclusively from his rulings as Judge in a
bench trial over which he presided and which resulted in
Plaintiff Robin Mecey's conviction, on July 24, 2014;
that he has judicial immunity from any claims Plaintiffs make
against him, including claims brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 and 42 U.S.C. § 1985; that the Court should
decline to hear Plaintiffs' claims against him because a
federal district court is precluded from adjudicating claims
that, “in effect, challenge a state court
decision”; that Plaintiffs' Complaint failed to
comply with the pleading requirements of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure in that its allegations were not
“simple, concise and direct, ” and were
redundant, immaterial, and impertinent; and that Plaintiff
David Mecey had not suffered an “injury in fact,
” and, therefore, had no standing to bring his cause of
action. (ECF 18, ¶¶ 2-13).
August 30, 2017, well after the time had expired for
Plaintiffs to respond to the aforementioned Motions and prior
to the Court's ruling on those Motions, Plaintiffs filed
a Motion for Leave to Amend Complaint. (ECF 21). The Court
granted Plaintiffs leave to file an amended complaint. (ECF
22). On September 1, 2017, Plaintiffs filed a fourteen page
First Amended Complaint. (ECF 23).
First Amended Complaint adds details to the events described
in the Complaint, repeats the causes of action enumerated in
the Complaint, and adds the allegation that various
Defendants “enter[ed] into a conspiracy to commit
judicial fraud to get Robin Mecey's Trial Denovo
dismissed in order for [the prosecutor] to steal the case and
silence Robin and David Mecey and to conceal the kidnaping
class A felony crime along with the false police
reports….” (ECF 23, ¶ 16).
“Damages, ” the First Amended Complaint states
that Plaintiffs “suffered expenses of over 36 months of
judicial abuse with over 1500 miles traveled and the time to
respond pro se with dozens of motions answers and
briefs”; that Robin Mecey has suffered “mental
anguish, ” “IBS, ” and nightmares from the
aforementioned events; that Robin Mecey “has had her
4th 5th 6th 8th and 14th amendments violated multiple times
by the actions of the defendants and has been criminally
violated”; and that Robin Mecey had to pay a fine and
court costs for the “De Novo trial that she was
denied.” (ECF 23, ¶ 25). For “Relief,
” Plaintiffs seek “to get the conflicting
policies and the malice for rule of law in the acts of the
City of Farmington in treating complainants as adversaries
changed, ” plus “damages for time, [costs] and
reputation, ” including a refund for fines and fees
paid to the Farmington Municipal Court. (ECF 23, ¶ 26).
September 15, 2015, Defendants J.C. Penney and Bollman filed
a Motion to Dismiss, For More Definite Statement and/or to
Strike Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint, in which they
argue that, despite the Court's granting Plaintiffs leave
to file an amended complaint, the First Amended Complaint
fails to rectify issues identified in their prior Motions to
Strike. This Motion also adds that Plaintiffs' First
Amended Complaint should be dismissed in regard to David
Mecey in that the First Amended Complaint is “devoid of
any claims against J.C. Penney and Bollman; that
Plaintiffs' cause of action should be dismissed in its
entirety because the Complaint was filed after the applicable
statute of limitations expired; and that Plaintiffs'
claim of malicious prosecution against J.C. Penney and
Bollman should be dismissed because Plaintiffs failed to
allege the condition precedent to such a claim - that Robin
Mecey was successful in the underlying prosecution. (ECF 30).
September 21, 2017, Defendant Edward Pultz filed a Motion to
Dismiss, or in the alternative, For More Definite Statement
and to Strike Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint, in
which he contends that Plaintiffs' First Amended
Complaint should be dismissed as to Plaintiffs' claims
against Pultz because he has judicial immunity and that the
Court's considering the claims against him would violate
the Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, which precludes federal district
courts from adjudicating claims that “in effect
constitute a challenge to a state court decision.” (ECF
27, ¶¶ 3-8).
October 2, 2017, Plaintiffs filed a Response to the September
15, 2015 Motion to Dismiss filed by J.C. Penney and Bollman.
(ECF 30). On October 12, 2017, the Court ordered Plaintiffs
to file a response to Defendant Pultz's September 21,
2017 Motion to Dismiss within fourteen days of the date of
the Order. (ECF 32). On October 30, 2017, after the
expiration of the fourteen-day period, Plaintiffs filed the
pending Motion for leave to file a second amended complaint,
to which they have attached a proposed twenty-two page
proposed Second Amended Complaint. (ECF 33; ECF 33.1). The
proposed Second Amended Complaint designates twenty Counts,
in one hundred fifteen paragraphs. The Counts describe the
events giving rise to Plaintiffs cause of action in narrative
form and in greater detail that the First Amended Complaint.
The damages Plaintiffs seek in the proposed Second Amended
Complaint do not differ significantly from the relief they
sought in the First Amended Complaint. (ECF 33.1).
Pultz has filed Suggestions in Opposition to Plaintiffs'
Motion for Leave to Amend Complaint in which he argues that
Plaintiffs' Motion for Leave to Amend Complaint should be
denied as it pertains to him because Plaintiffs' Motion
is untimely; that Plaintiffs' failure to timely respond
should be fatal to their claims against him; and that he
would be prejudiced if Plaintiffs are allowed to untimely
respond to his Motion to Dismiss. (ECF 34).
reviewed Plaintiffs' proposed Second Amended Complaint,
the Court finds that, while it provides greater detail about
the events giving rise to Plaintiffs' cause of action, it
does not change the nature of the allegations against J.C.
Penney, Bollman, and Pultz. Additionally, the proposed Second
Amended Complaint does not address the issues raised by
Defendant Pultz in either Defendant Pultz's July 31, 2017
Motion or his September 21, 2017 Motion, including that
judicial immunity applies to all of Plaintiffs'
allegations against Defendant Pultz. Also, the proposed
Second Amended Complaint fails to address the issues raised
by J.C. Penny and Bollman in their previously filed Motions
to Dismiss, For More Definite Statement, and/or to Strike,
including that the Complaint was filed after applicable the
statute of limitations expired and that the First Amended
Complaint insufficiently alleges malicious prosecution.
Court finds, therefore, that the proposed Second Amended
Complaint does not impact the issues presented to the Court
in J.C. Penney's and Bollman's Motion to Dismiss, For
More Definite Statement, and/or to Strike Plaintiffs'
First Amended Complaint and in Pultz's Motion to Dismiss,
or in the alternative, For More Definite Statement and to
Strike Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint. As such, the
Court will consider those Motions without further briefing
from the parties and with reference to the First Amended
Complaint, with the exception that the Court will give
Plaintiffs an additional seven days from the date of this
Order to respond to Pultz's Motion to Dismiss, or in the
alternative, For More Definite Statement and to Strike
Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint. The Court
additionally finds that to permit Plaintiffs to file a Second
Amended Complaint at this point in the proceedings would
prejudice J.C. Penney, Bollman, and Pultz. See Sherman v.
Winco Fireworks, Inc.,532 F.3d 709, 715 (8th
Cir. 2008) (“A district court appropriately denies the
movant leave to ...