United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
OPINION AND ORDER
R. CHERRY MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court on a Defendants Joint Motion to
Strike Allegations in Plaintiffs' Amended Complaint [DE
71] filed by Defendants Ironworkers Local 395, AFL-CIO and
Thomas Williamson, Sr. on February 10, 2017. Plaintiffs filed
a response on February 27, 2017. Defendants did not file a
reply, and the time in which to do so has passed.
January 30, 2017, Plaintiffs filed a motion titled
“Unopposed Motion for Leave to File an Amended
Complaint Instanter.” On January 31, 2017, the Court
granted that motion, noting the agreement of the parties.
Plaintiffs filed the Amended Complaint on February 3, 2017.
filed the instant motion on February 10, 2017, seeking to
have stricken certain allegations in the Amended Complaint.
On February 17, 2017, Defendants filed Answers to the Amended
indicate that they bring their motion under Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(f). Rule 12(f) provides that the Court
“may strike from a pleading an insufficient defense or
any redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous
matter.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(f). Motions to strike are
generally disfavored because such motions often only delay
the proceedings. See Heller Fin.. Inc. v. Midwhey Powder
Co., Inc., 883 F.2d 1286, 1294 (7th Cir. 1989); see
also Sarkis' Cafe, Inc. v. Sarks in the Park, LLC,
55 F.Supp.3d 1034, 1039 (N.D. Ill. 2014). However, if the
motion seeks to remove unnecessary clutter from the case,
then the motion serves to expedite, not delay, the
proceedings. Sarkis' Cafe, Inc., 55 F.Supp.3d at
1039. Nevertheless, “mere redundancy or immateriality
is not enough to trigger the drastic measure of striking the
pleading or parts thereof; in addition, the pleading must be
prejudicial to the defendant.” Hardin v. Am. Elec.
Power, 188 F.R.D. 509, 511 (S.D. Ind. 1999).
motions to strike are disfavored, a court ordinarily will not
strike a matter unless it can confidently conclude that the
portion of the pleading the motion addresses has “no
possible relation to the controversy and is clearly
prejudicial.” Volling v. Antioch Rescue Squad,
999 F.Supp.2d 991, 1007 (N.D. Ill. 2013) (internal quotation
marks omitted); see also Anderson v. Bd. of Educ. of
Chi., 169 F.Supp.2d 864, 867-68 (N.D. Ill. 2001). The
moving party on a motion to strike has “the burden of
demonstrating that the challenged allegations are so
unrelated to plaintiff's claim as to be devoid of merit,
unworthy of consideration and unduly prejudicial.”
All Am. Ins. Co. v. Broeren Russo Const., Inc., 112
F.Supp.2d 723, 729 (C.D. Ill. 2000) (quoting Vakharia v.
Little Co. of Mary Hosp. & Health Care Ctr., 2
F.Supp.2d 1028, 1033 (N.D. Ill. 1998)); see also Davis v.
Ruby Foods, Inc., 269 F.3d 818, 821 (7th Cir. 2001)
(advising against “moving to strike extraneous matter
unless its presence in the complaint is actually prejudicial
to the defense”).
argue that allegations new to the Amended Complaint should be
stricken because the allegations were not authorized by the
Court. Defendants assert that, because Plaintiffs' motion
only requested leave to amend the complaint to name new
defendants and remove another defendant, other alterations
made to the Complaint are unauthorized. Defendants also
indicate that, when seeking Defendants' agreement to the
Motion for Leave to Amend, Plaintiffs only indicated that
they would change the named defendants in the Amended
Complaint. However, Defendants do not argue that they are
prejudiced by the Amended Complaint. Though Defendants allude
to having some difficulty in appropriately answering the
Amended Complaint, Defendants filed their Answers on February
17, 2017. Thus, Defendants have not shown themselves to be
prejudiced by any allegations in the Amended Complaint and
have not met their burden under Rule 12(f).
Defendants are incorrect in their assertion that the new
allegations in the Amended Complaint are unauthorized.
Plaintiffs attached their proposed Amended Complaint as an
attachment to their Motion for Leave to Amend, and, in the
Motion itself, Plaintiffs asked for leave to file the Amended
Complaint that was attached to the Motion. Plaintiffs only
highlighted the changes to the named parties in the body of
the Motion, but that does not render the other changes
unauthorized by the Court. Plaintiffs sought and received the
Court's leave to file the specific Amended Complaint that
troubling is Defendants' assertion that Plaintiffs
misrepresented the content of the proposed amended complaint
to Defendants when seeking Defendants' agreement to the
Motion for Leave to Amend. As indicated above, the Court
noted Defendants' agreement to the Motion for Leave to
Amend in ruling on that motion. However, Defendants have not
raised in their instant motion any reason that would have
justified not granting the Motion for Leave to Amend, and
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a)(2) provides that courts
“should freely give leave [to amend a pleading] when
justice so requires.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2).
only argument raised was that the Amended Complaint was filed
without the Court's leave. The Court's leave was
sought and received. Further, Defendants have failed to show
that they are prejudiced by the allegations that they seek to
have stricken from the Amended Complaint.
on the foregoing, the Court hereby DENIES Defendants Joint
Motion to Strike Allegations in ...