United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
OPINION AND ORDER
R. CHERRY, MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court on a Motion to Strike [DE 11]
filed by Defendant BCD White, Inc. d/b/a Wrigley Field Bar
& Grill on June 26, 2018. Plaintiff filed a response on
June 28, 2018, and Defendant filed a reply on July 5, 2018.
In the Motion, Defendant seeks to have stricken certain
allegations in the Complaint. For the following reasons, the
Court denies the Motion.
brings its 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
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).
argues that allegations made in paragraphs 5 and 7 of the
Complaint should be stricken because they are scandalous and
immaterial. In the Complaint, Plaintiff brings claims of
sexual harassment, hostile work environment, discrimination,
and retaliation in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964.
argues that the allegations in the paragraphs at issue are
material. Specifically, she asserts that the allegations are
necessary to meet the required pleading standard. Rule 8(a)
requires Plaintiff to provide “a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief, ” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), such that Defendant
is given “fair notice of what the . . . claim is and
the grounds upon which it rests.” Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555 (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41,
47 (1957)); see also Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 677-78 (2009). The “complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing Twombly, 550
U.S. at 570); see also Tamayo, 526 F.3d at 1082. The
Supreme Court explained that the “plaintiff's
obligation to provide the grounds of [her] entitlement to
relief requires more than labels and conclusions, and a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555
(quotation marks and brackets omitted); see also
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678-79; Brooks v. Ross, 578
F.3d 574, 581 (7th Cir. 2009).
deciding whether the Complaint is sufficiently pled to
survive a motion to dismiss, the Court shares Plaintiff's
concern that the Complaint without allegations in paragraph 5
and 7 would not provide the necessary notice to Defendant.
The allegations at issue include sexual comments and a
comment material to the retaliation claim. Though there is
crude and vulgar language in the allegations at issue, they
are foundational pieces of the alleged events and not merely
tangentially related. As such, the allegations are related to
the claims brought in this case and are worthy of
consideration. The allegations are material.
the cases that Defendant cites are distinguishable from the
circumstances of this litigation. In some of these cases, a
motion to strike was granted because the allegations at issue
involved similar conduct but not the
particular conduct giving rise to the claim. See
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe, No. 2:13-CV-99, 2013 WL
6095649 (N.D. Ind. Nov. 19, 2013); Chi. Printing Co. v.
Heidelberg USA, Inc., No. 01 C 3251, 2001 WL 1646567
(N.D. Ill.Dec. 21, 2001). Other cases concerned striking
claims for which there was no factual basis. Delta
Consulting Group, Inc. v. R. Randle Const., Inc., 554
F.3d 1133, 1141-42 (7th Cir. 2009); Talbot v. Robert
Matthews Distrib. Co., 961 F.2d 654, 665 (7th Cir.
1992). One out-of-circuit case involved “repugnant
words replete with tragic historical connotations”
stricken because they were “superfluous descriptions
and not substantive elements of the cause of action.”
Alvarado-Morales v. Digital Equip. Corp., 843 F.2d
613, 618 (1st Cir. 1988).
stated above, motions to strike pleadings are disfavored.
Because the allegations at issue are an important part of the
factual basis for the claims brought in the Complaint and
because Defendant has not met its burden as the moving party,
the allegations will not be stricken.
on the foregoing, the Court hereby DENIES