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Mapes v. Hatcher Real Estate

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

June 21, 2019

ERIC J. MAPES, and JENELLE M. KELLY-MAPES, Plaintiffs,
v.
HATCHER REAL ESTATE et al., Defendants.

          ENTRY ON PLAINTIFFS' MOTIONS

          TANYA WALTON PRATT, JUDGE

         Before the Court are three Motions filed by Plaintiffs Eric J. Mapes and Jenelle M. Kelly-Mapes (“Plaintiffs”): “Plaintiffs' Emergent Notice of Motion and Emergent Motion to Amend” (Filing No. 13), “Plaintiffs' Notice of Emergent Motion and Emergent Motion to Change Judge” (Filing No. 14), and “Plaintiffs' Notice of Emergent Motion and Emergent Declaration” (Filing No. 15). The Court will address each Motion in turn.

         1.

         “Plaintiffs' Emergent Notice of Motion and Emergent Motion to Amend”

          In the Plaintiffs' “Motion to Amend, ” they begin by asserting that they are making this amendment to their original complaint . . . to comply with the Court's ruling on 6/11/2019.” (Filing No. 13 at 1.) The remainder of the Plaintiffs' ten-page filing consists of unnumbered, rhetorical paragraphs providing numerous citations to case law, statutes, and regulations about the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Federal Fair Housing Act as well as a description of mental health conditions such as schizophrenia, depression, and bipolar disorder. The Plaintiffs include two long paragraphs that provide a narrative about Mr. Mapes's mental health conditions and about the Defendants. This filing appears to be an argumentative brief that parties file in support of a motion rather than the amended complaint that the Court ordered the Plaintiffs to file.

         As the Court previously has directed, the Plaintiffs' amended complaint should contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that [they are] entitled to relief . . ., ” which is sufficient to provide the Defendants with “fair notice” of the claim and its basis. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007). The amended complaint should allow the Court and the Defendants to connect the facts to the legal bases to the relief sought.

         The amended complaint should not discuss cases, statutes, constitutional provisions, or regulations beyond a citation explaining the basis for a particular cause of action. A complaint or pleading is not the appropriate place for a plaintiff to argue the merits of the case. Rather, the purpose of a complaint is to set forth, in a “short and plain statement, ” what happened, who took the alleged actions, and what relief is requested. Thus, the Plaintiffs' amended complaint should contain short statements of fact to which the Defendants can admit or deny their truthfulness.[1]

         Because the Plaintiffs' “Motion to Amend” does not provide the Court with an amended complaint as previously ordered by the Court, the Motion is DENIED (Filing No. 13). However, the Court emphasizes that, because the Court already has ordered the Plaintiffs to file an amended complaint, the Plaintiffs do not need to file a “motion” when filing their amended complaint no later than July 15, 2019.

         To the extent that the Plaintiffs' filing can be construed as a motion for reconsideration, [2]the motion is denied for the reasons stated in the Court's previous Order on Plaintiffs' Motion for Reconsideration (Filing No. 12)-because the Plaintiffs have not satisfied the legal standard for reconsideration.

         2.Plaintiffs' Notice of Emergent Motion and Emergent Motion to Change Judge”

          In the Plaintiffs' “Motion to Change Judge, ” they ask that the undersigned judge “disqualify and/or recuse themselves” because “there is direct bias being shown against the rights and protections of disabled Americans.” (Filing No. 14 at 1.) The Plaintiffs allege that the Court is depriving them of judicial access because of a bias or prejudice.

         As the Court previously has explained,

[T]he Court's Orders have not conclusively granted or denied the relief requested by the Plaintiffs, and importantly, the Orders have not deprived the Plaintiffs of access to the Court. Rather, the Court's Orders have permitted the Plaintiffs an opportunity to ...

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