United States District Court, D. Nebraska
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
R. Zwart United States Magistrate Judge.
matter is before the court on Plaintiff's Motion to
Strike Defendant Amy Lesan's answer and Defendant Chad
Hein's amended answer and counterclaim, (Filing No.
28), and on Defendant Amy Lesan's Motion to Strike
Plaintiff's demand for a jury trial. (Filing No.
30). For the following reasons both motions will be
denied in their entirety.
Robert Oglesby filed his complaint against Defendants Amy
Lesan and Chad Hein on December 15, 2016, alleging claims
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Filing No. 1).
Plaintiff's complaint alleges Defendants Lesan and Hein
violated his Fourth Amendment right to be free from
unreasonable searches and seizures. (Filing No. 1).
Specifically, Plaintiff claims that on January 28, 2013,
Defendants had no justification to detain Plaintiff and used
unreasonable force in detaining and arresting him.
(Filing No. 1). Plaintiff has sued Lesan and Hein in
their individual capacities only. The Complaint states Lesan
and Hein were at all relevant times duly appointed and acting
officers, servants, employees, and agents for Lancaster
County, Nebraska, (“County”), and the City of
Lincoln, Nebraska, (“City”), respectively.
Plaintiff alleges “[Defendants'] acts and omissions
described herein were under the color and authority of the
laws, statutes, ordinances, regulations, customs and/or
usages of the State of Nebraska . . . .” (Filing
No. 1 ¶¶ 2, 3 at CM/ECF p. 1). Plaintiff seeks
compensatory and punitive damages, along with his attorney
fees for litigating this action. On March 13, 2017, both
defendants filed Answers to Plaintiff's complaint.
(Filing Nos. 10 & 11). Shortly
thereafter, Plaintiff filed a motion to strike
Defendants' answers. (Filing No. 16).
March 30, 2017, the City filed a motion to intervene in the
lawsuit pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
24(a)(2). (Filing No. 13). The City's
proposed Complaint in Intervention claimed that on January
28, 2016, Plaintiff Oglesby resisted arrest and caused
personal injury to Defendant Hein, and as a self-insured
workers' compensation provider to Defendant Hein, the
City claimed it had an interest in the action. (Filing
Nos. 13 & 13-1). Nearly a week later, the
City moved to withdraw its motion to intervene, explaining
Defendant Hein intended to file an amended answer asserting
his own counterclaim against Plaintiff for injuries and
damages, (Filing No. 18), and on the same day,
Defendant Hein filed a motion for leave to file an amended
answer. (Filing No. 19). The court entered a text
order granting the City's motion to withdraw and
Hein's motion for leave, and denied Plaintiff's
motion to strike without prejudice to re-filing. (Filing No.
has now moved to strike Defendant Lesan's answer and
Defendant Hein's amended answer and counterclaim.
(Filing No. 28). Defendant Lesan has moved to strike
Plaintiff's demand for a jury trial. (Filing No.
Plaintiff's Motion to Strike
requests that the court strike portions of both
Defendants' answers under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(f), arguing the answers contain redundant,
immaterial, impertinent, and scandalous allegations.
Rule 12(f) "the court may order stricken from
any pleading any insufficient defense or any redundant,
immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter." Fed.
R. Civ. P. 12(f). While the court enjoys “liberal
discretion” in determining whether to strike a
party's pleadings, doing so is an “extreme
measure” and thus motions to strike under Rule 12(f)
are “infrequently granted.” Stanbury Law Firm
v. I.R.S., 221 F.3d 1059, 1063 (8th Cir. 2000).
purpose of a Rule 12(f) motion to strike is to
“minimize delay, prejudice, and confusion.”
Infogroup, Inc. v. Database LLC, 95 F.Supp.3d 1170,
1195 (D. Neb. 2015)(citations omitted). But when
abused, Rule 12(f) often produces the opposite effect by
creating contention and delaying the proceedings. See
Stanbury, 221 F.3d at 1063. Accordingly, a motion to
strike under Rule 12(f) will not be granted “in the
absence of some showing of prejudicial harm” to the
movant. Vernor's Ginger Ale Bottling Corp. v.
Hires-Ideal Bottling Co., 8 F.R.D. 240, 241-42 (D. Neb.
1948). Absent a showing of prejudice, allegations
that are not strictly relevant to the alleged claims should
not be stricken if they provide important context and
background to the claims asserted or are relevant to some
object of the pleader's lawsuit or response. Holt v.
Quality Egg, L.L.C., 777 F.Supp.2d 1160, 1169 (N.D. Iowa
2011)(citing Stanbury, 221 F.3d at 1063).
Defendant Lesan's Answer
seeks to strike numerous portions of Defendant Lesan's
answer. First, Plaintiff alleges paragraphs 5 & 6 of
Lesan's answer neither admit nor deny any of
Plaintiff's allegations and are immaterial or
impertinent. Plaintiff argues an allegation is
“immaterial” if it “has no essential or
important relationship to the claim for relief or the
defenses being plead, ” and paragraphs 5 & 6 of
Lesan's answer do not meet this definition.
court disagrees. Paragraphs 5 & 6 provide context and
background from Lesan's point of view and have an
important relationship to Plaintiff's claim. For example,
Lesan's allegation that Plaintiff was convicted for the
offense of Hinder, Delay, or Interrupt Arrest, as alleged in
paragraph 6, provides relevant information or context for
reviewing the Lesan's conduct. Plaintiff alleges a §
1983 claim for excessive force, and Plaintiff's act of
resisting arrest or impeding the officer can be considered in
deciding whether the officer's conduct was reasonable or,
in the alternative, excessive. S ...