United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division
CLAUDE M. HILTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
THIS MATTER comes before the Court on Plaintiffs' Motion to Dismiss Certain Affirmative Defenses and Counterclaims and/or to Strike Redundant, Immaterial and Scandalous Matters. Explained herein, Defendant's Amended Counterclaim fails to meet pleading standards. Certain of affirmative defenses should me stricken, and his entire Amended Counterclaim should be dismissed.
I. STATEMENT OF FACTS
On January 12, 2016, this Court entered an Order dismissing all of Defendant's counterclaims save Count 8, breach of contract; striking Affirmative Defenses 6, 7, 9, 17 and 18; and striking redundant and immaterial matters raised in Defendant's Answer and Counterclaim. The Court allowed Defendant fourteen days (until January 26, 2016) to file an Amended Counterclaim.
Defendant filed his Amended Counterclaim and affirmative Defenses on January 27, 2016, due to weather foreclosure the way his filing was due. While this Court sees past the tardy submission, the Court cannot see past the Amended Counterclaim's incomprehensible and irrelevant allegations.
Like the original, the Amended Counterclaim fails to state claims upon which relief may be granted.
Moreover, in defiance of this Court's Order of January 12, 2016, Defendant re-alleges claims expressly dismissed by this Court without material change.
In further defiance of this Court's January 12, 2016 Order, Defendant re-alleges stricken affirmative defenses and repeats allegations stricken by this Court as impertinent and immaterial. The Amended Counterclaim is rife with the same irrelevant and immaterial allegations of money laundering, wire fraud, bank fraud, and murder which this Court expressly struck from the original Counterclaim. Likewise, this Court again strikes affirmative defenses on grounds that they are inadequately pled: No. 6 (fraud, Rule 9(b)), No. 7 (illegality, Rule 9(b)), No. 9 (false claims, Rule 9(b)), No. 14 (fraud -again - Rule 9(b)), and 15 (RICO, Rule 9(b)). Defendant's Amended Counterclaim abuses the latitude due him as a pro se party.
II. STANDARD OF REVIEW
A motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) tests the legal sufficiency of a complaint. See, e.g., Edwards v. City of Goldsboro, 178 F.3d 231, 243 (4th Cir. 1999); District 28, United Mine Workers of Am., Inc. v. Wellmore Coal Corp., 609 F.2d 1083, 1085-86 (4th Cir. 1979). Generalized, unsupported assertions are insufficient to state a claim. While the well-pleaded allegations of a complaint are presumed to be true for purposes of a motion to dismiss, legal conclusions unsupported by allegations of specific facts are insufficient to withstand a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6). Randall v. United States, 30 F.3d 518, 522 (4th Cir. 1994). Legal conclusions in the guise of factual allegations are similarly insufficient. See, e.g., District 28, 609 F.2d at 1085-86.
A court should dismiss a complaint if the plaintiff fails to proffer "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). A Plaintiff's "obligation to provide the "grounds' of his 'entitlement to relief requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Id. at 555. A claim will lack "facial plausibility" unless the plaintiff "plead[s] factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 663 (2009).
Determining "whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief, " is a "context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Id. at 679 (citations omitted). A complaint fails to state a claim if the well-pleaded facts "do not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct." Id. Even under a notice pleading regime, a complaint must contain sufficient evidentiary facts to raise a plausible-as opposed to just conceivable-inference that the Plaintiff is entitled to relief. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570; Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 680. Under Twombly, a Plaintiff must allege enough facts "to raise a right to relief above the speculative level[.]" Robinson v. Am. Honda Motor Co., 551 F.3d 218, 222 (4th Cir. 2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 570).
A. Defendant's Entire Amended Counterclaim Must Be Dismissed.
Plaintiff's Motion is well taken as to Defendant's amended counterclaims not pled with sufficient particularity. In defiance of this Court's Order of January 12, 2016, Defendant re-alleges claims expressly dismissed by this Court without material change: Amended Counterclaim Count II, for unjust enrichment, is nearly identical to Counterclaim Count II; Count IV, fraud, is nearly identical to Counterclaim Count III; Count VI, fraud and deceit by negligent representation, is the same as Counterclaim Count IV; Count VII, constructive fraud, is the same as Counterclaim Count V; Count VIII, fraud and deceit based on conspiracy, is nearly the same as Counterclaim Count VI; Count IX, indebitatus assumpsit, is nearly the same as Counterclaim Count VII; and Count X, breach of contract, is the same as Counterclaim Count VIII. Explained herein, each must be dismissed pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6).
1. Defendant fails to state a claim for Defamation (Count I).
Defendant's Amended Counterclaim brings a new and unsupported claim for defamation, alleging that Plaintiffs "accused Hassam, publish false and defamatory, per se, comments to various Hassam's customers, friends, community and family members that Hassam was engaged in criminal and deceitful conduct." ...