I first wrote about this case in January, shortly after the complaint was filed. Just checked PACER for any updates, and, Wow! This one is getting expensive quickly!
As I noticed, the attorney who filed the case wasn’t admitted to the Florida Bar, and the defendants’ attorneys pointed that out in the first motion to dismiss. Yes, I said their first motion to dismiss. Three months in, and we already have two motions to dismiss with two orders! (Local counsel has now appeared, and the original attorney has been admitted temporarily for this case.)
While I called the complaint a “doozy” in my original post, the judge gave it the kiss of death by calling it a shotgun pleading (fitting for an outlaw?). This is a style of drafting a complaint where each claim incorporates all of the factual allegations preceding the claim. Many complaints are drafted this way despite the fact that they are improper. For example, if the second and third claims in a complaint both re-allege all of the preceding factual allegations, then the defendant technically doesn’t know which allegations belong to a specific claim – and that violates the federal rules of procedure.
The defendants’ attorneys picked up on this (and other issues in the original complaint) and filed a short and sweet motion to dismiss. The judge agreed (on the same day!) and gave the plaintiff permission to file an amended complaint.
Guess what happened? The plaintiff must have had a double-barreled shotgun because they did it again! Not only that, but they also added on this nugget – which makes a First Amendment attorney such as myself cringe. In the prayer for relief, the plaintiff has asked that the court to:
Order all Defendants to abstain from in any way discussing, commenting upon, or mentioning Plaintiffs in this action in public, in performances, or in any other public venue;
What!? So, plaintiff wants, say, Henry Paul, to be legally prohibited from mentioning not only the case, but the mere existence of Outlawlessness Productions in public?
Plaintiff, meet the Streisand Effect.
Defendants’ First Motion to Dismiss (3/23/2010)
Order on First Motion to Dismiss (3/23/2010)
Amended Complaint (4/7/2010)
Defendants’ Second Motion to Dismiss (4/22/2010)
Order on Second Motion to Dismiss (4/23/2010)