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Ocelot II

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Hometown: Minnesota
Member since: Sun Oct 26, 2003, 11:54 PM
Number of posts: 105,554

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Oh. My. God. This opinion should be required reading in every civil procedure class

in every law school in the country. I believe one of TFG's Lawyer Barbies, Alina Habba, was responsible for the dog's breakfast of a complaint, and she was righteously whacked upside the head. Even TFG's other incompetent lawyers think Habba is incompetent. https://www.thedailybeast.com/alina-habba-the-trump-lawyer-the-rest-of-trumps-legal-team-loathes

A few gems from the opinion:

What the Amended Complaint lacks in substance and legal support it seeks to substitute with length, hyperbole, and the settling of scores and grievances.

Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint is a quintessential shotgun pleading, and “[c]ourts in the Eleventh Circuit have little tolerance for shotgun pleadings.” Vibe Micro, Inc. v. Shabanets, 878 F.3d 1291, 1295 (11th Cir. 2018). Such pleadings waste judicial resources and are an unacceptable form of establishing a claim for relief.

To say that Plaintiff’s 193-page, 819-paragraph Amended Complaint is excessive in length would be putting things mildly. And to make matters worse, the Amended Complaint commits the “mortal sin” of incorporating by reference into every count all the general allegations and all the allegations of the preceding counts.

Perplexingly, Plaintiff appears to argue that the Defendants obstructed investigation Crossfire Hurricane by contributing to the initiation of Crossfire Hurricane. That Defendants could have obstructed a proceeding by initiating it defies logic.

Notably absent from the Amended Complaint, though, is any allegation that any Defendant interfered with law enforcement with respect to the commission or possible commission of any federal offense. Plaintiff endeavors to significantly broaden this provision to criminalize the dissemination of any purportedly misleading information, regardless of any connection to some federal offense.

The federal wire fraud statute prohibits “only deceptive schemes to deprive the victim of money or property”—not “all acts of dishonesty.” Id. With this predicate act, Plaintiff tries to fit a square peg into a round hole. The alleged harm Plaintiff describes to his “political and/or business reputation” is not the type of harm the wire fraud statute remediates.

Plaintiff offers nothing plausible in support to suggest that Defendants had an illegal purpose or an intent to commit racketeering acts. These allegations fail for the same reasons the conclusory allegations of discrimination failed in Iqbal: they are “an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. Moreover, neither politically opposing Plaintiff, disliking Plaintiff, nor engaging in political speech about Plaintiff that casts him in a negative light is illegal. Without an illegal purpose plausibly alleged in the Amended Complaint, Plaintiff has failed to allege a RICO enterprise.

Moreover, many of the statements that Plaintiff characterizes as injurious falsehoods qualify as speech plainly protected by the First Amendment. Some are statements of opinion based upon Plaintiff’s four years in office... Because Plaintiff has failed to allege the essential elements of an injurious falsehood claim, this count must be dismissed. And as for Count IV, the conspiracy allegations are formulaic, conclusory, and implausible. Moreover, “the gist of a civil action for conspiracy is not conspir[ing] itself but the civil wrong which is done pursuant to the conspiracy and which results in damage to the plaintiff.” ..Without the underlying injurious falsehood claim, there can be no conspiracy to commit injurious falsehood.

In Count V, Plaintiff sues: his own Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein; formerDirector at the FBI, James Comey; former Deputy Director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe; lawyers for the FBI, Kevin Clinesmith and Lisa Page; an official with the Department of Justice, Bruce Ohr, and his wife Nellie Ohr; and an FBI agent, Peter Stzok, for malicious prosecution. But Plaintiff was never prosecuted... An Inspector General Report specifically explained that the investigation was not predicated on DNC information or the Steele Dossier, but on a tip from a friendly foreign government. Of course, Plaintiff is free to disagree with the conclusions of the Inspector General’s Report. But, as I have already cautioned, he may not misrepresent it in a pleading, and he certainly may not misconstrue it in an attempt to offer support for this ill-fated claim.

Count X reflects the high-water mark of shotgun pleading and is accordingly dismissed. And it is dismissed with prejudice, as none of the underlying claims survive for which, even if properly plead, Defendant Clinton could be held liable under an agency theory.

It is true that under Rule 15 “[t]he court should freely give leave when justice so requires.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a)(2). But a district court need not allow amendment “where amendment would be futile.” Bryant v. Dupree, 252 F.3d 1161, 1163 (11th Cir. 2001). It is not simply that I find the Amended Complaint “inadequate in any respect”; it is inadequate in nearly every respect.

Defendants presented substantively identical arguments in support of dismissal in the earlier round
of briefing on Plaintiff’s original Complaint. But despite this briefing, Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint failed to cure any of the deficiencies. Instead, Plaintiff added eighty new pages of largely irrelevant allegations that did nothing to salvage the legal sufficiency of his claims. The inadequacies with Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint are not “merely issues of technical pleading,” as Plaintiff contends, but fatal substantive defects that preclude Plaintiff from proceeding under any of the theories he
has presented. At its core, the problem with Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint is that Plaintiff is not attempting to seek redress for any legal harm; instead, he is seeking to flaunt a two-hundred-page political manifesto outlining his grievances against those that have opposed him, and this Court is not the appropriate forum.


If any lawyer ever deserved crushing Rule 11 sanctions it's Alina Habba. Wadda maroon.
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