United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Florence Division
BRYAN HARWELL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
and a group of Plaintiffs claim prior employment with or
ownership of the business Skydive Myrtle Beach. These
individuals each filed actions based on the same claims and
facts against the same sixty-six defendants. See Davis v.
Horry County Council, et al, No. 4:17-391-RBH-TER;
Herdt v. Horry County Council, et al, No.
4:17-392-RBH-TER; Karahalios v. Horry County Council, et
al, No. 4:17-393-RBH-TER; Ringley v. Horry County
Council, et al, No. 4:17-395-RBH-TER; Holly v. Horry
County Council, et al, No. 4:17-396-RBH-TER; Herzog
v. Horry County Council, et al, No. 4:17-398-RBH-TER;
Clarke v. Horry County Council, et al, No.
4:17-401-RBH-TER; Dron, et al v. Horry County Council, et
al, No. 4:17-397-RBH-TER; Bracey, et al v. Horry
County Council, et al, No. 4:17-399-RBH-TER; Guillen
v. Horry County Council, et al, No. 4:17-400-RBH-TER;
Boulineau v. Horry County Council, et al, No.
voluminous complaint contains numerous state law claims:
breach of contract; trespass; conspiracy; infliction of
emotional distress; slander, libel, and defamation; false
light; fraud; harassment; gross negligence; abuse of process
and authority; and strict and vicarious liability. Liberally
construed, Plaintiff also sets forth allegations of a 42
U.S.C. § 1983 claim based on due process violations,
possible Federal Torts Claim Act claims, and possible
names as defendants various state employees and state
government bodies, federal employees, the Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA), and private individuals and businesses.
The premise of Plaintiff's complaint appears to be that
the Defendants did not want this skydiving business at the
Myrtle Beach airport and falsely reported one hundred and
twelve violations in order to put the them out of business.
Plaintiff alleges, ultimately, an eviction from the airport
premises occurred without due process. Plaintiff makes
references to ongoing state court actions and an action
before the FAA and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Complaint is 160 pages and names 66 Defendants. Many
allegations group Defendants together and do not set forth
specific allegations of wrongdoing as to specific claims as
to each Defendant. The Complaint also appears to contain many
irrelevant details such that the true substance of the
Complaint may be at risk of being lost to a reader, which
includes the 66 Defendants who must answer or otherwise
defend against the pleading. Defendants are entitled to
allegations from the Plaintiff that are not conclusory so
they will know how to respond. The Complaint in this case
contains many conclusory statements and lacks necessary
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires that
complaints contain “a short and plain statement of the
claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.”
The court has the authority to dismiss excessively long
complaints under Rule 8(a) where the length renders the
complaint unintelligible. See e.g. United States ex rel.
Garst v. Lockheed-Martin Corp., 328 F.3d 374, 379 (7th
Cir. 2003)(155 pages, 400 paragraphs, 99 attachments); In
re Westinghouse Securities Litigation, 90 F.3d 696,
702-03 (3d Cir. 1996)(600 paragraphs spanning 240 pages),
Vicom, Inc. v. Harbridge Merch. Svcs., 20
F.3d 771, 775-76 (7th Cir. 1994)(finding 119 page “less
than coherent” complaint should have been dismissed);
Kuehl v. FDIC, 8 F.3d 905, 906-09 (1st Cir. 1993)
(43 pages); Michaelis v. Nebraska State Bar
Ass'n, 717 F.2d 437, 439 (8th Cir. 1983) (98 pages).
purpose behind Rule 8 is “to give the defendant fair
notice of what the claim is and the grounds upon which it
rests.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 555 (2007) (internal citation and quotation omitted).
Further, the plaintiff is obligated to provide “more
than labels and conclusions[;] a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do ...”
Id. Even though a pro se plaintiff's
pleadings are to be liberally construed, a pro se
complaint must still contain sufficient facts “to raise
a right to relief above the speculative level” and
“state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.” Id. at 555, 570; see also Slade v.
Hampton Roads Reg'l Jail, 407 F.3d 243, 252 (4th
claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads
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, 678
(2009). Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
“demands more than an unadorned, the
Id. Defendants will not know how to respond to
conclusory allegations, especially when “the pleadings
mentioned no specific time, place, or person involved.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 565 n. 10. Complaints should
contain facts in regard to who did what to whom and when.
Complaint currently before the court does not comply with
Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which
requires a short, plain statement of the grounds for the
court's jurisdiction, a short plain statement of the
claim showing that Plaintiff is entitled to relief, and a
demand for the relief sought by Plaintiff. As such, Plaintiff
is being given an opportunity to amend.
Defendants have answered or otherwise appeared in this case,
as well as the other cases identified above. Plaintiff should
take this opportunity to cure any pleading deficiencies
Plaintiff deems appropriate considering the issues presented
in filings since the original Complaint. Pursuant to
Goode v. Cent. Va. Legal Aid. Soc'y, Inc., 807
F.3d 619, 623-24 (4th Cir. 2015), Plaintiff here should be
allowed to amend the Complaint to cure pleading deficiencies
as a matter of judicial economy. The Fourth Circuit has
dismissed cases without remand where the district court
previously afforded plaintiff a chance to amend his
complaint. See also Grady v. White, No. 16-7722,
2017 WL 1437235 (4th Cir. April 24, 2017). This Order is
affording such an opportunity to Plaintiff.
amended complaint should comply with the “short and
plain statement” requirement and state facts sufficient
to state a claim for relief against each named defendant, in
compliance with Rule 8 of the FRCP. Any amended complaint
must also set forth allegations of wrongdoing as to each
Defendant sufficient to give each defendant fair notice of
what the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.
Plaintiff is granted leave to file an amended complaint in
compliance with Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure within 15 days of this Order.
the Court has granted leave to amend the complaint, all
pending motions are DENIED without prejudice with
leave to refile, if necessary after the amended
complaint is filed.
matter is hereby recommitted to the Magistrate Judge for
issuance and service of process upon ...