United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART MOTION TO
STRIKE AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES AND DENYING MOTION TO EXTEND
Richard Creatura United States Magistrate Judge
District Court has referred this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 civil
rights matter to United States Magistrate Judge J. Richard
Creatura under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A), (1)(B) and
Local Magistrate Judge Rules MJR 1, 3, and 4. See
Dkt. 2. This matter is before the Court on plaintiff's
motions to strike affirmative defenses and to extend the time
to complete discovery. See Dkts. 26, 27. The Court
grants plaintiff's motion to strike to the extent that
plaintiff has identified matters that are not appropriate
affirmative defenses but denies the remainder of the motion.
The Court also denies her motion to extend the time to complete
discovery because plaintiff fails to establish good cause.
who is housed in the Stafford Creek Corrections Center
(“SCCC”) and who is proceeding pro se
and in forma pauperis, brings claims against Bruce
Gage, Ryan Harrington, and Scott Light. See Dkt. 20,
at 2. Plaintiff describes herself as a “male to female
transgender prisoner” and alleges that during her
confinement, after she was diagnosed with gender dysphoria in
August 2017, defendants-the head of the DOC's Care Review
Committee and two medical personnel from SCCC-failed to
timely provide plaintiff with necessary hormone therapy.
See Dkt. 20, at 1, 3. On the basis of these
allegations, plaintiff claims that her right to be free from
cruel and unusual punishment was violated by all defendants.
See Dkt. 20, at 6. Plaintiff requests injunctive
relief and damages. See Dkt. 20, at 6-7.
their answer, defendants raise multiple affirmative defenses.
See Dkt. 23, at 5. Plaintiff has requested that this
Court strike certain affirmative defenses under Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 12(f). See Dkt. 26.
Court set the deadline for discovery to be completed as June
7, 2019. See Dkt. 24. Plaintiff additionally
requests that the Court extend the deadline to complete
discovery to August 15, 2019. See Dkt. 27.
argue that plaintiff's motion, which plaintiff filed more
than 21 days from service of defendants' answer, was
untimely and should be denied. See Dkt. 28, at 1;
see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(f). Plaintiff responds
that because this Court has the discretion to sua
sponte strike defenses and because she is a pro
se litigant with only minimal allowable time in the law
library, this Court should excuse her failure to timely file
her motion to strike. See Dkt. 31, at 1- 2. Based on
its sua sponte discretion under Rule 12(f) and
because several of plaintiff's objections have merit, the
Court declines to deny plaintiff's motion to strike on
the basis that it is untimely and will reach plaintiff's
arguments. Accord United States v. Wang, 404
F.Supp.2d 1155, 1157 (N.D. Cal. 2005).
12(f) authorizes this Court to strike “an insufficient
defense or any redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or
scandalous matter.” “‘The function of a
12(f) motion to strike is to avoid the expenditure of time
and money that must arise from litigating spurious issues by
dispensing with those issues prior to trial[.]'”
Whittlestone, Inc. v. Hand-Craft Co., 618 F.3d 970,
973 (9th Cir. 2010) (quoting Fantasy, Inc. v.
Fogerty, 984 F.2d 1524, 1527 (9th Cir. 1993),
rev'd on other grounds by Fogerty v. Fantasy,
Inc., 510 U.S. 517 (1994)).
means that the matter has no bearing on the controversy
before the court.'” In re 2TheMart.com, Inc.
Secs. Litigation, 114 F.Supp.2d 955, 965 (C.D. Cal.
2000) (citing Fantasy, Inc., 984 F.2d at 1527).
“Redundant” means needlessly repetitive or wholly
foreign to the issues involved in the action. Sirois v.
East West Partners, Inc., 285 F.Supp.3d 1152, 1161 (D.
Haw. 2018). “‘Scandalous' includes
allegations that cast a cruelly derogatory light on a party
or other person.” In re 2TheMart.com, 114
F.Supp.2d at 965.
outset, plaintiff argues that defendants' affirmative
defenses fail to make out a claim under the heightened
pleading standard set forth in Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662 (2009), and Bell Atlantic Corporation v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007). However, to date, this
district has not applied the heightened pleading standard to
affirmative defenses. See Opico v. Convergent
Outsourcing, Inc., 18-cv-1579-RSL, 2019 WL 1755312, at
*1 n.1 (W.D. Wash. April 19, 2019); Cal. Expanded Metal
Prods. Co. v. Klein, C18-0659-JLR, 2018 WL ...