“The Court notes Plaintiff’s proposed Second Amended Complaint is replete with grammatical errors, including improper punctuation, misspelling of words, incorrect conjugation of verbs, and lack of apostrophes when required for possessive adjectives; sentence fragments; and nonsensical sentences. The proposed Second Amended Complaint is also an eyesore, with its formatting errors and spaces.”
The above was used by a Southern District of Florida Court, Cecilia M. Altonaga to describe a pleading filed by an Attorney in her court.
Judge Altonaga then ordered the Attorney to file alongside his notice of filing, a certification showing that an English Language teacher has reviewed and approved his amended pleadings. She further threatened to refer the Attorney to the Florida Bar for counseling if his filings continue to be so horrendous.
Read the story below:
Late last year, Jean Noel, a current (or maybe former?) housekeeping employee of SDH Services West, filed suit against the company as well as Aventura Hospital and Medical Center, the hospital where he performed his services, alleging all manner of civil rights claims, many of which made absolutely no sense at all. Noel, represented by Jay F. Romano of Discrimination Law Center, PA, amended that complaint, and it still made little to no sense. In their motion to dismiss Noel’s complaint, Jennifer Yasko and Alexander del Russo of Carlton Fields, attorneys for the hospital, had this to say:
A quick glance at Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint will make the basis for this motion apparent. Plaintiff’s allegations are so muddled and unintelligible that the Hospital can barely parse out his allegations. Sentences are missing punctuation; there are run-on and incomplete sentences; much is incomprehensible. This alone violates the pleading requirements of Rule 8 and requires dismissal and re-pleading.
Yasko and del Russo go on to attempt to dissect the first amended complaint, but due to the fact that it was “both cryptic and confusing,” they had a really hard time doing so.
For example, in Count III, titled “Disparate Treatment,” Plaintiff does not plead facts that relate to a claim for disparate treatment; rather, Plaintiff alleges retaliation. As a result, the Hospital is left to disregard the confusing headings and base its analysis solely on the substantive paragraphs of the Complaint, which are similarly disjointed and unintelligible. Further adding to the Hospital’s difficulty is that the Amended Complaint is full of nonsensical and unintelligible statements such as: “The Plaintiff, from Haiti and of Color Race …” (A.C. ¶ 3), or “The aforementioned unwelcome race failure to promote …” (A.C. ¶ 25). Some paragraphs do not even contain complete sentences. Paragraph 15— the first substance allegation in Count I— reads simply “As described in Paragraph 8-9” … nothing else.
Take a look at the first amended complaint on the next page and see if you can figure any of it out. Be forewarned, because it’s quite the doozy.
Once Judge Altonaga had both the offending complaint and the motion to dismiss in her hands, she responded as best she knew how. She opens her Order with the following paragraph to explain the crimes made against the English language that exist in the complaint, as drafted by Romano:
The Court notes Plaintiff’s proposed Second Amended Complaint is replete with grammatical errors, including improper punctuation, misspelling of words, incorrect conjugation of verbs, and lack of apostrophes when required for possessive adjectives; sentence fragments; and nonsensical sentences. The proposed Second Amended Complaint is also an eyesore, with its formatting errors and spaces.
Judge Altonaga goes on to note that while she’ll permit Romano to file a second amended complaint, he must “certif[y] the pleading has been reviewed and approved by a teacher of the English language — such certification is to be included in the notice of filing the second amended complaint.” How embarrassing! We wonder if Romano had someone assisting him on this matter who made all of the horrendous errors. Judge Altonaga then states that if Romano’s filings continue to be so horrendous, she’ll refer him to the Florida Bar for counseling.
The case was voluntarily dismissed just a few days after Romano’s ass was politely handed to him.
Remember, lawyers, don’t EVER commit such heinous acts against the English language lest a judge order that an English teacher review your work.
Culled: Above the Law