United States District Court, D. Oregon
Michael H. Simon, United States District Judge
Thompson-Ivory brings various claims against the City of
Portland and Marianna Kanwit (“Defendants”)
relating to Plaintiff's employment, and termination from
employment, with the City of Portland. Defendants move to
dismiss the second, third, fifth, sixth, and
twelfthclaims for relief in Plaintiff's
Amended Complaint (“Complaint”), or, in the
alternative, for an order requiring Plaintiff to make these
claims more definite and certain.
first argue that, for each of these claims, Plaintiff fails
to comply with the pleading requirements of Rule 8 of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure by not alleging what
specific facts or conduct Plaintiff relies upon to support
each claim. “Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2)
requires that the allegations in the complaint ‘give
the defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff's claim
is and the grounds upon which it rests.'”
Lehman v. Nelson, 862 F.3d 1203, 1211 (9th Cir.
2017) (quoting Pickern v. Pier 1 Imports (U.S.),
Inc., 457 F.3d 963, 968 (9th Cir. 2006)).
Complaint contains a detailed factual background, followed
by, for the claims that Defendants move to dismiss, formulaic
assertions of Plaintiff's claims for relief. This is not
an uncommon method of drafting a Complaint. Defendants have
cited no authority supporting the proposition that Plaintiff
is required to re-allege, within each individual claim, the
specific conduct or acts that form the basis of that claim.
Rather, Plaintiff's Complaint as a whole must
put Defendants on notice as to the claims against them, and
the grounds on which those claims rest, in order for
Defendants to be able reasonably to respond. Defendants argue
that because Plaintiff's Complaint contains allegations
of multiple types of discrimination, each of which has
different legal elements, it is impossible for Defendants to
discern which alleged act or acts are intended to support
Plaintiff's race discrimination claims,
specifically. The Court disagrees. Plaintiff's
Complaint provides factual allegations sufficient to give
Defendants fair notice of the grounds of Plaintiff's
Defendants characterize their motion as also being a motion
to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim,
Defendants provide no specific argument to support such a
motion, other than to say that without specified factual
bases for each claim, Plaintiff's claims are mere legal
conclusions. Defendants do not provide the elements required
for Plaintiff's claims, or any argument about why the
numerous factual assertions Plaintiff makes fail to state a
claim under those required elements. As such, the Court does
not address Defendants' motion as a motion under Rule
also move in the alternative for an order requiring Plaintiff
to make a more definite statement under Rule 12(e). A court
may order a more definite statement if the pleading “is
so vague or ambiguous that the [opposing] party cannot
reasonably prepare a response.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(e). As
discussed, however, the Court disagrees with Defendants'
assertion that Defendants cannot adequately respond to
Plaintiff's complaint in its current form.
Defendant's alternative motion for a more definite
statement of Plaintiff's claims is therefore denied.
in her response to Defendants' motion to dismiss, argues
that the Court should award Plaintiff reasonable
attorney's fees and costs associated with responding to
Defendants' motion, which Plaintiff argues is frivolous
and meritless. Plaintiff does not articulate the authority
under which she asks the Court to award fees and costs. To
the extent Plaintiff intends to move for sanctions under Rule
11, Plaintiff has not filed a separate motion, as required.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 11(c)(2). To the extent
Plaintiff asks the Court to rely on its inherent power to
sanction any party, see Primus Automotive Financial
Services, Inc. v. Batarse, 115 F.3d 644 (9th Cir. 1997),
Plaintiff's request is denied because the Court sees no
evidence that Defendants acted “in bad faith,
vexatiously, wantonly, or for oppressive reasons.”
motion to dismiss or for a more definite statement (ECF 12)
is DENIED, and Plaintiff's request for attorney's
fees and costs (ECF 15) is DENIED.
IS SO ORDERED.
 It is not entirely clear whether
Defendants' motion includes Plaintiff's twelfth claim
for relief. Because Defendants mention Plaintiff's
twelfth claim at least once in their motion, the Court
construes Defendant's motion as being against that claim
in addition to claims two, three, five, and six.
 To the extent Defendants also move to
dismiss Plaintiff's 12th claim, the Court presumes
Defendants also mean to argue that they cannot discern what
act or acts go to ...