United States District Court, D. Oregon, Eugene Division
OPINION AND ORDER
Aiken, United States District Judge.
civil rights action, plaintiff asserts four claims against
all defendants: (1) a § 1983 claim for retaliation for
engaging in protected speech, (2) a § 1983 claim for
retaliation for complaining about racial profiling; (3) a
§ 1981 claim for racial profiling; and (4) a state law
claim for whistleblower retaliation under ORS 659A.199 and
ORS 659A.203. Plaintiff also alleges a fifth state law claim
against the State of Oregon for retaliation for opposing
discrimination under ORS 659A.030(1)(f).
defendants move to strike allegations in the Amended
Complaint. (Doc. 13).
may strike from a pleading "any redundant, immaterial,
impertinent, or scandalous matter." Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(f).
The purpose of a Rule 12(f) motion is to avoid spending time
and money litigating spurious issues. Whittlestone, Inc.
v. Handi-Craft Co., 618 F.3d 970, 973 (9th Cir. 2010);
see also Fantasy, Inc. v. Fogerty, 984 F, 2d 1524,
1527 (9th Cir. 1993), rev'd on other grounds,
510 U.S. 517 (1994). However, courts may not resolve disputed
and substantial factual or legal issues in deciding a motion
to strike. Whittlestone, Inc., 618 F.3d at 973.
Unlike a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b), a Rule 12(f)
motion does not test the sufficiency of the complaint.
Id. The disposition of a motion to strike is within
the discretion of the district court. See Fed. Sav. &
Loan Ins. Corp. v. Gemini Mgmt., 921 F.2d 241, 244 (9th
Cir. 1990). "Motions to strike are disfavored and
infrequently granted." Legal Aid Servs. of Oregon u.
Legal Servs. Corp., 561 F.Supp.2d 1187, 1189 (D. Or.
2008); see also Capella Photonics, Inc. v. Cisco Sys.,
Inc., 77 F.Supp.3d 850, 858 (N.D. Cal. 2014)
("Motions to strike are regarded with disfavor because
of the limited importance of pleadings in federal practice
and because they are often used solely to delay
proceedings." (quotation marks and alterations
move to strike 29 of the 87 paragraphs in the Amended
Complaint as immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous.
first argue that all 29 paragraphs are immaterial and
impertinent. An "immaterial" matter is "that
which has no essential or important relationship to the claim
for relief or the defenses being pleaded." Fantasy,
Inc. v, Fogerty, 984 F, 2d 1524, 1527 (9th Cir. 1993).
"Impertinent" matters are those "that do not
pertain, and are not necessary, to the issues in
question." Id., Such pleadings are legally
insufficient because they clearly lack merit "under any
set of facts the defendant might allege." Polk v.
Legal Recovery Law Offices, 291 F.R.D. 485, 489 (S.D.
Cal, 2013) (citation and quotation marks omitted). "A
motion to strike should not be granted unless it is clear
that the matter to be stricken could have no possible bearing
on the subject matter of the litigation." Contreras,
ex rel Contreras v. County of Glen, 725 F.Supp.2d 1157,
1159 (ED. Cal. 2010).
the Court cannot say that the allegations in these paragraphs
could have no possible bearing on the subject matter of the
litigation. Indeed, although they are long and include detail
that might not be necessary to satisfy the pleading
standards, they appear to relate to plaintiffs claims and the
issues in this case. They provide context for plaintiffs
allegations of retaliation and racial discrimination.
also argue that paragraphs 11-13, 17(c), 19, 21, are
unnecessarily scandalous. A matter is scandalous if it
"unnecessarily reflects on the moral character of an
individual or states anything in repulsive language that
detracts from the dignity of the court." 2 Moore's
Federal Practice § 12.37 (Bender 3d eel). Courts have
stricken allegations as scandalous when "they improperly
cast a derogatory light on an individual not properly a party
to this lawsuit." Naharaja v. Wray, No.
3:13-cv-01261-HZ, 2014 WL 4808870, at *2 (D. Or. Aug. 6,
2014). Here, the allegations in these paragraphs do not use
repulsive language. Although, the allegations relate to
individuals who are not parties to the action and may reflect
negatively on those individuals' character, the Court
cannot say that they do so "unnecessarily," because
the allegations are not immaterial or impertinent. Instead,
many address events that contributed to the complaints that
plaintiff alleges that he was retaliated against for making.
the Court declines to exercise its discretion to strike the
paragraphs in the Amended Complaint.
reasons stated above, defendants' Motion to Strike ...