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Ueding v. Department of Defense

U.S. District Court, District of Columbia


April 29, 1998

JOSEPH W. UEDING, PLAINTIFF, V. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Thomas F. Hogan, United States District Judge.

Defendants' motion to dismiss [# 10] GRANTED; and case DISMISSED without prejudice.

MEMORANDUM

Before the Court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss. Plaintiff Joseph W. Ueding is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis. On January 27, 1998, the Court instructed Mr. Ueding, consistent with Fox v. Strickland, 267 U.S. App. D.C. 84, 837 F.2d 507 (D.C. Cir. 1988) and Neal v. Kelly, 295 U.S. App. D.C. 350, 963 F.2d 453 (D.C. Cir. 1992), that the failure to respond to defendants' motion by February 24, 1998 could result in the Court treating the motion as conceded or, alternatively, considering the merits of the motion. Mr. Ueding has not responded to defendants' motion to dismiss nor has he sought an enlargement of time in which to respond. Having reviewed defendants' unopposed motion and plaintiff's complaint, the Court will dismiss the complaint on the ground that it fails to meet the minimum pleading requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8.

Pro se litigants are held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers. See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520, 30 L. Ed. 2d 652, 92 S. Ct. 594 (1972). Even pro se litigants, however, must comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Jarrell v. Tisch, 656 F. Supp. 237, 239 (D.D.C. 1987). Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires complaints to contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." The purpose of the minimum standard of Rule 8 is to give fair notice to the defendants of the claim being asserted sufficient to prepare a responsive answer, prepare an adequate defense and determine whether the doctrine of res judicata applies. Brown v. Califano, 75 F.R.D. 497, 498 (D.D.C. 1977). Complaints that contain only vague and conclusory accusations and no specific facts regarding the alleged wrongdoing do not allow defendants to frame an intelligent defense and are subject to dismissal. See Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 328, 104 L. Ed. 2d 338, 109 S. Ct. 1827 (1989); Best v. Kelly, 309 U.S. App. D.C. 51, 39 F.3d 328, 330-31 (D.C. Cir. 1994). As defendants state, Mr. Ueding's complaint is short, consisting of seven lines, and vague. The attachments to the complaint do little to clarify the complaint or to provide a factual basis for the relief Mr. Ueding seeks. For these reasons, the Court will dismiss the complaint without prejudice. An order in accordance with this decision accompanies this Memorandum Opinion.

April 28, 1998

Thomas F. Hogan

United States District Judge

ORDER

In accordance with the Memorandum Opinion issued herewith and for the reasons stated therein, it is this 28 day of April, 1998,

ORDERED that defendants' motion to dismiss [# 10] is GRANTED; and it is FURTHER ORDERED that this case is DISMISSED without prejudice.

Thomas F. Hogan

United States District Judge

19980429


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