In a federal civil rights lawsuit in which he represents himself, Charlie White had made the following claims:
I. Violation of his right to equal protectionThe Defendants, through the Indiana Attorney General's Office, had sought to dismiss each of the claims.
II. Malicious prosecution regarding indictment for fraud against a financial insttitudion against defendants Dowd, Sigler, R., Sigler, Sr. and Hansard
III. Intentional infliction of emotional distress against defendants Dowd, Sigler, Sr., Sigler, Jr. and Hansard
IV. Conspiracy in violation of 42 U.S.C Sec. 1986 against defendant Buckingham
V. Violation of First Amendment rights against defendant Leerkamp
VI. Conspiracy to violate 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1985 against defendants Leerkamp, Wehmueller, Dowd, Sigler, Sr., Sigler, Jr. and Hansard.
In the decision written by Judge Barker, White's official capacity claims against the defendants were dismissed with prejudice due to the 11th Amendment which prohibits suits against states in federal
|Judge Sara Evans Barker|
I should note the major effect of this decision is that it now allows White to pursue discovery against the named defendants, discovery that could prove very embarrassing and possibly even incriminating.
In ruling on the Motion to Dismiss, I would commend Judge Barker for sticking closely to the concept of notice pleading. Too often federal courts, based on a gross misinterpretation of the Supreme Court's Iqbal and Twombly cases, have concluded that notice pleading in federal court is dead. Plaintiffs are increasingly facing Rule 12(b)(6) motions to dismiss in federal court, regardless of how detailed their complaint is. The effect is that the motion to dismiss stage in federal litigation has been converted by into a second extremely expensive and drawn out summary judgment stage. Ironically, Judge Barker ends her opinion with strict instructions to White to follow the notice pleading rule of making a "short and plain statement" of his claim when he amends his complaint. As someone who practices in federal court, I wish that were enough but too often it isn't.