United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
NATHANIEL M. GORTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
case involves claims brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983 by Tajuan Holloman (“plaintiff”), a pro
se litigant, against 26 defendants. Pending before the
Court are 1) defendants' motion to dismiss pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) brought by 14 Department of Correction
(“DOC”) defendants and 2) a motion to strike
affidavits attached in support of plaintiff's opposition
to that motion. For the following reasons, the motions will
Holloman is an inmate currently incarcerated at the
Massachusetts Correctional Institution in Shirley,
Massachusetts (“MCI-Shirley”). Holloman's
claims arise from alleged misconduct while he was a pretrial
detainee at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution in
Concord, Massachusetts (“MCI- Concord”) and,
later, at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center
(“SBCC”) in Shirley, Massachusetts.
2016, 14 of the defendants, namely, Harold Clarke
(“Clarke”), James Bender (“Bender”),
Lois Russo (Russo”), John Brodbeck
(“Brodbeck”), Jorma Maenpaa
(“Maenpaa”), Brian McDonald
(“MacDonald”), Sergeant Fasoli
(“Fasoli”), Michael Rodrigues
(“Rodrigues”), Gregory Bedard
(“Bedard”), James Thornton
(“Thornton”), Shelley Williams
(“Williams”), Anthony Mendosa
(“Mendosa”), Luis Spencer (“Spencer”)
and Thomas Fedel (“Fedel”) (collectively
“defendants”), filed a motion to dismiss the
claims against them for failure to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted. They also filed a motion, along with
their co-defendants, to strike affidavits attached in support
of plaintiff's opposition to their motion to dismiss.
These motions are the subject matter of this memorandum.
facts underlying this case were summarized extensively in
prior orders of this Court and will not be repeated here.
Instead, the Court will assume familiarity with that record
and will incorporate and/or supplement additional facts where
Motion to Strike Affidavits Attached in Support of
Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendant's Motion to
motion to strike affidavits in whole or in part is governed
by Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(f). Rule 12(f) allows the court to
“strike from a pleading . . . any redundant,
immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter.” Motions
brought under Rule 12(f) are disfavored and seldom
“granted without a showing of prejudice to the moving
party.” Sheffield v. City of Boston, No.
15-14174, 2016 WL 6496432, at *1 (D. Mass. Oct. 28, 2016).
faced with “repetitious and unnecessary pleadings,
” however, courts have “considerable
discretion” to allow 12(f) motions. Zurich Am. Ins.
Co. v. Watts Regulator Co., 796 F.Supp.2d 240, 246 (D.
Mass. 2011) (quoting In re Feeley, 393 B.R. 43
(Bankr. D. Mass. 2008)). Rule 12(f) may be applied to
affidavits in support of pleadings when confronted with a
motion to dismiss. Gauthier v. United States, No.
4:10-40116, 2011 WL 3902770, at *11 (D. Mass. Sept. 2, 2011)
(citing Pigford v. Veneman, 225 F.R.D. 54, 58 n.8
courts may strike pleadings that include inadmissible hearsay
or lack of personal knowledge under Rule 12(f). See
Brookfield Mach., Inc. v. Calbrit Design, 929 F.Supp.
491, 496-97 (D. Mass. 1996) (allowing, in part, motion to
strike portions of affidavits that constituted hearsay and
contained information of which the affiant had no personal
submitted his own affidavit and five affidavits of fellow
inmates in support of his opposition to the motion of the 14
DOC defendants to dismiss. In response, defendants moved to
strike 1) the affidavits of the five inmates in their
entirety and 2) the portion of plaintiff's affidavit
discussing his claimed mental illness because those
affidavits contain hearsay and are not based upon the
affiants' personal knowledge. That motion is unopposed.
affidavits are considered part of the pleadings and thus Rule
12(f) applies. See Gauthier, 2011 WL 3902770, at
*11. Plaintiff properly alleges in his complaint the
purported harms, mental illness and legal assistance
described in the affidavits. Therefore, the affidavits of the
five inmates as well as the portion of plaintiff's
affidavit discussing his claimed mental illness, are
redundant within the meaning of Rule 12(f). For that reason
and because the motion is unopposed, the affidavits will be
stricken. See Sheffield, 2016 WL 6496432, at *2-3.
Motion to Dismiss
survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim
under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), a complaint must contain
“sufficient factual matter” to state a claim for
relief that is actionable as a matter of law and
“plausible on its face.” Ashcroft
v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 667 (2009) (quoting
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim is facially plausible if,
after accepting as true all non-conclusory factual
allegations, the court can draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.
Ocasio Hernandez v. Fortuno
Burset, 640 F.3d 1, 12 (1st Cir. 2011). A court may not
disregard properly pled factual allegations even if actual
proof of those facts is improbable. Id. Rather, the
relevant inquiry focuses on the reasonableness of the
inference of liability that the plaintiff is asking the court
to draw. Id. at 13.
rendering that determination, a court may not look beyond the
facts alleged in the complaint, documents incorporated by
reference therein and facts susceptible to judicial notice.
Haley v. City of Boston, 657 F.3d
39, 46 (1st Cir. 2011); Alt. Energy, Inc.
v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 267
F.3d 30, 33-34 (1st Cir. 2001) (excluding opposition
memorandum and supporting materials unless they are
undisputed by the parties or the motion is converted to