Ways in which to ruin your case as a Pro Se Plaintiff: Pro Tip #38 (Updated)

macaca_nigra_self-portrait_custom-a8e13582c9ca6f71f5cd62815b8bb5d6ff112dc2-s300-c85Today, in real life court, Magistrate Kaymani West gave Bill Schmalfeldt what he wanted:  Granting his motion for a Second Amended Complaint.

Yesterday, on his Pro Se Away Blog, Schmalfeldt was touting how his new Second Amended Complaint was fortified with new armour since he added the Does, Roes and Poes. And because it mirrored a complaint filing by John Hoge’s attorney, this was absolutely a slam dunk case and everyone is going to pay.

Nevermind that Schmalfeldt failed miserably at remedying his own complaint, but he was warned that adding the anonymous defendants was not a good idea.  Funny, but not a good idea.

So Magistrate West admonished Schmalfeldt:

In light of your filing a Second Amended Complaint adding additional Defendants, this case is no longer in proper form. If you do not bring this case into proper form within the time permitted by this Order, this case may be dismissed for failure to prosecute and failure to comply with an order of this court under Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. [emphasis in original document]

Huh.  Why is that?

Magistrate West explains:

You name as Defendants “John Doe; Peter Poe; Randy Roe; Jane Doe; Polly Poe, and Rhonda Roe,” all generic names for what appear to be several un-named and un-identified persons. Although a litigant may bring suit against an unknown person, the Second Amended Complaint fails to provide specific information to identify any particular incidents involving the unknown persons, and, thus, possibly providing identifying information. [emphasis added]

I guess the Magistrate disagrees with Schmafeldt’s earlier contention.  Maybe she didn’t read his blog for his legal reasoning.  Perhaps she didn’t have a copy of Hoge’s Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Now he’s going to go full on stupid.  Instead of actually reading and understanding what he did wrong, he decided to deride the Judge:

I did get a bit of a butt-chewing from hizzoner about what was called my lack of a “Certificate of Service” on my Motion to Amend.  There was a certificate of service, but I guess it was in an incorrect format for this district.

He thinks that was the problem?  Huh.  Ask him, “Bill, can you be any more stupid?  He says, “Here, hold my beer”:

Also, I’m supposed to either name and locate the Doe Defendants or risk having them dismissed. I save everyone the trouble by offering a motion to dismiss them myself, subsequent to permissive joinder when they are identified.

Of course, the order says this:

Until such time as all Defendants have appeared in this case, the Clerk of Court shall not accept and file any document from Plaintiff that does not contain a certificate of service showing that Plaintiff served the document on the Defendants who have not appeared in the case.


Gee, wonder what will happen next?

Update:  It seems as though Schmalfeldt believes this is going to be a simple fix..

Or… I can voluntarily dismiss the Doe Defendants, thereby solving the problem. Hoge’s unfortunate attorney has the motion already. The court will have it tomorrow. The other defendants will get theirs in the mail. But as soon as the court has it and dockets it — the case is once again in proper form.

I foresee the Clerk going..


6 thoughts on “Ways in which to ruin your case as a Pro Se Plaintiff: Pro Tip #38 (Updated)

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