What Is a Shotgun Pleading – A Brief Note from Florida Law

A shotgun pleading is a lawsuit complaint that does not provide sufficient clarity as to the particular and necessary details of the case—it shoots an indiscriminate spray of imprecise information that disables the recipient from being able to respond.

There are four rough categories of shotgun pleadings: (1) a complaint containing multiple counts where each count adopts the allegations of the preceding counts; (2) a complaint that is replete with conclusory, vague, and immaterial facts not obviously connected to any particular cause of action; (3) a complaint that does not separate each cause of action or claim for relief; and (4) a complaint asserting multiple claims against multiple defendants without specifying which of the defendants are responsible for which acts or omissions. Vibe Micro, Inc. v. Shabanets, 878 F.3d 1291, 1294–95 (11th Cir. 2018) (citing Weiland v. Palm Beach Cnty. Sheriff’s Office, 792 F.3d 1313, 1321–23 (11th Cir. 2015)).

 “Courts in the Eleventh Circuit have little tolerance for shotgun pleadings.” Id. at 1295. Upon a motion to dismiss, a court must dismiss a shotgun pleading and require the plaintiff to re-file with the appropriate corrections. Id. If you have any questions about shotgun pleadings, please contact Bernhard Law Firm at www.bernhardlawfirm.com, 786-871-3349, abernhard@bernhardlawfirm.com.

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