Motion for More Definite Statement – to request that the court require an opponent to amend a vague or ambiguous pleading to which the party cannot reasonably be required to respond

Motion for More Definite Statement:

(1904) A party’s request that the court require an opponent to amend a vague or ambiguous pleading to which the party cannot reasonably be required to respond. Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(c).  Also termed motion for a more definite statement.” [1]

     Excerpt from Charles Alan Wright’s The Law of Federal Courts (5th ed. 1994):

     “Another disfavored motion is the motion for a more
definite statement. By a 1948 amendment to the rules, the old bill of particulars was abolished.  The motion for more definite statement, which serves much the same function, is to be granted only where a pleading to which a responsive pleading is permitted is so vague or ambiguous that the party cannot reasonably be required to frame a responsive pleading.  If the pleading is sufficiently definite that the opponent can reply to it, the motion for more definite statement should be denied and
any particulars that the opponent needs to prepare for trial obtained by depositions, interrogatories, & similar discovery procedures. The motion is never proper where no responsive pleading is permitted, nor should it be used to force the plaintiff to include additional particulars that may make the complaint vulnerable to a motion to dismiss.” [2]

References:

[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black & Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-62130-6

[2]: Charles Alan Wright, The Law of Federal Courts 5 66, at 461«~62 (5th ed. 1994)

 

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