Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Miller v. Wilhelm Construction

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville

May 16, 2017



          Charles R. Simpson III, Senior Judge.

         I. Introduction

         This matter is before the Court on the motion of Defendant Wilhelm Construction for a more definite statement under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(e). Mot. Definite Statement 1, ECF No. 5. Pro se Plaintiff Exzabein Miller did not respond.

         II. Miller's Complaint

         Miller's complaint consists of a two-page, single spaced paragraph that appears to describe the events that led up to and followed his termination from Wilhelm Construction. Compl. 3-4, ECF No. 1-1. At the top of the complaint are the words, “Violation of civil Rights code VII (sec 232a, b) (232.5).” Id. at 3.

         The complaint states that on November 15, 2016, Miller “exercised the protection of his and others [sic] civil rights against discrimination.” Id. at 3. It further affirms that Wilhelm Construction “sought to discourage concerted activity among workers exercising the right to protect themselves in regards to their rights that were recognized and protected according to the Fair Labor standards [sic] Act of 1938.” Id. “Smoot”-a person named in the complaint who is described alternatively as the foreman and as Miller's immediate supervisor-allegedly attempted to segregate Miller from his co-workers to “eliminate discussions about pay, unsafe, unfair and undermining work conditions.” Id.

         Miller asserts in the complaint that “Supervision” sent someone named “Quincy” to a different work site. Id. “Supervision” allegedly sent Miller to another work site. Id.

         At some unspecified time, “Quincy, Big, O and co-worker which [sic] were all African American” spoke privately to Miller about “the undermining and disenfranchising of their work quality” and about Wilhelm Construction's alleged attempts to prevent them from whistle-blowing about “the unfair treatment” and unsafe scaffolding. Id. Miller says that he sought to rectify the unsafe scaffolding. Id. Smoot then allegedly told Miller to leave the work site. Id. “Big O” tried to help Miller, but he “stayed out it [sic] in fear of losing his job.” Id.

         Having been terminated from the work site, Miller says he asked why he had been paid less than the prevailing wage. Id. In response, Smoot's superior “lied” and told Miller that Wilhelm Construction did not pay a prevailing wage, which Miller claims violates the Davis Bacon Act of 1931. Id. at 3-4. Miller then apparently tried to contact a payroll assistant to determine if his “pay was right.” Id. at 4. He alleges that the payroll assistant ignored his multiple phone calls. Id. at 4.

         Also in his complaint, Miller claims that Wilhelm Construction and a union are “in cahoots” to exercise a “closed shop for the Omni construction protect” in violation of the Taft Hartley Act of 1947 because on November 15, 2016, “another [f]oreman of Wilhelm [Construction] . . . tried to coerce [him] into joining the labors union [sic] and told [him] that if [he] didn't that he was not going to pay [him].” Id. Miller asserts that he told the other foreman that he “was another [sic] skill set of another trade and [asked] whether he would pay welder pay[, ] but he evaded the question.” Id.

         Miller also maintains that Wilhelm Construction is “only wanting to hire African Americans to benefit their interests” and is “exploiting the minorities by using pay and intimidation.” Id. Miller contends that these actions caused him “crisis” in his personal life, the loss of his electric, and ultimately his eviction from his living arrangements. Id. Miller states that he is seeking punitive damages and restitution for “lost worktime, unaccountable pay and forward dated pay for the loss of welfare due to the discrimination and retaliation and seek [sic] to be litigated speedily and in affirmative action.” Id.

         III. Discussion

         Wilhelm Construction now moves for a more definite statement under Rule 12(e). Mot. Definite Statement 1, ECF No. 5. The company asserts that the Court should grant its motion for a more definite statement because the complaint “makes references to potentially six or more federal statutes that may, or may not, represent causes of action Plaintiff intends to pursue” and that “[n]one of those potential causes of causes are made clear or delineated . . . other than a specific reference to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.” Id. Wilhelm Construction explains that the “confusing nature of the Complaint and the potential causes of action” prevent it from addressing all of the “potential deficiencies in the Complaint.” Id. at 2.

         Rule 12(e) provides that a “party may move for a more definite statement of a pleading to which a responsive pleading is allowed but which is so vague or ambiguous that the party cannot reasonably prepare a response.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(e). “[A] motion for more definite statement is designed to strike at unintelligibility rather than simple want of detail…. [It] must be denied where the subject complaint is not so vague or ambiguous as to make it unreasonable to use pretrial devices to fill any possible gaps in detail.” Midgett v. KSP Head Chaplain, No. 5:11-CV-P132-R, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132186, at *4 (W.D. Ky. Sept. 17, 2012) (alterations in original) (citing Fed. Ins. Co. v. Webne, 513 F.Supp.2d 921, 924 (N.D. Ohio 2007)) (internal quotation marks omitted). “Federal courts generally disfavor motions for more definite statements[, and i]n view of the notice pleading standards of Rule 8(a)(2) and the opportunity for extensive pretrial discovery, courts rarely grant such motions.” Id. (alteration in original). As such, a “Rule 12(e) ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.