United States District Court, M.D. Georgia, Athens Division
ORDER ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO STRIKE
ASHLEY ROYAL, SENIOR JUDGE.
the Court is Plaintiff Theresa Tuggle's Motion to Strike
the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Defenses of
Defendants' Answers. Having considered the relevant facts
and applicable law, Plaintiff's Motion [Doc. 16] is
filed her Complaint against Defendants for violations of the
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C.
§§1692 et seq. (“FDCPA”) and
Georgia's Fair Business Practices Act, O.C.G.A.
§§ 10-1-391 et seq. Both Defendant
Mamaroneck Capital and Defendant Aldridge Pite Haan, LLP
(“APH”) filed Answers and Amended Answers to the
Complaint raising, among others, five affirmative defenses
that Plaintiff now seeks for the Court to strike: waiver
(first defense); estoppel due to conduct of plaintiff or
third parties (third defense); unclean hands (fourth
defense); ratification (fifth defense); and affirmation
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(f) provides that “[t]he
court may strike from a pleading an insufficient defense or
any redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous
matter.” Motions to strike are highly disfavored by the
courts because it requires the “imposition of a drastic
remedy[.]” Such motions are typically denied
“unless the allegations [or defenses] have no possible
relation to the controversy and may cause prejudice to one of
the parties.” “Where a defense is insufficient as
a matter of law, it should be stricken to eliminate the
unnecessary delay and expense of litigating
it.” Yes, “[m]otions to strike cannot be
used to determine disputed fact questions, nor can they be
used to decide disputed and substantial questions of law,
particularly where there is no showing of prejudice to the
first argues that the Court should strike these defenses
because they fail to meet the plausibility standard set forth
in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009), and
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007).
District courts in the Eleventh Circuit differ on whether
Twombly and Iqbal apply to affirmative
defenses, and the Eleventh Circuit has not resolved the split
at this time. Indeed, only one Circuit Court, the Second
Circuit, has addressed the issue. After reviewing cases on
both sides of the issue and the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure, this Court declines to apply the
Twombly/Iqbal pleading standard to affirmative
pleading standards for defenses differ from the plausibility
standard for complaints. Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure establishes the pleading standards in federal
court. Rule 8(a) establishes what constitutes a cognizable
claim: the party seeking relief must provide (1) a
“short and plain statement of the grounds for the
court's jurisdiction, ” (2) a “short and
plain statement showing that the pleading is
entitled to relief, ” and (3) a demand for the relief
sought. The rule sets a different standard for
responding to a complaint. In responding to a
pleading, the responding party must “state in
short and plain terms its defenses to each claim asserted
against it” and “affirmatively state any
avoidance or affirmative defense.” By its plaint
text, the Rule does not require the responding party to make
a “showing”; instead, the responding party meets
minimum pleading standards by stating its defenses in short
and plain terms. “If the drafters of Rule 8 intended
for defendants to plead affirmative defenses with the factual
specificity required of complaints, they would have included
the same language requiring a ‘showing' of
‘entitle[ment] to relief in the subsections governing
answers and affirmative defenses.” “[T]he
purpose of Rule 8(c) is simply to guarantee that the opposing
party has notice of any additional issue that may be raised
at trial so that he or she is prepared to properly litigate
a defendant must answer the complaint within twenty-one days.
“unlike plaintiffs, defendant do not have the luxury of
prefiling investigations. . . . [R]equiring factual pleading
of affirmative defenses is likely to accomplish little more
than encouraging a flurry of motions to strike affirmative
next argues that the defenses are inapplicable to to the
FDCPA and therefore must be stricken. Plaintiff, however, has
failed to meet her burden showing that Defendants'
asserted defenses cannot succeed under any set of facts.
Moreover, Plaintiff has also raised Georgia Fair Business
Practices Act claims, and she fails to show the defenses are
inapplicable to those claims. Plaintiff's Motion to
Strike [Doc. 16] is DENIED.
 Otero v. Vito, No.
5:04-CV-211 (DF), 2005 WL 1429755 at *1 (M.D. Ga. June 15,
 Agan v. Katzman & Korr,
P.A., 328 F.Supp.2d 1363, 1367 (S.D. Fla. 2004)
(citation and quotation marks omitted).
Resolution Trust Corp. v.
807 F.Supp. 765, 769 (N.D.Ga. ...