By Minh N. Vu

The Florida federal courts may be getting tired of the boilerplate complaints filed by serial plaintiffs with dubious standing.  In Palo v. GM Esplanade, LLC et al. (Case No. 2:12-cv-00103-JES-SPC), United States District Judge John Steele dismissed a lawsuit filed by an allegedly disabled plaintiff who claimed to have visited a shopping mall, said he intended to visit the facilty again in the  near future, and listed 19 general violations at the facility.  Although the shopping mall answered the complaint and did not move to dismiss, the Court did so on its own finding that the plaintiff had failed to state “when and why” the plaintiff would visit in the future, what parts of the “facility” the plaintiff had visited, what barriers he personally encountered or will encounter in the near future, or how the barriers affected his ability to enjoy the facility.  The court ordered the case be closed if the plaintiff did not promptly file an amended complaint with this information.   

United States District Judge Roy Dalton Jr. had taken a similar approach in June in a case brought by the same plaintiff, De Palo v. CMC/Village Market Place Ltd. (Case No. 2:11-cv-683-UA-SPC).  Judge Dalton dismissed the case for lack of standing with no motion pending, commenting on the “extreme generality” of plaintiff’s “boilerplate” complaint and the lack of facts indicating the date of the plaintiff’s visit to the facility, the areas that he investigated, and when and why he would visit the facility again in the future.