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Farris v. Wilson

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


June 8, 2010

RAYMOND L. FARRIS ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
CLARENCE WILSON, III, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

ORDER

On May 19, 2010, this matter was removed from state court. Also on May 19, 2010, plaintiff filed a motion to proceed in forma pauperis. However, a review of the court record reflects that plaintiff Raymond Farris has attempted to bring this action on behalf of a corporation, DVA Management Group, Inc., without benefit of counsel.

Parties are allowed "to plead and conduct their own cases personally" in all courts of the United States. 28 U.S.C. § 1654 (1994). The privilege to conduct one's own case is, however, limited to claims of that party, and that individual has no authority to appear for persons other than himself. McShane v. United States, 366 F.2d 286, 288 (9th Cir.1966).

Since a corporation cannot practice law, and can only act through the agency of natural persons, it follows that it can appear in court on its own behalf only through a licensed attorney. It cannot appear by an officer of the corporation who is not an attorney, and may not even file a complaint except by an attorney, whose authority to appear is presumed; in other words, a corporation cannot appear in propria persona.

Laskowitz v. Shellenberger, 107 F.Supp. 397 (S.D. Cal. 1952) (citation omitted). A corporation or other entity may appear only by an attorney. Local Rule 83-183(a).

Good cause appearing, Mr. Farris will be granted thirty days in which to obtain counsel and file a substitution of attorney herein. Mr. Farris is cautioned that failure to comply with this order will result in a recommendation that this action be dismissed.

Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Mr. Farris is granted thirty days in which to obtain counsel for the corporation and file a substitution of counsel herein.

20100608

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