UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
January 18, 2012
SCOTT N. JOHNSON,
CJS VENTURES INC., INDIVIDUALLY AND D/B/A BROTHERS BAR & GRILL; CLINTON J. SCHUE, DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Morrison C. England, Jr. United States District Judge
This is an action brought by Plaintiff pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101, et seq. as well as California Civil Code §§ 51 and 52. Plaintiff, who alleges he has quadriplegia and is confined to a wheelchair, claims he encountered various access and architectural barriers when attempting to visit the business operated by Defendants.
Presently before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion to Strike the Answer filed on behalf of Defendant CJS Ventures, Inc. on or about August 16, 2010 (ECF No. 6). While that answer is in the form of a letter to the Court from Defendant Clinton Schue responding to Plaintiff's allegations, it was construed by the Clerk of Court as an answer both on behalf of Schue and his business, Defendant CJS Ventures, Inc. Plaintiff now moves to strike that answer with respect to CJS Ventures, Inc. on grounds that a corporation like CJS can only make an appearance in federal court through licensed counsel. Plaintiff accordingly argues that the answer on CJS' behalf must be stricken because neither Defendant Schue nor CJS has filed any opposition to Plaintiff's motion.
It is clear that Clinton Schue cannot represent the corporation in pro se, as he purports to do in his August 16, 2010 response. Defendant Schue's attempt in that regard violates the clear provisions of Local Rule 183(a), which states unequivocally that "[a] corporation or other entity may appear only by an attorney." E.D. Local Rule 183(a); see also Rowland v. California Men's Colony, 506 U.S. 194, 201-202 (1993) (artificial entities like corporations, partnerships and associations may appear in federal court only through licensed counsel). Consequently, the document filed by Clinton Schue on August 16, 2010 must be stricken insofar as it attempts to answer on behalf of Defendant CJS Ventures, Inc. or to assert any claims on the corporation's behalf.
Plaintiff's Motion to Strike the Answer Against Defendant CJS Ventures, Inc (ECF No. 23) is accordingly GRANTED.*fn1 Said answer is hereby stricken to the extent it purports to respond to Plaintiff's complaint on behalf of Defendant CJS Ventures, Inc.
IT IS SO ORDERED.