IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
August 8, 2012
STEVEN G. DUNMORE, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
JEREMY A. DUNMORE, ET AL., DEFENDANT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gregory G. Hollows United States Magistrate Judge
Defendants Canyon Falls Group LLC and Anthony Garcia have filed proposed substitutions of counsel, seeking to substitute themselves in pro se in place of counsel Eric Jeppson. (Dkt. nos. 47, 48.) Defendant Lynda Treman has filed a similar request for substitution of counsel, seeking to substitute herself in place of counsel Douglas Roeca. (Dkt. no. 54.) Both defendant Canyon Falls Group LLC, through its managing member and co-defendant Garcia, defendant Garcia in pro per, and their attorney have consented to the substitution. Plaintiff has filed objections to the substitutions of Garcia and Canyon Falls Group LLC. (Dkt. no. 52.) Defendant Tremain has separately consented to the substitution. Individual defendants Garcia and Tremain will be permitted to substitute into the case in pro per.
"A corporation or other entity may appear only by an attorney." Local Rule 183(a). Unlicensed laypersons, including the owners of companies, officers of a corporation, partners of a partnership, and members of an association may not represent their entities "pro se." Rowland v. California Men's Colony, 506 U.S. 194, 201-02 (1993) ("It has been the law for the better part of two centuries . . . that a corporation may appear in the federal courts only through licensed counsel. . . . [T]hat rule applies equally to all artificial entities."); United States v. High Country Broadcasting Co., Inc., 3 F.3d 1244, 1245 (9th Cir. 1993) (affirming district court's entry of default judgment against the corporation when the corporation failed to retain counsel for the duration of the litigation and attempted to proceed through its unlicensed president and sole shareholder).
Although counsel may be permitted to withdraw from representation of a corporate entity, that corporate entity may thereafter appear only by legal counsel. Therefore, the proposed substitution of defendant Canyon Falls Group LLC in place of attorney Jeppson will not be signed. Counsel may file a motion to withdraw as counsel in accordance with E. D. Local Rules 182(d) and 183(a).
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that:
1. Defendant Canyon Falls Group LLC's proposed substitution of attorney, filed July 19, 2012, (dkt. no. 47), is stricken.
2. Defendant Garcia's proposed substitution of attorney, filed July 19, 2012, (dkt. no. 48), is approved. Defendant Garcia is substituted in pro per.
3. Defendant Tremain's proposed substitution of attorney, filed July 25, 2012, (dkt. no. 54), is approved. Defendant Tremain is substituted in pro per.
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