The opinion of the court was delivered by: Present: The Honorable R. Gary Klausner, United States District Judge
S. Williams (Not Present) Not Reported N/A
Deputy Clerk Court Reporter / Recorder Tape No.
Attorneys Present for Plaintiffs: Attorneys Present for Defendants:
Proceedings: (IN CHAMBERS) Order to Show Cause Re: Plaintiff's Legal Status and Capacity to Sue or Defend
On June 25, 2012, K.S. Choi, d/b/a K.S. Corporation ("Plaintiff") filed a Complaint against Dong Bang Acupuncture, Inc. ("Dong Bang"), Kunsik Kim ("Kim"), Lhasa OMS, Inc. ("Lhasa"), Matthew Pike ("Pike"), and Does 1-10, inclusive for (1) breach of written contract, (2) unjust enrichment, and (3) injunction in California Superior Court. Defendants successfully removed this action to this Court.
Plaintiff appeared in this action pro se on behalf of K.S. Choi, d/b/a Corporation. It is unclear from the Complaint and Notice of Removal (DE 1) whether Plaintiff named as "K.S. Choi, d/b/a K.S. Corporation" is an individual or a corporation as defined in Local Rule 83-2.10.1. This distinction is important, because an individual may appear in an action pro se pursuant to Local Rule 83-2.10.2; however, a corporation as defined in Local Rule 83-2.10.1 may not appearpro se in an action.
Local Rule 83-2.10.1 provides: "A corporation including a limited liability corporation, a partnership including a limited liability partnership, an unincorporated association, or a trust may not appear in any action or proceeding pro se." As such, a corporation as defined in Local Rule 83-2.10.1must be represented by counsel when appearing in any action or proceeding.
It is unclear from the Complaint or Notice of Removal what Plaintiff's legal status is and whether Plaintiff, as an individual, has the capacity to appear on behalf of K.S. Choi d/b/a K.S. Corporation. In the caption of the Complaint, Plaintiff is named as "K.S. Choi d/b/a K.S. Corporation." In paragraph 1 of the Complaint, Plaintiff is named slightly differently: "K.S. Choi, d/b/a K.S. Choi Corporation and resides in the City and County of Los Angeles, State of California." Plaintiff alleges that Plaintiff and Lhasa entered into a distributorship agreement with Dong Bang. The agreement named "K.S. Choi, Corporation" exclusive distributor for the K.S. Choi d/b/a K.S. Corp. v. Dong Bang Acupuncture, Inc., et al.
"West of USA" [sic] and Lhasa exclusive distributor for the "east coast of USA" [sic]. Plaintiff alleges that Dong Bang breached this agreement. Given these examples, it is unclear whether Plaintiff seeks to represent his personal interests or the interests of a corporate entity. Further, Plaintiff has not indicated that he is licensed to practice law in California.
In light of the foregoing, Plaintiff is ORDERED to show cause whether Plaintiff as named "K.S. Choi d/b/a K.S. Corporation" or "K.S. Choi, d/b/a K.S. Choi Corporation" is an individual or a corporate entity. If Plaintiff as named is a corporation, Plaintiff is ORDERED to show cause as to whether he has the capacity to represent "K.S. Choi d/b/a K.S. Corporation" or "K.S. Choi, d/b/a K.S. Choi Corporation" pursuant to Local Rule 83-2.10.1. Plaintiff is ordered to file a written response, limited to five pages, on or before September 14, 2012.