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United States of America v. Carmon L. Cook

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


January 2, 2013

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
CARMON L. COOK, INDIVIDUALLY, AS TRUSTEE OF THE 1993 CARMON LOUISE COOK LIVING TRUST, AND AS TRUSTEE OF THE HANDS FROM THE HEART FOUNDATION; AND BRIAN E. TORRANCE, AS TRUSTEE OF THE HANDS FROM THE HEART FOUNDATION, DEFENDANTS.

ORDER

In its Complaint, the United States alleges that "Brian E. Torrance, as Trustee for the Hands from the Heart Foundation, is made a party pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 7403(b) because it may claim an interest in the property sought to be foreclosed." (Compl. ¶ 8.) Specifically, the United States seeks to foreclose on a parcel of real property that was purportedly transferred to the Hands from the Heart Foundation ("Foundation"). (Id. ¶ 14.)

Torrance, as Trustee for the Foundation, has been represented by counsel throughout these proceedings. He now seeks to substitute himself as counsel of record for the Foundation. (Docket No. 22.) Torrance does not indicate that he is an attorney, and the records of the State Bar of California do not identify him as a licensed attorney in California.

The Ninth Circuit has held that "[u]nincorporated associations, like corporations, must appear through an attorney." Church of the New Testament v. United States, 783 F.2d 771, 773-74 (9th Cir. 1986); accord In re Am. W. Airlines, 40 F.3d 1058, 1059 (9th Cir. 1994) ("Corporations and other unincorporated associations must appear in court through an attorney."); E.D. Local Rule 183(a) ("A corporation or other entity may appear only by an attorney."). As one district court has explained, "the precise legal status in [the state] of [a] Foundation is not material--whether its an organization, foundation, or non-profit corporation, it is not a natural person, but some type of organization. The rule requiring corporations to be represented by counsel extends to all non-natural persons, as its purpose is the protection of the courts and the administration of justice." Kermanj Found. v. Broward Cnty. Prop. Appraiser's Office, Civ. No. 09-61540, 2010 WL 1433174, at *2 (S.D. Fla. Apr. 9, 2010).

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that request for substitution of representation be, and the same hereby is, DENIED.

20130102

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