Robinson v. Jewell

Filing 6

FINDINGS and RECOMMENDATIONS Dismissing the Action Without Prejudice, signed by Magistrate Judge Jennifer L. Thurston on 3/9/2017. Referred to District Judge Anthony W. Ishii. Objections to F&R due within 14 days. (Hall, S)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 KAWAIISU TRIBE OF TEJON and DAVID ) LAUGHING HORSE ROBINSON, ) ) Plaintiff, ) ) v. ) ) SALLY JEWELL, in her official capacity as ) Secretary of the United States Department of ) the Interior, ) ) Defendant. ) ) Case No.: 1:16-cv-01939 - AWI - JLT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS DISMISSING THE ACTION WITHOUT PREJUDICE David Laughing Horse Robinson seeks to proceed pro se in this action, asserting he is the 19 Chairman of the non-federally recognized Kawaiisu Tribe of Tejon (“the Tribe”). As the chairman, 20 Plaintiff seems to seek to represent the Kawaiisu Tribe of Tejon as an additional plaintiff in the action. 21 However, the only remedy sought in the action is on behalf of the Tribe, which seeks to “void[] the 22 reaffirmation of the Tejon Tribe, including [its] appurtenant rights to land.” (See Doc. 1 at 20) 23 Significantly, David Laughing Horse Robinson fails to allege facts demonstrating he has 24 standing to raise this claim. In addition, Plaintiff cannot bring claims on behalf of the Tribe while 25 proceeding pro se in this action. The Ninth Circuit determined the right to represent oneself does not 26 extend to representation of others. Simon v. Hartford Life, Inc., 546 F.3d 661, 664 (9th Cir. 2008); see 27 also Russell v. United States, 308 F.2d 78, 79 (9th Cir. 1962) (“A litigant appearing in propria persona 28 has no authority to represent anyone other than himself”). 1 1 The Court ordered David Laughing Horse Robinson to show cause in writing why the action 2 should not be dismissed for lack of standing on January 30, 2017. (Doc. 4) The Court granted his 3 request for an extension of time to respond. (Doc. 5) Accordingly, he was to file a response to the 4 Court’s order no later than March 5, 2017. (Id.) However, to date, he has not done so. 5 Importantly, as the Court previously informed David Laughing Horse Robinson, “[a] 6 corporation may appear in federal court only through licensed counsel.” United States v. High 7 Country Broad. Co., 3 F.3d 1244, 1245 (9th Cir. 1993); see also D-Beam Ltd. P'ship v. Roller Derby 8 Skates, Inc., 366 F.3d 972, 973-74 (9th Cir. 2004) (“It is a longstanding rule that [c]orporations and 9 other unincorporated associations must appear in court through an attorney”). As explained the 10 Supreme Court, the rationale for a rule requiring corporations to appear in federal court through an 11 attorney “applies equally to all artificial entities.” Rowland v. Cal. Men’s Colony, Unit II Men's 12 Advisory Council, 506 U.S. 194, 202 (1993). Consequently, this Court and others have determined the 13 “[t]he rationale for this rule applies equally to an Indian tribe.” Burley v. San Joaquin County Sheriff’s 14 Office, 2010 WL 2574024 at *1 (E.D. Cal. June 2010); see also See New Jersey Sand Hill Band of 15 Lenape & Cherokee Indians v. California, 2009 WL 3488683, at *1 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 26, 2009) 16 (evaluating only the claims brought by an individual plaintiff and declining to evaluating the tribe’s 17 claims, in accordance with a local rule that precluded a pro se party from appearing on behalf of an 18 entity). Thus, David Laughing Horse Robinson is unable to represent the claims of the Kawaiisu Tribe 19 of Tejon in this action. 20 Accordingly, the Court RECOMMENDS: 21 1. The action be DISMISSED without prejudice for lack of standing; and 22 2. The Clerk of Court be DIRECTED to close the matter. 23 These Findings and Recommendations are submitted to the United States District Judge 24 assigned to the case, pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Rule 304 of the Local 25 Rules of Practice for the United States District Court, Eastern District of California. Within fourteen 26 days of the date of service of these Findings and Recommendations, any party may file written 27 objections with the court. Such a document should be captioned “Objections to Magistrate Judge’s 28 Findings and Recommendations.” The parties are advised that failure to file objections within the 2 1 specified time may waive the right to appeal the District Court’s order. Martinez v. Ylst, 951 F.2d 2 1153 (9th Cir. 1991); Wilkerson v. Wheeler, 772 F.3d 834, 834 (9th Cir. 2014). 3 4 5 6 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: March 9, 2017 /s/ Jennifer L. Thurston UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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