Hamilton v. Alma Placer Mine et al
ORDER Directing Plaintiffs to Cure Deficiencies, by Magistrate Judge Gordon P. Gallagher on 1/13/2015. (slibi, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Civil Action No. 15-cv-00072-GPG
(The above civil action number must appear on all future papers
sent to the court in this action. Failure to include this number
may result in a delay in the consideration of your claims.)
THE WATERSHED OF THE MIDDLE FORK OF THE SOUTH PLATTE RIVER, Park
THE SOUTH PARK COALITION, a Non-Profit Corporation, and
RICHARD HAMILTON, Registered Agent of the South Park Coalition,
ALMA PLACER MINE, and
JIM MURRAY, High Mountain Mining Company,
ORDER DIRECTING PLAINTIFFS TO CURE DEFICIENCIES
Plaintiffs have filed pro se a Complaint (ECF No. 1) pursuant to the citizen suit
provision of the Clean Water Act (CWA), 33 U.S.C. § 1365. The Complaint, which is
signed only be Plaintiff Hamilton, asserts that Defendants have discharged pollutants
into waters of the United States without a National Discharge Pollutant Elimination
System Permit, in violation of § 301(a) of the CWA, 33 U.S.C. § 1311(a). Plaintiff
Hamilton has also submitted an Application to Proceed in District Court W ithout
Prepaying Fees or Costs (ECF No. 2).
Plaintiffs, The Watershed of the Middle Fork of the South Platte River and the
South Park Coalition, are artificial entities that can act only through agents. Entities that
can act only through agents, may not proceed pro se in the federal court. See Rowland
v. California Men's Colony, 506 U.S. 194, 202 (1993) (stating that for “all artificial
entities,” the artificial entity “may appear in the federal courts only through licensed
counsel”); see also Harrison v. Wahatoyas, LLC, 253 F.3d 552, 556 (10th Cir. 2001)
(“As a general matter, a corporation or other business entity can only appear in court
through an attorney and not through a non-attorney corporate officer appearing pro
se.”). Further, although 28 U.S.C. § 1654 provides “[i]n all courts of the United States
the parties may plead and conduct their own cases personally or by counsel,” this
provision does not allow unlicensed laypeople to represent anyone but themselves.
Eagle Associates v. Bank of Montreal, 926 F.2d 1305, 1308 (2d Cir. 1991). Mr.
Hamilton does not allege that he is an attorney at law, nor is he admitted to practice
before this Court. Therefore, he cannot appear on behalf of the entity Plaintiffs in this
action. Accordingly, The Watershed of the Middle Fork of the South Platte River and
the South Park Coalition will be ordered to retain counsel or will be dismissed as parties
to this action.
Furthermore, the entity Plaintiffs may not proceed under the federal the in forma
pauperis statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Only a natural person may qualify for in forma
pauperis treatment. Rowland, 506 U.S. at 201-02. Therefore, the entity Plaintiffs will
be directed to pay the full $400.00 filing fee or they will be dismissed as parties to this
action. Accordingly, it is
ORDERED that Plaintiffs, The Watershed of the Middle Fork of the South Platte
River and the South Park Coalition, shall retain counsel within thirty (30) days from
the date of this order or the entity Plaintiffs will be dismissed as parties to this action.
FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiffs The Watershed of the Middle Fork of the
South Platte River and the South Park Coalition shall pay the full $400.00 filing fee
within thirty (30) days from the date of this order or the entity Plaintiffs will be
dismissed as parties to this action. It is
FURTHER ORDERED that, if the Plaintiffs fail to cure the designated
deficiencies within thirty (30) days from the date of this order, the Complaint and
this action will be dismissed without further notice. The dismissal shall be without
DATED January 13, 2015, at Denver, Colorado.
BY THE COURT:
s/ Gordon P. Gallagher
United States Magistrate Judge
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