Chicago Tile Institute Welfare Plan et al v. Central Tile Services, Co.

Filing 9

MEMORANDUM Order Signed by the Honorable Milton I. Shadur on 10/22/2012:Mailed notice(srn, )

Download PDF
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS EASTERN DIVISION CHICAGO TILE INSTITUTE WELFARE PLAN, et al., Plaintiffs, v. CENTRAL TILE SERVICES CO., et al., etc., Defendants. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) No. 12 C 7325 MEMORANDUM ORDER In this ERISA action brought by three employee benefit funds, this Court has received two one-page handprinted documents: one labeled “Answer” and the other on a printed form captioned “Proof of Service.” This memorandum order is issued sua sponte to strike the totally unsatisfactory Answer. Two defendants are named in the Complaint: dissolved corporation Central Tile Services Co. (“Central Tile”) and Christopher Jones (“Jones”), the latter assertedly sued because he is now doing business in the name of that dissolved corporation. To begin with, the purported Answer is unsigned, though it appears from the Proof of Service form that it was prepared by one “Annemarie Jones”--and of course Ms. Jones is obviously not Christopher Jones, and it is equally obvious that she is not a lawyer. As a matter of law a corporation cannot represent itself--it must appear in court through a lawyer1--and although Christopher Jones may choose to represent himself rather than through a lawyer, Annemarie Jones is not authorized to represent him either. There are a number of substantive defects in the purported Answer as well. 1. Here they are: Under Fed. R. Civ. P. (“Rule”) 8(b)(1)(B) a defendant must either admit or deny each of the plaintiffs’ allegations. 2. That has not been done here. This District Court’s LR 10.1 requires every answer to be self-contained, in the sense that the nature of each allegation of the complaint must be stated before the answer to that allegation is set out: Responsive pleadings shall be made in numbered paragraphs each corresponding to and stating a concise summary of the paragraph to which it is directed. For defendants’ information, most lawyers comply with that requirement by copying each paragraph of the complaint and following that with the answer to that paragraph. As stated earlier, the present Answer is stricken, and defendants are ordered to file an Amended Answer on or before 1 Because a corporation can be sued post-dissolution under some circumstances, that would appear to apply to the corporate defendant here. That however must be checked with a lawyer, for this Court cannot provide legal advice to the litigants before it. 2 November 2, 2012. If they fail to do so, plaintiffs may seek to obtain an order of default. Lastly, defendants are reminded that an initial status hearing has been set by this Court for 9 a.m. January 9, 2013. ________________________________________ Milton I. Shadur Senior United States District Judge Date: October 22, 2012 3

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?