Concrete Jungle, LLC et al v. ICON Commercial Lending, Inc. et al
ORDER Requiring Defendant Icon Commercial Lending to Secure Counsel and Order for Randall J. Farr, ICON Commercial Lending, Inc., Brent Watson to Show Cause why the Answer Should Not be Stricken and Why a Default Judgment Should Not be Entered Against Them. (Show Cause Response due by 5/12/2017) - Signed by Magistrate Judge Mona K. Majzoub. (LBar)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
CONCRETE JUNGLE, LLC and
GREAT EXPECTATIONS, LLC,
CIVIL ACTION NO. 16-cv-14114
DISTRICT JUDGE NANCY G. EDMUNDS
ICON COMMERCIAL LENDING,
INC., RANDALL J. FARR, and
MAGISTRATE JUDGE MONA K. MAJZOUB
ORDER REQUIRING DEFENDANT ICON COMMERCIAL LENDING, INC. TO
SECURE COUNSEL AND REQUIRING DEFENDANTS TO SHOW CAUSE WHY THE
ANSWER SHOULD NOT BE STRICKEN AND WHY A DEFAULT JUDGMENT
SHOULD NOT BE ENTERED AGAINST THEM
Plaintiffs Concrete Jungle, LLC and Great Expectations, LLC filed this action on
November 21, 2016, alleging claims of breach of contract, fraud, and negligent misrepresentation
against Defendants ICON Commercial Lending, Inc. (ICON), Randall J. Farr, and Brent Watson.
(Docket no. 1.) On or about November 28, 2016, Defendants waived service of a summons and
the Complaint, and agreed to file an answer or response to the Complaint by January 27, 2017.
(Docket nos. 5-7.) On January 30, 2017 and January 31, 2017, Plaintiffs’ counsel filed affidavits
requesting entries of default against Defendants under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55(a) for
failure to plead and defend, and a hearing on the amount of a default judgment under Rule
55(b)(2). (Docket nos. 8 and 10.) A Clerk’s Entry of Default was entered against Defendants
Farr and Watson on January 30, 2017, and against Defendant ICON on January 31, 2017.
(Docket nos. 9 and 11.) Defendants’ Answer to Plaintiffs’ Complaint was filed with the court on
February 1, 2017.1 (Docket no. 12.) The Answer was signed by Defendant Farr, only, on behalf
of all Defendants. (Id. at 9.) Plaintiffs subsequently filed a Motion for Default Judgment and to
Strike the Answer on February 28, 2017, which is currently pending before the court. (Docket
no. 14.) Counsel has not appeared in this matter on behalf of Defendants, and Defendants have
not responded to Plaintiffs’ Motion. This matter has been referred to the undersigned for all
pretrial proceedings. (Docket no. 13.)
Under 28 U.S.C. § 1654, “[i]n all courts of the United States the parties may plead and
conduct their own cases personally or by counsel as, by the rules of such courts, respectively, are
permitted to manage and conduct causes therein.” But 28 U.S.C. § 1654 “does not allow
corporations, partnerships, or associations to appear in federal court otherwise than through a
licensed attorney.” Rowland v. California Men’s Colony, Unit II Men’s Advisory Council, 506
U.S. 194, 202 (1993). “In addition, 28 U.S.C. § 1654 precludes a non-attorney from representing
another.” Hui Yu v. U.S. Dep’t of Homeland Sec., 568 F. Supp. 2d 231, 234 (D. Conn. 2008).
Correspondingly, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11 provides that “[e]very pleading, written
motion, and other paper must be signed by at least one attorney of record in the attorney’s name
– or by a party personally if the party is unrepresented.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 11(a).
Defendant Farr does not state that he is an attorney. Consequently, he cannot represent
and/or sign pleadings on behalf of corporate Defendant ICON or individual Defendant Watson in
this matter. The Court will therefore order Defendant ICON to retain counsel to represent its
interests in this litigation. If an attorney does not file an appearance in this matter on behalf of
Defendant ICON by May 12, 2017, the Court may recommend the entry of a default judgment
against Defendant ICON for its failure to secure counsel. See Barnett v. A S & I, LLC, No. 3:13-
The proof of service and the mailing envelope accompanying the Answer indicate that the Answer was mailed to
Plaintiffs’ counsel and the court on January 25, 2017. (See docket no. 12 at 9-10, 11.)
cv-2464-BN, 2014 WL 1641905, at *1 (N.D. Tex. Apr. 24, 2014) (noting that “courts have found
default judgment to be the appropriate remedy when a corporation fails, after court warning, to
Additionally, Eastern District of Michigan Local Rule 7.1 provides that responses to
dispositive motions are due within twenty-one days of service of the motion. E.D. Mich. LR
7.1(e)(1)(B). Plaintiffs’ Motion for Default Judgment is a dispositive motion. E.D. Mich. LR
7.1(e)(1)(A); see Callier v. Gray, 167 F.3d 977, 981 (6th Cir. 1999). Accordingly, Defendants’
responses to the Motion for Default Judgment were due on or about March 21, 2017, but none
have been filed. At this juncture, Plaintiffs’ Motion stands unopposed. Nevertheless, in light of
the Court’s findings herein, the Court will order Defendant ICON, through counsel, and
Defendants Farr and Watson to show cause in writing on or before May 12, 2017, why they have
failed to file a valid answer to the Complaint and why they have failed to respond to Plaintiffs’
Motion for Default Judgment and to Strike Answer.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Defendant ICON will retain licensed counsel,
who will file an appearance on the party’s respective behalf, on or before May 12, 2017.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that on or before May 12, 2017, Defendant ICON,
through counsel, and Defendants Farr and Watson will show cause and plainly set forth in
writing the reasons why Defendants have failed to file a valid answer to the Complaint and have
failed to respond to Plaintiffs’ February 28, 2017 Motion for Default Judgment and to Strike
Failure to respond to this Order to Show Cause may result in the Answer being
stricken and/or an entry of default judgment in favor of Plaintiffs and against Defendants
ICON Commercial Lending, Inc., Randall J. Farr, and Brent Watson.
NOTICE TO THE PARTIES
Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(a), the parties have a period of fourteen
days from the date of this Order within which to file any written appeal to the District Judge as
may be permissible under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
Dated: April 4, 2017
s/ Mona K. Majzoub
MONA K. MAJZOUB
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
PROOF OF SERVICE
I hereby certify that a copy of this Order was served upon Defendants and counsel of
record on this date.
Dated: April 4, 2017
s/ Lisa C. Bartlett
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