Travelers Casualty & Surety Company of America v. Diestelkamp Construction Company, Inc. et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER. (read order for details) IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's motion for default judgment as to party defendant Diestelkamp Construction Company, Inc., [# 72 ] is granted. Diestelkamp Construction Company's answe r will be stricken and a default judgment in the amount of $1,634,902.89 will be entered upon entry of Clerk's default. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of Court shall issue an entry of Clerk's Default against Diestelkamp Construction Company. IT IS FINALLY ORDERED that plaintiff's motion to withdraw its own motion for preliminary junction [# 75 ] is granted. Signed by District Judge Catherine D. Perry on 06/24/2014. (CBL)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
TRAVELERS CASUALTY AND
SURETY COMPANY OF AMERICA,
COMPANY, INC., et al.,
Case No. 4:12CV1377 CDP
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
On April 9, 2014, the court granted the motion of counsel for defendant
Diestelkamp Construction Company, Inc., to withdraw. Because a corporation
cannot represent itself in a civil action, Ackra Direct Mktg. Corp. v. Fingerhut
Corp., 86 F.3d 852, 857 (8th Cir. 1996), the court instructed Diestelkamp
Construction that the failure to retain counsel would result in sanctions, including
the entry of default and default judgment. Despite the court’s order, defendant
remains unrepresented. Plaintiff has now filed a motion for default supported by
an affidavit and documentation of damages, and the time for opposition has passed
“It has been the law for the better part of two centuries . . . that a corporation
may appear in the federal courts only through licensed counsel.” Rowland v. Cal.
Men’s Colony, Unit II Men’s Advisory Council, 506 U.S. 194, 201–02 (1993).
Defendant has not obtained new counsel and therefore is barred from defending
itself in this case. Under this circumstance, the court deems it appropriate to
exercise its inherent authority to strike defendant’s answer. See Pert 35, Inc. v.
Amari Aviation Ltd., 3:09-CV-0448 TJM/DEP, 2010 WL 1257949 (N.D.N.Y. Mar.
5, 2010) report and recommendation adopted, 09-CV-0448 TJM/DEP, 2010 WL
1257950 (N.D.N.Y. Mar. 25, 2010) (court may preclude participation by
unrepresented corporation); Liberty Mut. Ins. Co. v. Hurricane Logistics Co., 216
F.R.D. 14, 15 n.3 (D.D.C. 2003) (if corporate defendant does not retain counsel,
court may strike answer). When the answer is stricken, default may be entered.
Sec. & Exch. Comm’n v. Research Automation Corp., 521 F.2d 585, 589 (2d Cir.
1975) (where corporation repeatedly fails to appear by counsel, a default judgment
may be entered against it pursuant to Rule 55).
Whether treated as a motion to strike pleadings and for entry of default or as
a motion for summary judgment, the plaintiffs have shown that they are entitled to
relief. Based on the pleadings and evidence produced by plaintiff, it has
established its right to obtain a default judgment in the amount of $1,634,902.89.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff’s motion for default judgment as
to party defendant Diestelkamp Construction Company, Inc., [# 72] is granted.
Diestelkamp Construction Company’s answer will be stricken and a default
judgment in the amount of $1,634,902.89 will be entered upon entry of Clerk’s
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of Court shall issue an entry
of Clerk’s Default against Diestelkamp Construction Company.
IT IS FINALLY ORDERED that plaintiff’s motion to withdraw its own
motion for preliminary junction [# 75] is granted.
CATHERINE D. PERRY
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated this 24th day of June, 2014.
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