Payne v. Federal National Mortgage Association et al
ORDER - The plaintiff shall have to on or before November 20, 2015, to have licensed counsel enter an appearance on the estate's behalf, clarify the complaint, or show cause why the estates claims should not be dismissed. Ordered by Magistrate Judge Thomas D. Thalken. (Copy mailed to pro se party)(MKR)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEBRASKA
MICHEL PATRICK PAYNE acting as
Personal Representative of
Agnes O. Payne, deceased,
FEDERAL NATIONAL MORTGAGE
ASSOCIATION, et al.,
This matter is before the court sua sponte. The plaintiff appears to have filed this
action as the personal representative on behalf of Agnes O. Payne, deceased, or her
estate. See Filing No. 1. Legal counsel has not entered an appearance on behalf of
Mr. Payne, Mrs. Payne, or the estate.
“In 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.” 28 U.S.C. § 1654. “[U]nlicensed
individuals may not represent other parties in Federal Court under this Statute.” Turner
v. Am. Bar Ass’n, 407 F. Supp. 451, 475 (N.D. Tex. 1975) aff'd sub nom. Taylor v.
Montgomery, 539 F.2d 715 (7th Cir. 1976) and aff'd sub nom. Pilla v. Am. Bar Ass’n,
542 F.2d 56 (8th Cir. 1976). “[A] corporation may appear in the federal courts only
through licensed counsel.” Rowland v. California Men’s Colony, 506 U.S. 194, 202
(1993); Ackra Direct Mktg. Corp. v. Fingerhut Corp., 86 F.3d 852, 857 (8th Cir.
1996). “[T]he rationale for that rule applies equally to all artificial entities.” Rowland,
506 U.S. at 202. Natural persons only may petition courts themselves and appear pro
se. Id. at 203.
[B]ecause pro se means to appear for one’s self, a person
may not appear on another person’s behalf in the other’s
cause. A person must be litigating an interest personal to
him. For example, a lay person may not represent a
corporation or a partnership or appear on behalf of his or her
own minor child.
Iannaccone v. Law, 142 F.3d 553, 558 (2d Cir. 1998); see also Guest v. Hansen, 603
F.3d 15, 20 (2d Cir. 2010) (holding “an administr[ator] or execut[or] of an estate may not
proceed pro se when the estate has beneficiaries or creditors other than the litigant”).
There is no evidence in the record Mr. Payne is a licensed attorney. In the
Eighth Circuit, an entity is technically in default absent representation by licensed
counsel. Ackra Direct, 86 F.3d at 857. The court will allow the plaintiff time to secure
counsel or clarify the Complaint to state a claim on his own behalf. If the plaintiff fails to
respond to this order or obtain substitute counsel for the estate, the court may enter an
order striking claims brought on behalf of the estate.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(b).
IT IS ORDERED:
The plaintiff shall have to on or before November 20, 2015, to have licensed
counsel enter an appearance on the estate’s behalf, clarify the complaint, or show
cause why the estate’s claims should not be dismissed.
Dated this 22nd day of October, 2015.
BY THE COURT:
s/ Thomas D. Thalken
United States Magistrate Judge
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