S & R Grandview, LLC v. Ganer et al
ORDER GRANTING 10 Appellee's Motion to Dismiss. This appeal from the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina is now dismissed. Signed by US District Judge Terrence W. Boyle on 5/1/2014. Copy mailed to pro se plaintiff via US Mail. (Fisher, M.)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
S&R GRANDVIEW, LLC,
MAXINE GARNER and FIRST BANK,
ON APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
This cause comes before the Court on S&R Grandview's appeal of the Bankruptcy Court
for the Eastern District ofNorth Carolina's Order of October 4, 2013, granting motion dismiss
case. First Bank has moved to dismiss this appeal, and, for the reasons discussed below, First
Bank's motion to dismiss is granted.
Appellant, proceeding prose, noticed an appeal of an order of the Bankruptcy Court for
the Eastern District ofNorth Carolina dismissing its voluntary petition under Chapter 11 of the
Bankruptcy Code. The bankruptcy court found that Donald J. Rhine is not authorized under the
terms of appellant's operating agreement or under North Carolina law to file a petition on behalf
of appellant. [DE 1].
On October 16, 2013, Donald Rhine noticed an appeal of the bankruptcy court's order
dismissing the Chapter 11 petition filed on behalf of appellant. Once the appeal was properly
before this Court, appellee First Bank moved to dismiss the appeal on two grounds. First,
because appellant has appeared in this appeal without an attorney duly licensed to practice before
this Court, and second, because even if appellant had appeared through counsel, Rhine does not
have authority to act on behalf of appellant and thus cannot assert this appeal. Appellant has
failed to respond to the motion to dismiss.
A corporation may not appear pro se in federal district court or in the bankruptcy courts.
See Rowland v. Cal. Men's Colony, 506 U.S. 194, 201-02 (1993); Terry v. Sparrow, 328 B.R.
442, 446 (M.D.N.C. 2005) (prose appeal of bankruptcy order on behalf of corporation must be
dismissed). Appellant has noticed its appeal through a general manager, Donald Rhine, who
does not appear to be an attorney licensed to practice in this or any other court, and no duly
licensed counsel has filed a notice of appearance on behalf of appellant since the appeal was
filed. For this reason alone, the appeal must be dismissed.
The Court further considers appellee's second argument and finds that it also establishes
a proper basis for dismissal. In its order, the bankruptcy court found that the specific terms of
appellant's operating agreement provided that Rhine, acting purportedly on behalf of appellant as
its general manager, could not pursue a voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition. Specifically,
Rhine lacked approval of the majority of appellant's members to make decisions regarding the
disposition of assets. Appellee Garner, who is a second appointed manager of appellant, has not
consented to Rhine's actions in the bankruptcy court, nor has Rhine demonstrated that he has
approval to act as evidenced by a majority vote of greater than sixty-percent of the sharing ratio.
[DE 3 at 16; 171]; [DE 1 at 5]. Moreover, Rhine has been prohibited from acting on behalf of
appellant on his own accord by three orders of the North Carolina State Courts. [DE 3 at 176-77;
151; 152]. As Rhine has not demonstrated that any of these prior restraints on his ability to
notice an appeal of an order of the bankruptcy court on behalf of appellant have been lifted, nor
has he alleged that he has the requisite approval from a majority of appellant's members to so
act, he is without standing to notice an appeal to this Court and the action must therefore be
For the foregoing reasons, appellee's motion to dismiss [DE 10] is GRANTED and this
appeal from the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina is DISMISSED.
SO ORDERED, this _1_ day of ~72014.
RRENCE W. BOYLE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDG
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