Joines v. Team Carolinas
ORDER striking Deft's 7 Pro Se Answer to Complaint; and extending time for Deft to file its answer or otherwise respond to the Complaint until 11/15/2016. Deft will need to obtain counsel during this time period so that counsel can file a responsive pleading on behalf of Deft. Failure of Deft to obtain counsel and file a responsivepleading may result in entry of default being entered against Deft. Team Carolinas answer due 11/15/2016. Signed by Magistrate Judge Dennis Howell on 10/14/16. (Pro se litigant served by US Mail.)(ejb)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
BILLIE JEAN JOINES,
Plaintiff brought this case against Team Carolinas for employment
discrimination. Defendant Team Carolinas filed an answer pro se on October 7,
2016. The Answer was signed by the Franchisee and the HR Administration
representative for Team Carolinas, Inc. Both individuals appear to be representing
the corporation, but neither appears to be an attorney licensed to practice in this
Court. It is well settled that a corporation may not appear in federal court pro se.
See Rowland v. Cal. Men’s Colony, Unit II Men’s Advisory Council, 506 U.S.
194, 201-02, 113 S. Ct. 716 (1993) (“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.”); MR Crescent City, LLC v. TJ Biscayne Holdings LLC, 515 F.
App’x 198 (4th Cir. 2013) (unpublished). Moreover, federal district courts
routinely dismiss claims brought by corporate parties who fail to obtain counsel or
enter default against corporate defendants who fail to obtain counsel. See e.g.
Allied Colloids, Inc. v. Jadair, Inc., 139 F.3d 887 (4th Cir.1998) (unpublished)
(affirming grant of default judgment where corporation failed to obtain local
counsel to file an answer to the complaint); Dove Air, Inc. v. Joda, LLC, No.
1:10cv293, 2011 WL 4712316 (W.D.N.C. Oct.6, 2011) (Reidinger, J.) (collecting
cases); Int'l Bottled Water Ass'n v. Eco Canteen, Inc., No. 3:09–cv–299–RJC–
DCS, 2010 WL 3719313, at *7 (W.D.N.C. Sept.17, 2010) (Conrad, C.J.) (entering
default judgment against corporation that failed to obtain replacement counsel).
Accordingly, the Court STRIKES the pro se Answer [# 7]. The Court
EXTENDS the time for Defendant to file its answer or otherwise respond to the
Complaint until November 15, 2016. Defendant will need to obtain counsel
during this time period so that counsel can file a responsive pleading on behalf of
Defendant. The failure of Defendant to obtain counsel and file a responsive
pleading may result in the entry of default being entered against Defendant.
Signed: October 14, 2016
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