International Watchman Inc. v. 81 January Inc.

Filing 19

Order signed by Judge James S. Gwin on 6/6/2017. The Court DENIES Defendants' motion for reconsideration, GRANTS Defendants' motion for an extension, and ORDERS Plaintiff to serve Defendants in accordance with the Local Rules. (Related document 18 ) (O,K)

Download PDF
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO -----------------------------------------------------: INTERNATIONAL WATCHMAN, INC., : : Plaintiff, : : vs. : : 81 JANUARY, INC., et al., : : Defendants. : ------------------------------------------------------ CASE NO. 1:17-CV-497 ORDER [Resolving Doc. 18] JAMES S. GWIN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE: Plaintiff International Watchman, Inc. sued Defendant 81 January, Inc. for trademark infringement.1 Defendant’s Director, William Shaine, moved pro se to dismiss the lawsuit on jurisdictional grounds.2 Shaine also asked for leave to appear in this case.3 Plaintiff moved to strike Defendant’s motions, arguing that corporations cannot litigate pro se.4 The Court granted Plaintiff’s motion to strike, holding that Ohio law requires a licensed attorney to represent a corporation in all non-small-claims-court proceedings.5 1 Doc. 1. Docs. 6 & 15. 3 Id. 4 Doc. 12. 5 Gass v. Headlands Contracting & Tunneling, Inc., 2008 WL 4964656, at *1 (Ohio Ct. App. Nov. 21, 2008) (“[O]utside of small claims court, an individual, including a corporate officer, who is not an attorney, may not appear in court or maintain litigation in propria persona on behalf of a corporation.”); see also Disciplinary Counsel v. Kafele, 843 N.E.2d 169, 173 (Ohio 2006) (“And with limited exception, unauthorized practice occurs when a layperson renders legal services for another person or for a corporate entity by attempting to manage legal actions and proceedings before courts of law.”). 2 Case No. 17-CV-497 Gwin, J. Now, Defendant Shaine asks the Court to reconsider its previous decision.6 Shaine says that 81 January, Inc. lacks several corporate characteristics7 and will not invoke its corporate veil.8 Defendant Shaine’s argument loses. Defendant 81 January, Inc. is a registered corporation in Massachusetts9 and must be represented by counsel. However, because Plaintiff also sues Defendant Shaine personally, Shaine may represent himself pro se. The Court also grants Defendant 81 January, Inc.’s request for a twenty-day extension to retain counsel.10 The Court also orders Plaintiff to serve Defendants in accordance with the Northern District of Ohio’s Local Rules.11 Accordingly, the Court DENIES Defendants’ motion for reconsideration, GRANTS Defendants’ motion for an extension, and ORDERS Plaintiff to serve Defendants in accordance with the Local Rules. IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: June 6, 2017 s/ 6 James S. Gwin JAMES S. GWIN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE Doc. 18. Id. at 2 (“Defendant 81 January, Inc. never commenced business, has no bylaws, has no bank account, has no eBay account, has no money with which to hire an attorney.”). 8 Id. at 3. 9 Doc. 12-1. 10 Doc. 18 at 3. 11 Id. 7 -2-

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?