In Re: JATE IV Trust
ORDER RULING ON 6 REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION that the Court GRANTS IN PART AND DENIES IN PART 8 Appellee's Motion to Dismiss and DISMISSES WITHOUT PREJUDICE the appeal. The Court GRANTS the motion to dismiss insofar as the appeal is dismissed, but DENIES request for dismissal with prejudice because the dismissal is on jurisdictional grounds. See S. Walk at Broadlands Homeowner's Ass'n, Inc. v. OpenBand at Broadlands, LLC, 713 F.3d 175, 185 (4th Cir. 2013) ("A dismissal for lack of standing-or any other defect in subject matter jurisdiction-must be one without prejudice....").AND IT IS SO ORDERED. Signed by Honorable Richard M Gergel on 2/17/2017. (sshe, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
JATE IV Trust,
Bank of New York Mellon,
Civil Action No. 2:I7-37-RMG
ORDER AND OPINION
This matter is before the Court on Appellee's motion to dismiss the appeal of the order
dismissing the underlying Chapter 11 bankruptcy case In re JATE IV Trust, No. 15-3834-DD
(Bankr. D.S.C. December 21, 2016). (Dkt. No.8.) On December 21,2016, the Bankruptcy Court
dismissed the underlying bankruptcy case as "objectively futile" and "subjectively filed in bad
faith." On January 5, 2017, John True purported to file a notice of appeal from the order of the
Bankruptcy Court on behalf of debtor JATE IV Trust. (Dkt. No.1.) The notice of appeal states
that the Trust appears pro se. (Id at 3.) John True purportedly signed the notice of appeal as
"POA" for trustee Thomas F. True, who on July 23, 2012 pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit
extortion and is currently a federal prisoner at FCI Fort Dix in New Jersey.
The notice of appeal Mr. True filed on behalf of the debtor trust is not cognizable and has
no legal effect. A trust may not litigate pro se through a non-lawyer trustee. Real Estate Unlimited,
LLC v. Rainbow Living Trust, No. 2004-UP-0 19, 2004 WL 6248341, at *2 (S.C. Ct. App. Jan. 15,
2004). Nor maya trust litigate through the son of its imprisoned non-lawyer trustee. The Court
therefore has no jurisdiction to hear this appeal from the Bankruptcy Court. See Fed. R. Bankr. P.
8002; Smith v. Dairymen, Inc., 790 F.2d 1107, 1110-11 (4th Cir. 1986); In re Starcher, 255 B.R.
292,293 (S.D.W. Va. 2000).
The Court therefore GRANTS IN PART AND DENIES IN PART Appellee's motion to
dismiss (Dkt. No.8) and DISMISSES WITHOUT PREJUDICE the appeal.
GRANTS the motion to dismiss insofar as the appeal is dismissed, but DENIES request for
dismissal with prejudice because the dismissal is on jurisdictional grounds. See S. Walk at
Broadlands Homeowner's Ass'n, Inc. v. OpenBand at Broadlands, LLC, 713 F.3d 175, 185 (4th
Cir. 2013) ("A dismissal for lack of standing-or any other defect in subject matter jurisdictionmust be one without prejudice ....").
AND IT IS SO ORDERED.
United States District Court Judge
February 17 , 2017
Charleston, South Carolina
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