Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company v. Wateree Construction Company Inc
ORDER directing WCC to retain counsel by December 6, 2016. If WCC fails to retain licensed counsel to file an entry of appearance by December 6, 2016, the undersigned will recommend that an entry of default judgment be entered against it. Signed by Magistrate Judge Shiva V Hodges on 11/15/2016. (mwal)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
Hartford Accident and Indemnity
Wateree Construction Company, Inc.;
and Derek S. Zeigler,
C/A No.: 3:15-240-TLW-SVH
This matter comes before the court on the failure of defendant Wateree
Construction Company, Inc. (“WCC”), to comply with the order of the Honorable Terry
L. Wooten, Chief United States District Judge, to retain counsel. [ECF Nos. 36, 39]. It is
well-established that a corporate entity cannot appear pro se and must be represented by
counsel in court. The United States Supreme Court recognized that:
[i]t has been the law for the better part of two centuries . . . that a
corporation may appear in the federal courts only through licensed counsel.
As the courts have recognized, the rationale for that rule applies equally to
all artificial entities. Thus, save a few aberrant cases, the lower courts have
uniformly held that 28 U.S.C. § 1654, providing that “parties may plead
and conduct their own cases personally or by counsel,” does not allow
corporations, partnerships, or associations to appear in federal court
otherwise than through a licensed attorney.
Rowland v. California Men’s Colony, Unit II Men’s Advisory Council, 506 U.S. 194,
201–02 (1993) (internal citations and footnote omitted); see also Honour Technical
Group, Inc. v. United States, 326 F. App’x 141, 142 (4th Cir. 2009) (this rule also applies
to limited liability corporations); RZS Holdings AVV v. PDVSA Petroleo S.A., 506 F.3d
350, 354 n.3 (4th Cir. 2007). While 28 U.S.C. § 1654 allows individuals to “plead and
conduct their own cases personally,” the statute does not extend that right to represent
Accordingly, WCC is directed to retain counsel by December 6, 2016. If WCC
fails to retain licensed counsel to file an entry of appearance by December 6, 2016, the
undersigned will recommend that an entry of default judgment be entered against it.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
November 15, 2016
Columbia, South Carolina
Shiva V. Hodges
United States Magistrate Judge
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