Agee et al v. United States of America
ORDER granting 41 MOTION to Withdraw as Attorney, denying as moot 42 MOTION to Withdraw as Attorney, denying as moot 43 MOTION to Withdraw as Attorney, granting 44 MOTION to Withdraw as Attorney, granting 45 MOTION to Withdraw as Attorney ( Status Report due by 12/6/2017). Signed by Honorable J Michelle Childs on 11/6/2017. (asni, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
Sam C. Agee, Jr. and Elisbeth M. Agee, Zachery O. )
Atkinson and Katherine Z. Atkinson, Michael Barb )
and Margaret Barb, Rhett Brewer, Mary Hazel
Brodie, Charles E. Carpenter and Nancy Carpenter, )
John Caskey and Louise Caskey, Aaron Dupree and )
Amy Dupree, Lisa Marie Johnson and Michael
Haley, James Harrington and Ann Harrington,
Ken Holmes, Marshall B. Martin and Amanda
Martin, Walt Oliver, Michael Parker and Eugenie )
Parker, Lee Schraibman, Jasper W. Shuler, Cynthia )
Snell, Jason Snyder and Suzanne Snyder and Paul )
United States of America,
Civil Action No. 3:17-cv-00716-JMC
Plaintiffs above-named collectively filed this action seeking money damages from
Defendant United States of America for the destruction caused to their homes by flood water
released when the Semmes Lake Dam was breached in October 2015. (ECF No. 1 at 4–7.)
As they litigated this matter, Plaintiffs’ counsel–W. Jones Andrews, Jr., John G. Felder,
Jr., Chad A. McGowan and Jordan Calloway of McGowan Hood and Felder, LLC–reached the
conclusion that the case could not proceed any further because their retained experts were unable
to make a connection between the water that flooded Plaintiffs’ property and the water that was
released from the Semmes Lake Dam on the campus of the Fort Jackson United States Army
Installation. (See, e.g., ECF No. 34-1 at 1.) Thereafter, Plaintiffs’ counsel determined that they
could no longer pursue claims on behalf of any Plaintiffs seeking to continue to litigate this
matter. Accordingly, on October 16, 2017, Plaintiffs’ counsel filed Motions for Withdrawal of
Appearance and to Stay Proceedings as to remaining Plaintiffs, Sam C. Agee, Jr., Elisbeth M.
Agee, James Harrington, Ann Harrington and Ken Holmes (collectively “Plaintiffs”).1 (ECF
Nos. 41, 44–45.)
This court’s local rules allow a party to object to the withdrawal of counsel. See Local
Civ. Rule 83.I.07 (D.S.C.). As a result, the court entered an Order to Show Cause (ECF No. 48)
on October 23, 2017, to create an opportunity for Plaintiffs to state any objection to their
attorneys’ request to withdraw on the record.2 On November 6, 2017, the court held a show
cause hearing regarding the Motions to Withdraw. Plaintiffs’ counsel set forth on the record the
manner in which Plaintiffs were served with the Order to Show Cause and notice of the show
cause hearing. No Plaintiffs appeared at the November 6, 2017 hearing to object to counsel’s
Motion to Withdraw.
Upon consideration of counsel’s reasons for withdrawal and the lack of objection from
Plaintiffs, the court GRANTS the Motions to Withdraw of Plaintiffs’ counsel. (ECF Nos. 41,
44–45.) The court advises Plaintiffs Sam C. Agee, Jr., Elisbeth M. Agee, James Harrington, Ann
Harrington and Ken Holmes that they will have to either substitute counsel or notify the court of
their intention to proceed pro se by December 6, 2017. In this regard, the court instructs
Plaintiffs that any failure to move the case forward after December 6, 2017, could result in the
dismissal of the Complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b), which provides as
The court observes that Plaintiffs’ counsel had also moved to withdraw from representation of
Plaintiffs Rhett Brewer and Mary Hazel Brodie. (ECF Nos. 42 & 43.) However, these Plaintiffs
agreed to dismiss their cases. (See ECF No. 50.) As a result of the foregoing, the court
DENIES AS MOOT these Motions to Withdraw. (ECF Nos. 42 & 43.)
Additionally, the court required Plaintiffs’ counsel to serve a copy of the Order to Show Cause
on Plaintiffs, which proof of service was filed on CM/ECF. (See ECF Nos. 52–54.)
If the plaintiff fails to prosecute or to comply with these rules or a court order, a
defendant may move to dismiss the action or any claim against it. Unless the
dismissal order states otherwise, a dismissal under this subdivision (b) and any
dismissal not under this rule – except one for lack of jurisdiction, improper venue,
or failure to join a party under Rule 19 – operates as an adjudication on the merits.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(b).
In light of the foregoing, the court DIRECTS the Clerk of Court to mail a copy of this
Order to Plaintiffs Agee, Harrington and Holmes.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
United States District Judge
November 6, 2017
Columbia, South Carolina
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