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Joe Hand Promotions, Inc. v. George

November 19, 2008

JOE HAND PROMOTIONS, INC., PLAINTIFF,
v.
RONDA GEORGE AND JR'S PLACE, INC., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Carlos Murguia United States District Judge

CIVIL ACTION

ORDER

This case is before the court on Plaintiff's Motion to Strike Purported Answer of Defendant JR's Place, Inc., d/b/a JR's Place (Doc. 9). Defendant JR's Place, Inc. ("JR's Place") did not file a response to the motion. Plaintiff asks the court to strike defendant JR's Place's answer to the complaint because Ronda George, president of JR's Place, filed the answer pro se. While the answer does not explicitly state that defendant George was attempting to answer the complaint for defendant JR's Place, as well, it appears to the court that was defendant George's intent.

A corporation cannot proceed pro se. Rowland v. Cal. Men's Colony, 506 U.S. 194, 202 (1993). And a person who is not an attorney cannot represent a corporation. Id.; Harrison v. Wahatoyas, LLC, 253 F.3d 552, 556 (10th Cir. 2001) ("As a general matter, a corporation or other business entity can only appear in court through an attorney and not through a non-attorney corporate officer appearing pro se.").

In light of the rule that a corporation must proceed through counsel, the court strikes defendant JR's Place's answer. Because the time to answer has passed, the Clerk of the Court would be justified in entering defendant JR's Place's default. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 55(a). In the interest of justice, because defendant George proceeds pro se, and because this case is in its early stages of litigation, the court determines that defendant JR's Place should be granted an additional twenty days to obtain counsel and have counsel file an answer or otherwise respond to the complaint on its behalf.

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Plaintiff's Motion to Strike Purported Answer of Defendant JR's Place, Inc., d/b/a JR's Place (Doc. 9) is granted. The court grants defendant JR's Place twenty days from the date of this order to obtain counsel and have counsel file an answer or otherwise respond to the complaint on its behalf.

20081119

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