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Lundahl v. Halabi

United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

December 3, 2014

HOLLI LUNDAHL, Plaintiff - Appellee
v.
ELLAM HALABI, Defendant - Appellant, And ELI LILLY & COMPANY, Defendant - Appellee, And MICHAEL JOHNSON; SNELL & WILMER; CHERYL SCHROCK; U.S. BANK; DONALD HALBERG; FORTUNE MAGAZINE; KAI FALKENBURG; AOL INC.; JEFF SEMRAD; DOES 1-10 INCLUSIVE, Defendants. HOLLI LUNDAHL, Plaintiff - Appellant,
v.
ELLAM HALABI; ELI LILLY & COMPANY; MICHAEL JOHNSON; SNELL & WILMER; CHERYL SCHROCK; U.S. BANK; DONALD HALBERG; FORTUNE MAGAZINE; KAI FALKENBURG; AOL INC.; JEFF SEMRAD; DOES 1-10 INCLUSIVE, Defendants - Appellees

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(D.C. No. 2:13-CV-00241-SWS). (D. Wyo.). (D.C. No. 2:13-CV-00241-SWS). (D. Wyo.).

HOLLI LUNDAHL, Plaintiff - Appellant(14-8002), Pro se, Green River, WY.

ELLAM HALABI, Defendant - Appellee(14-8002), Pro se, Alpine, WY.

For ELI LILLY & COMPANY, CHERYL SCHROCK, Defendants - Appellees(14-8002): Susan L. Combs, Paula Fleck, Holland & Hart LLP, Jackson, WY.

For MICHAEL JOHNSON, SNELL & WILMER, Defendants - Appellees(14-8002): Matthew E. Turner, Mullikin, Larson & Swift, Jackson, WY.

HOLLI LUNDAHL, Plaintiff - Appellant(14-8000), Pro se, Green River, WY.

ELLAM HALABI, Defendant - Appellee(14-8000), Pro se, Alpine, WY.

For ELI LILLY & COMPANY, CHERYL SCHROCK, Defendants - Appellees(14-8000): Susan L. Combs, Paula Fleck, Holland & Hart LLP, Jackson, WY.

For MICHAEL JOHNSON, SNELL & WILMER, Defendants - Appellees(14-8000): Matthew E. Turner, Mullikin, Larson & Swift, Jackson, WY.

Before McHUGH, McKAY, and O'BRIEN, Circuit Judges. Carolyn B. McHugh, Circuit Judge.

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ORDER AND JUDGMENT[*]

Carolyn B. McHugh, Circuit Judge

Plaintiff Holli Lundahl filed a lawsuit in Wyoming that was removed to federal court. The district court scheduled a hearing to resolve disputed issues as to whether it had diversity jurisdiction, including whether Ms. Lundahl had fraudulently joined a fictitious defendant, Ms. Ellam Halabi, to prevent removal. Ms. Lundahl unilaterally dismissed her case ninety minutes before that hearing. In No. 14-8000, Ms. Halabi, proceeding pro se, appeals a criminal contempt order and bench warrant issued for her failure to attend that hearing and the subsequent hearing scheduled for her to show cause why she should not be held in contempt. In No. 14-8002, Ms. Lundahl, proceeding pro se,[1] appeals the district court's order imposing monetary sanctions and filing restrictions on her.

Because both Ms. Halabi and Ms. Lundahl appear pro se, we construe their filings liberally. See Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 & n.3 (10th Cir. 1991) (discussing Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21, 92 S.Ct. 594, 30 L.Ed.2d 652 (1972) (per curiam)). But this court will not act as a pro se litigant's advocate. Id. at 1110. " Thus, although we make some allowances for 'the pro se plaintiff's failure to cite proper legal authority, [her] confusion of various legal theories, [or her] poor syntax and sentence construction,' . . . the court cannot take on

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the responsibility of serving as the litigant's attorney in constructing arguments and searching the record." Garrett v. Selby Connor Maddux & Janer, 425 F.3d 836, 840 (10th Cir. 2005) (brackets omitted) (quoting Hall, 935 F.2d at 1110). We exercise ...


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