United States District Court, D. Kansas
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
D. CRABTREE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
March 5, 2019, the court entered an Order striking several
motions filed by Ephraim Woods and Irma Dorsey. Doc. 31.
Plaintiff's Verified Amended Complaint (Doc. 45) lists
Mr. Woods as the registered agent for The Promise Keepers,
Inc., and Ms. Dorsey as the registered agent for The Promise
Keepers 417 Inc. Because all defendants are business
organizations- specifically, corporations-and because neither
Mr. Woods nor Ms. Dorsey are admitted to practice law before
our court, the court held that neither movant could make
motions or otherwise seek relief for defendants. See
Doc. 31 at 2-3. The court also held that, because plaintiff
named neither Mr. Woods nor Ms. Dorsey as a defendant, they
could not assert counterclaims in the case. See Id.
Mr. Woods and Ms. Dorsey have filed another round of motions
objecting to the court's March 5, 2019, Order and moving
to vacate default judgments in three cases, including this
one, as well as all future cases. See Docs. 36, 37,
42, & 43. In their “Motion[s] for Objection”
(Docs. 36 & 37), Mr. Woods and Ms. Dorsey challenge the
court's Order striking their earlier motions. They also
seek “protection and injunction to stop all
actions” against defendants. Doc. 36 at 5; Doc. 37 at
4. And, in their “Motion[s] to Vacate Default
Judgment” (Docs. 42 & 43), Mr. Woods and Ms. Dorsey
seek to “[v]acate the [d]efault [j]udgment”
against them and their personal property. Doc. 42 at 1;
Doc. 43 at 1.
court explained in its March 5 Order, neither Mr. Woods nor
Ms. Dorsey can seek relief for any of the defendants in this
case. Defendants are all corporations. And, generally, in
federal court, only an attorney admitted as a member of the
federal court's bar may represent a business
organization. Harrison v. Wahatoyas, L.L.C., 253
F.3d 552, 556 (10th Cir. 2001) (citing Flora Constr. Co.
v. Fireman's Fund Ins. Co., 307 F.2d 413, 414 (10th
Cir. 1962) (“The rule is well established that a
corporation can appear in a court of record only by an
attorney at law.”)); Tal v. Hogan, 453 F.3d
1244, 1254 n.8 (10th Cir. 2006) (collecting cases). Neither
Mr. Woods nor Ms. Dorsey are admitted to practice before our
court. If defendants wish to seek relief, they must do so
through a properly admitted member of this court's bar.
the court exercises its discretion to strike Mr. Woods and
Ms. Dorsey's motions. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
12(f)(1) (“The court may strike from a pleading an
insufficient defense or any redundant, immaterial,
impertinent, or scandalous matter. The court may act . . . on
its own.”); United States ex rel. Smith v. Boeing
Co., No. 05-1073-WEB, 2009 WL 2486338, at *3 (D. Kan.
Aug. 13, 2009) (“[T]he court has discretion on its own
to strike an insufficient defense, see Rule
12(f)(1). . . . A defense is considered insufficient if it
cannot succeed, as a matter of law, under any
circumstances.” (citing Wilhelm v. TLC Lawn Care,
Inc., No. 07-2465-KHV, 2008 WL 474265, at *2 (D. Kan.
Feb. 19, 2008))); see also Liberty Mut. Ins. Co. v.
Hurricane Logistics Co., 216 F.R.D. 14, 15 n.3 (D.D.C.
2003) (“If a corporate defendant does not retain
counsel, the court may strike the corporation's
answer.” (citing Donovan v. Road Rangers Country
Junction, Inc., 736 F.2d 1004, 1005 (5th Cir. 1984))).
court also strikes Mr. Woods and Ms. Dorsey's motions
titled “Motion to Vacate Default Judgment” (Docs.
42 & 43). Plaintiff never has named Mr. Woods or Ms.
Dorsey as a defendant. But, again, Mr. Woods simply has
inserted his name as a defendant in the case's caption in
his “Motion to Vacate Default Judgment.” Doc. 43
at 1. And, even if Mr. Woods had the authority to appoint
himself as a defendant, it wouldn't matter. The court
hasn't entered any default judgments in this case. In
short, there's no default judgment for the court to
vacate. Thus, Mr. Woods and Ms. Dorsey cannot move to vacate
a non-existent judgment against plaintiff. Plaintiff has
asserted no claims against them, and the court has entered no
judgment against them.
court thus strikes the motions filed by Ephraim Woods and
Irma Dorsey (Docs. 36, 37, 42, & 43) because Mr. Woods
and Ms. Dorsey are not members of this court's bar and
cannot seek relief on defendants' behalf, and, as
non-parties, they cannot move to vacate a default judgment
that doesn't exist.
IS THEREFORE ORDERED BY THE COURT THAT the motions
filed by Ephraim Woods and Irma Dorsey (Docs. 36, 37, 42,
& 43) are stricken from the record of this case. The
court directs the Clerk of the Court to terminate those
motions on this case's docket.
IS SO ORDERED.
 In his “Motion to Vacate Default
Judgment” (Doc. 43), Mr. Woods has added his name to
the case caption as if he were a party defendant in it. But
sleight of hand is no substitute for complying with the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Those rules do not
authorize persons to insert themselves as parties in a case
simply by making a filing that says they are parties. Mr.