United States District Court, M.D. Georgia, Valdosta Division
June 18, 2015
CHAD RADOS, Plaintiff,
GOLDBERG & PERETTI, LLC and DOES 1-10, inclusive, Defendants.
HUGH LAWSON, Senior District Judge.
Before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion to Strike Defendant's Answer. (Doc. 13). The Court grants Plaintiff's motion for the following reasons:
On October 17, 2014, Plaintiff filed this action against Goldberg & Peretti, LLC ("Goldberg"), a California business operating as a collection agency, and Does 1-10, the purported collectors employed by Goldberg, for alleged violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692, et seq . (Doc. 1). Goldberg filed a timely Answer on November 21, 2014. (Doc. 4). However, the Answer appears to have been prepared, signed, and filed by Goldberg's registered agent, William Bales, and not a licensed attorney authorized to appear before this Court.
Plaintiff now moves to strike Goldberg's Answer because Goldberg is not represented by counsel and consequently is prohibited from appearing in federal court. (Doc. 13). Limited liability companies like Goldberg are considered artificial entities and, therefore, cannot appear in federal court pro se . See Palazzo v. Gulf Oil Corp., 764 F.2d 1381 (11th Circ. 1985) ("The rule is well established that a corporation is an artificial entity that can act only through agents, cannot appear pro se, and must be represented by counsel.").
Accordingly, Plaintiff's motion to strike Goldberg's pro se Answer is granted. Counsel for Goldberg must file a notice of appearance and response to the Complaint on or before July 9, 2015. Failure of Goldberg to comply with this order may result in the entry of a default judgment. Fed.R.Civ.P. 55.