United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division
OPINION AND ORDER
WILLIAM S. DUFFEY, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Nautilus Insurance
Company's (“Plaintiff”) Motion to Strike
Answer to Complaint and to Enter Default  (the
5, 2017, Plaintiff filed its Complaint  against the EJIII
Development Company f/k/a the Jackson Growth &
Development Company (“EJIII”), Shahnquala Horne,
as natural mother and next of friend of K.M. and G.M.,
Shakierra Corbin, as natural mother and next friend of A.M.,
JR. and A.M., Mekoia Gaston, as natural mother and next of
friend of J.S., Gladys Mosley, as Administratrix of the
Estate of Adrian Mosley, deceased, Waffle House, Inc., and
Quintavius Martin (collectively, the
“Defendants”). Plaintiff, an Arizona insurance
company, seeks a declaration of its coverage obligations, if
any, owed under an insurance policy for claims asserted in an
underlying lawsuit styled Shahnquala Horne, et al. v.
Waffle House, Inc., et al., 16-EV-001921, in the State
Court of Fulton County, Georgia. The underlying action
involved an incident at the Waffle House on June 13, 2014 in
which, following an altercation between patrons and
employees, a Waffle House employee allegedly shot and killed
a patron. ( at ¶¶ 15-16). A security guard
employed by EJIII was on duty at the time. (Id. at
¶ 17). The plaintiffs in the underlying action,
administratrix of the patron's estate and the mothers of
the patron's children, assert claims against EJIII for
negligent failure to provide and maintain a safe premises and
wrongful death. (Id. at ¶¶ 18, 21).
30, 2017, EJIII was served through it registered agent,
Ernest Jackson (“Jackson”). (). As of the
date of this Order, no attorney has entered an appearance on
behalf of EJIII. On August 3, 2017, EJIII's registered
agent filed an answer  (the “Answer”) on
behalf of EJIII. On August 21, 2017, Plaintiff filed the
Motion asking the Court to strike EJIII's Answer because
it was proceeding as a corporation pro se.
parties are able to represent themselves pro se.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1654. “The right to
appear pro se, however, is limited to those parties
conducting ‘their own cases' and does not apply to
persons representing the interests of others.”
Franklin v. Garden State Life Ins., 462 F. App'x
928, 930 (11th Cir. 2012); see also Simon v. Hartford
Life, Inc., 546 F.3d 661, 664 (9th Cir. 2008)
(“[T]he privilege to represent oneself pro se
provided by § 1654 is personal to the litigant and does
not extend to other parties or entities.”).
1654 does not apply to corporations or other artificial
entities, including limited liability companies and trusts.
See, e.g., Rowland v. California Men's
Colony Unit II Men's Advisory Council, 506 U.S. 194,
201-02 (1993); Palazzo v. Gulf Oil Corp., 764 F.2d
1381, 1385 (11th Cir. 1985) (“The rule is
well-established that a corporation is an artificial entity
that can only act through agents, cannot appear in judicial
cases pro se, and must be represented by
counsel.”) (citations omitted); Harrison v.
Wahatoyas, L.L.C., 253 F.3d 552, 556 (10th Cir. 2001)
(“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.”); Knoefler v. United Bank of
Bismarck, 20 F.3d 347, 348 (8th Cir. 1994) (“A
nonlawyer . . . has no right to represent another entity,
i.e., a trust, in a court.”). This Court's Local
Rules reflect the longstanding principle that “a
corporation may only be represented in court by an attorney .
. . and that a corporate officer may not represent the
corporation in court unless that officer is also an attorney
licensed to practice law in the State of Georgia.” LR
reviewing the docket in this case and the Motion, it is
evident that EJIII is not represented by counsel. Jackson,
who is not an attorney and not licensed to practice law in
this Court, filed the Answer on behalf of EJIII. ().
Because Jackson is not an attorney and is not licensed to
practice law in this Court, he cannot represent EJIII,
see Franklin, 462 F. App'x at 930;
Rowland, 506 U.S. at 201-02; Palazzo, 764
F.2d at 1385; LR 83.1(E)(2)(b)(I), NDGa.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiffs Motion
to Strike Answer to Complaint and to Enter Default  is
GRANTED. The Clerk is directed to enter
default against EJIII.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that EJIII shall, on or before
October 18, 2017, obtain legal counsel, counsel shall file a
notice of appearance by October 18, 2017, and EJIII's
legal counsel shall, on or before October 18, 2017, file an
Amended Answer on behalf of EJIII.