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Veoxo Corp. v. Affinity Internet

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS EASTERN DIVISION


July 5, 2007

VEOXO CORP., ETC., PLAINTIFF,
v.
AFFINITY INTERNET, INC., DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Milton I. Shadur Senior United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM ORDER

This action was originally brought against Affinity Internet, Inc. ("Affinity") by Justin London ("London") d/b/a Global Max Auctions, with federal jurisdiction being predicated on diversity of citizenship. On July 2, 2007, with London as well as his then counsel present, this Court granted counsel's motion for leave to withdraw--and when this Court then inquired as to London's future plans,*fn1 he responded that he planned to continue the litigation pro se. This Court cautioned London as to the difficulties that any non-lawyer might encounter in handling commercial litigation such as this, but London responded that he was about to take the bar and anticipated no difficulties in that respect.

London then inquired as to the possibility of filing an amended complaint, and this Court advised him that under Fed. R. Civ. P. ("Rule") 15(a) he had an absolute right to do so because Affinity had not yet filed a responsive pleading. But when London then tendered a self-prepared Amended Complaint, he listed not himself but Veoxo Corp. ("Veoxo") as plaintiff.

That won't do. One thing that London should have learned as part of his legal education--but apparently has not--is that a corporate party can participate in litigation only through a lawyer. It is impermissible to file a pleading, as London has sought to do here, by signing "Justin London, Pro Se on behalf of VEOXO CORP." Accordingly the Amended Complaint cannot be accepted under the auspices of Rule 15(a). This Court will grant Veoxo until July 19, 2007 to obtain counsel qualified to file an appearance on its behalf, failing which the Amended Complaint will be stricken.


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