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United States v. Shanrie Co.

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS


April 22, 2008

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SHANRIE COMPANY, DAN SHEILS, NETEMEYER ENGINEERING ASSOCIATES, INC., AND THOUVENOT, WADE & MOERCHEN, INC., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Herndon, Chief Judge

ORDER

This matter comes before the Court on two motions for leave to withdraw as counsel for Defendants Shanrie Co., Inc. and Dan Sheils. (Docs. 155 and 156.) The motions were filed by Attorney Theresa L. Kitay and Attorney Edward F. Brennan, respectively. According to the motions, Defendants Shanrie Co., Inc. and Dan Sheils have voluntarily requested that attorneys Kitay and Brennan withdraw from this matter. Attached to each of the motions is a letter from Dan Sheils to the Court requesting that he be allowed to represent himself. 28 U.S.C. § 1654 provides that in federal court "parties may plead and conduct their own cases personally. . . ." Therefore, Mr. Sheils may represent himself and proceed pro se. However, as a corporation, Shanrie Co., Inc. cannot proceed pro se. In addition, Mr. Sheils cannot represent Shanrie Co., Inc. because he is not a lawyer. See Muzikowski.

Paramount Pictures Corp., 322 F.3d 918, 924 (7th Cir. 2003); Strong Delivery Ministry Ass'n v. Bd. of Appeals of Cook County, 543 F.2d 32 (7th Cir. 1976) (holding that the right to proceed pro se under section 1654 "has never been enlarged to permit the individual to act in behalf of or as an agent for a party corporation." Id. at 34.) A corporation may appear in federal court only through a licensed attorney. Rowland v. California Men's Colony, Unit II Men's Advisory Council, 506 U.S. 194, 202 (1993). Accordingly, the Court GRANTS IN PART AND DENIES IN PART the motions to withdraw. (Docs. 155, 156.) The Court WITHDRAWS Theresa L. Kitay and Edward F. Brennan as counsel only for Defendant Dan Sheils. Ms. Kitay and Mr. Brennan shall continue to represent Defendant Shanrie Co., Inc.Defendant Sheils shall file with the Clerk of the Court a supplementary appearance that provides an address at which he may receive service of documents related to this case. Lastly, Mr. Sheils has represented to the Court that this withdrawal of counsel will not be the basis for any request for continuance or other delay in this matter. The Court intends to hold Mr. Sheils to this representation.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

David R Herndon Chief Judge United States District Court

20080422

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