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United States v. Wesselman

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS


June 5, 2008

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
HERMAN A. WESSELMAN, MILLIE WESSELMAN, KENNETH CAYO, AGENT OF THE TRUSTEE(S) OF THE BOUNTEOUS HARVEST TRUST AND THE SALVATION ROCK TRUST, DAVID WESSELMAN, AGENT OF THE TRUSTEE(S) OF THE BOUNTEOUS HARVEST TRUST AND THE SALVATION ROCK TRUST, WILLIAM BRIAN PATRICK DOWLING, TRUSTEE OF THE J.A.W. HOMESTEAD TRUST, FREDERICK V. WEDEMEIER, AGENT OF TRUSTEE(S) OF THE STEWARD OF THE LORD TRUST, VIRGIL STRAUCH, AGENT TRUSTEES OF THE STEWARD OF THE LORD TRUST, ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE, JOHN DOE 1, TRUSTEE OF THE BOUNTEOUS HARVEST TRUST, JOHN DOE 2, TRUSTEE OF SALVATION ROCK TRUST, JOHN DOE 3, TRUSTEE OF J.A.W. HOMESTEAD TRUST, JOHN DOE 4, TRUSTEE OF STEWARD OF THE LORD TRUST, BOUNTEOUS HARVEST TRUST, SALVATION ROCK TRUST, J.A.W. HOMESTEAD TRUST AND STEWARD OF THE LORD TRUST, DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: J. Phil Gilbert District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

This matter comes before the Court on the motion of plaintiff United States of America to dismiss all claims in this case against defendants Steward of the Lord Trust and J.A.W. Homestead Trust without prejudice (Doc. 127). The Court construes the motion as a notice of dismissal pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(1)(A)(i). Rule 41(a)(1)(A)(i) allows dismissal of an action -- that is, all claims against a defendant -- by a plaintiff without a court order at any time before service by the adverse party of an answer or of a motion for summary judgment, whichever first occurs. While the Steward of the Lord Trust and J.A.W. Homestead Trust have filed documents purporting to be answers (Docs. 109 and 110), those documents were filed by an individual who is not an attorney. Corporate or other parties who are not individuals may only appear in federal court by licensed counsel. See Rowland v. California Men's Colony, 506 U.S. 194, 202 (1993). Thus, the purported answers are not proper answers and will not prevent a notice of dismissal under Rule 41(a)(1)(A)(i) from taking effect. Because the plaintiff has an absolute right to dismiss its claims against defendants Steward of the Lord Trust and J.A.W. Homestead Trust at the present time, the Court FINDS that the claims against those defendants are DISMISSED without prejudice, GRANTS the plaintiff's motion (Doc. 127) and DIRECTS the Clerk of Court to enter judgment accordingly at the close of the case.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20080605

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