United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Southern Division
ORDER REQUIRING PAYING OF FILING FEE OR
ROBERTO A. LANGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
three pro se cases all appear to have been filed by frequent
filer Charles Johnson on behalf and for two others.
Accordingly, this Court finds it prudent to address the pro
se status and intent to prosecute the cases.
a pro se plaintiff is only entitled to represent herself and
may not represent others. Section 1654 of Title 28
of the United States Code provides:
In all courts of the United States the parties may plead and
conduct their own cases personally or by counsel as, by the
rules of such courts, respectively, are permitted to manage
and conduct causes therein.
28 U.S.C. § 1654. "As a general matter of federal
law, an individual proceeding in federal court has the right
to present his case prose . . . ." Leftridge v.
Connecticut State Trooper Officer No. 1283, 640 F.3d 62,
67 (2d Cir. 2011) (referencing 28 U.S.C. § 1654).
However, "a non-attorney . . . may not engage in the
practice of law on behalf of others." Jones ex rel.
Jones v. Corr. Med. Servs., Inc., 401 F.3d 950, 952 (8th
Cir. 2005); see also Crump-Donahue v. U.S. Dep't of
Agric, No. 407-CV-00511-WRW, 2007 WL 1702567, at *1
(E.D. Ark. June 11, 2007) ("When a non-lawyer attempts
to represent the interests of other persons, the practice
constitutes the unauthorized practice of law and results in a
nullity."); Gross v. United States, No. Civ.
06-4211, 2009 WL 368664, at *1 (D.S.D. Feb. 13, 2009)
(finding a pro se plaintiff was "not permitted to
litigate the claims of [an] Estate or beneficiaries of the
Estate, with or without their consent, because doing so would
amount to engaging in the [unauthorized] practice of law on
behalf of others.") (emphasis added).
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11(a) requires that
"[e]very pleading, written motion, and other paper shall
be signed ... by the party." Under Rule 11(a) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, each pro se party in the
case must sign the pleadings. "Rule 11(a) permits [a
litigant] to submit a duplicate containing his
signature" to remedy noncompliance with the signature
requirement." Becker v. Montgomery, 532 U.S.
757, 760 (2001). A court may strike an. unsigned pleading
"unless the omission is promptly corrected after being
called to the . . . party's attention."
Court suspects that Charles Johnson filed the above captioned
cases perhaps without the knowledge of Chelsie Johnson or
Natasha Appleton. The Court is familiar with Charles Johnson
having been assigned the following cases brought by Charles
Johnson: 4:18-CV-04098-RAL, 4:18-CV-04099, 4:18-CV-04140-RAL,
4:18-CV-04157-RAL, 4:18-CV-04164-RAL, 4:18-CV-04165-RAL,
4:18-CV-04166-RAL, 4T9-CV-04002-RAL, 4:19-CV-04034-RAL,
4:19-CV-04035-RAL, 4:19-CV-04036-RAL, 4:19-CV-04038-RAL,
4:19-CV-04041-RAL. Here, the cases appear to be written by
the above captioned cases were filed at the same time as
several of Charles Johnson's other cases. On December 7,
2018, Charles Johnson filed 4:18-CV-04164-RAL,
4:18-CV-04165-RAL, 4:18-CV-04166-RAL. The same day the above
captioned cases 4:18-CV-04162-RAL and 4:18-CV-04163-RAL were
allegedly filed by Chelsie Jo Johnson. On February 20, 2019,
Charles Johnson filed 4:19-CV-04034-RAL, 4:19-CV-04035-RAL,
4:19-CV-04036-RAL, 4:19-. CV-04038-RAL, 4:19-CV-04041-RAL,
4:19-CV-04039-RAL. The same day the above captioned case
4:19-CV-04037-RAL was allegedly filed by Chelsie Jo Johnson
and Natasha Appleton.
Jo Johnson allegedly filed three Application to Proceed in
District Court Without Prepaying Fees or Costs in her
respective cases. The Applications in 4:18-CV-04162 and
4:18-CV-04163 were allegedly signed by Chelsie Jo Johnson on
the same day, but the applications have different responses.
The Application in 4:18-CV-04162 is nearly identical to the
applications in Charles Johnson's other cases.
See 4:18-CV-04164-RAL, 4.T8-CV-04165-RAL,
4:18-CV-04166-RAL. In Chelsie Jo Johnson's later case
with Natasha Appleton, 4:19-CV-0437-RAL, Charles Johnson
signed the complaint, completed the CM/ECF Pro Se Litigant
Application Form, and signed the Waiver of The Service of
Summons. See 4:19-CV-0437-RAL at Docs. 1, 3, 4.
this Court's concerns in these cases, this Court will
allow Plaintiffs the opportunity to notify the Court of their
intent to proceed with their cases. Plaintiffs must
demonstrate their intent to prosecute in each case by paying
the full filing fee or filing new and properly completed
individual Applications to Proceed in District Court Without
Prepaying Fees or Costs. Charles Johnson may not do so on
it is hereby
that the currently pending Applications to Proceed in
District Court Without Prepaying Fees or Costs by Chelsie Jo
Johnsons, Doc. 2, 4:18-CV-04162-RAL; Doc. 2,
4:18-CV-04163-RAL; Doc. 2, 4:19-CV-04037-RAL, and Natasha
Appleton, Doc. 2, 4:19-CV-04037-RAL, are denied without
prejudice. It is further
that Plaintiffs have fourteen (14) calendar days from the
date of this order to pay the full $400 filing fee or file
new, separate Applications to Proceed in District Court
Without Prepaying Fees or Costs in each case. Failure to pay
the full filing fee or file new, individual Applications to
Proceed in District Court ...