United States District Court, D. New Jersey, Camden Vicinage
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
MARIE DONIO UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter comes before the Court by way of motion filed by
Plaintiff Sevenson Environmental Services, Inc. (hereinafter,
“Plaintiff”) to strike the answer of Defendant
GMEC, Inc. (hereinafter, “GMEC”) to the third
amended complaint. (See Motion to Strike [D.I.
398].) No opposition to this motion has been filed by any
party. The Court decides this matter on a Report and
Recommendation basis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(B) and (C) in light of the dispositive nature of
the recommendation. For the reasons set forth herein, and for
good cause shown, the Court respectfully recommends that
Plaintiff's motion [D.I. 398] be granted.
Court shall only recite those facts that are relevant to the
present motion. Plaintiff filed its third amended complaint
on February 11, 2015. (Third Amended Complaint with Jury
Demand [D.I. 226].) By Order dated February 24, 2015, the
Court granted counsel for GMEC leave to withdraw as counsel.
The February 24, 2015 Order also provided that GMEC would be
granted twenty (20) days to secure new counsel, and further
provided that if “GMEC fails to comply with this
directive, then Plaintiff may file a motion to strike
Defendant GMEC's pleading.” (Order [D.I. 234], Feb.
24, 2015, 9.) On April 24, 2015, Defendant Gordon D. McDonald
(hereinafter, “McDonald”) filed an answer to the
third amended complaint on behalf of himself, pro
se, and on behalf of GMEC.(See Answer to
Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint [D.I. 271].) By way
of letter dated May 7, 2015, Plaintiff informed McDonald of
its objection to McDonald filing an answer [D.I. 271] on
behalf of GMEC. (Letter from Ms. Kidera [D.I. 277], May 7,
2015, 3, on the docket.) In a letter to the District Judge
dated May 15, 2015, McDonald asserted that “[i]n light
of [his] lack of financial resources, [McDonald is] unable to
obtain representation for GMEC, Inc. and ask[s] the court to
consider Pro Se representation.” (Letter from Mr.
McDonald [D.I. 277], May 15, 2015, 1, on the docket.)
McDonald's May 15, 2015 letter also included as an
exhibit an amended answer to Plaintiff's third amended
complaint no longer including GMEC as an answering defendant.
(Amended Answer to Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint
[D.I. 277], 4-54, on the docket.) No further motions were
filed in the case relevant to GMEC's answer until January
18, 2018 when Plaintiff filed the present motion to strike
GMEC's pleading. (See Motion to Strike [D.I.
GMEC is a corporation and therefore cannot appear in federal
court pro se. Erie Molded Plastics, Inc. v.
Nogah, LLC, 520 F. App'x 82, 84-85 (3d Cir. 2013)
(“As a general rule, if a corporation appears in
federal court, it may do so only through licensed
counsel.”) (citing Rowland v. Cal. Men's
Colony, Unit II Men's Advisory Council, 506 U.S.
194, 201-02 (1993)). As set forth in the Court's Order of
February 24, 2015, the Supreme Court stated in
Rowland that “[i]t has been the law for the
better part of two centuries, for example, that a corporation
may appear in the federal courts only through licensed
counsel.” (Order [D.I. 234], Feb. 24, 2015, 8-9, citing
Rowland, 506 U.S. at 201-02.) Consequently, since a
corporation cannot appear in federal court pro se, a
corporation's pleadings must be signed by licensed
counsel. Moreover, non-attorneys may not file pleadings on
behalf of corporations. See Highline Capital Corp. v.
CMFEF Prop. Holdings, LLC, 09-00042, 2009 WL 2460823, at
*2 (D. Colo. Aug. 10, 2009) (citations omitted) (holding that
“[c]orporations may appear in federal court only
through a licensed attorney, ” and therefore striking
corporate defendant's “Answer to Complaint”
filed by its non-attorney “Registered Agent”).
See also Amoco Prod. Co. v. Aspen Grp., 25 F.Supp.2d
1162, 1166-67 (D. Colo. 1998) (striking the answer filed on
behalf of a trust by two of its trustees).
may appear only through a licensed attorney. In this case, no
attorney has entered an appearance on GMEC's behalf after
the Court granted GMEC's counsel leave to withdraw from
the case. Therefore, for the reasons set forth herein, the
Court respectfully recommends that Plaintiff's motion to
strike GMEC's answer to the third amended complaint be
granted and that GMEC's answer be stricken.
objections to this Report and Recommendation must be filed
within fourteen (14) days pursuant to Local Civil Rule
72.1(c)(2) and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
before the Court is Plaintiff's motion to strike the
pleading of Defendant GMEC, Inc., (see Motion to
Strike [D.I. 398]), and the Court having considered the
Report and Recommendation submitted by the Honorable Ann
Marie Donio, United States Magistrate Judge, pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and (C); and the parties having
been notified that they had fourteen (14) days from receipt
of the Report and Recommendation to file and serve objections
pursuant to Local Civil Rule 72.1(c)(2), and no objections
having been received; and the Court having considered the
papers submitted by the parties; and the Court finding that
the Report and Recommendation is neither clearly erroneous,
nor contrary to law; and for good cause shown; IT IS on this
day of 2018 hereby ORDERED that the Report
and Recommendation is ADOPTED; and
it is further ORDERED that Plaintiff's
motion to strike the pleading of Defendant GMEC, Inc. [D.I.
398] shall be, and is hereby,
GRANTED; and it is further
ORDERED that Defendant GMEC, Inc.'s
answer to Plaintiff's third amended complaint,
affirmative defenses, counterclaim and jury demand [D.I. 271]
shall be, and is hereby, stricken.
RENÉE MARIE BUMB UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
 McDonald purports he “was the
100% owner of GMEC[.]” (Answer to Plaintiff's Third
Amended Complaint [D.I. 271], 56, on the docket.)
 The Court's Order of February 24,
2015 expressly noted that because GMEC is a corporation, it
“cannot appear in federal court pro se.”
(Order [D.I. 234], Feb. 24, 2015, 8 (citations
 The amended answer is signed by
Defendant McDonald as an individual pro se defendant
and does not reflect that the amended answer was filed on