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BOTMAN INTERNATIONAL, B.V. v. INTERNATIONAL PRODUCE IMPORTS

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania


July 27, 2004.

BOTMAN INTERNATIONAL, B.V.
v.
INTERNATIONAL PRODUCE IMPORTS, INC., ET AL.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: RICHARD B. SURRICK, District Judge

ORDER

AND NOW, this 27th day of July, 2004, upon consideration of Defendant Clare Ann Keijer's Motion To Compel Plaintiff's Attendance And The Oral Deposition Of Its Managing Director, Mr. Leonardus Bol, In The District, And To Compel Compliance With Defendants' Request For Production Of Documents Under Fed.R.Civ.P. 34 (Doc. No. 74), it is ORDERED that the Motion is DISMISSED.

The Complaint in this matter was filed on October 15, 1999. Jeffrey M. Chebot, Esquire accepted service of the summons and Complaint on October 21, 1999, and undertook representation of Defendant International Produce Imports, Inc., Defendant Dirk J. Deijer, and Defendant Clare A. Keijer. On April 28, 2000, Chebot filed an Emergency Motion to withdraw his appearance on behalf of all defendants. The Motion was granted the same day. On May 30, 2000, Mark C.H. Mandell, Esquire, entered his appearance for each of the Defendants, International Produce Imports, Inc., Dirk J. Deijer, and Clare A. Keijer. Mandell has continued to represent each of the Defendants and has never moved to withdraw as counsel.

  On June 18, 2004, Clare A. Keijer, an attorney, entered her appearance, pro se. On July 22, 2004, Clare Ann Keijer filed the instant Motion. This Motion seeks to compel a deposition on July 30, 2004, at 10:00 a.m. in Philadelphia and to compel the production of discovery prior thereto.

  28 U.S.C. § 1654 provides as follows:

§ 1654. Appearance personally or by counsel
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.
Local Rule 5.1(c) provides:*fn1

 

An attorney's appearance may not be withdrawn except by leave of court, unless another attorney of this court shall at the same time enter an appearance for the same party.
The Comment to Rule 5.1.(c) notes that this Rule applies when a party wishes to proceed pro se. A party represented by counsel may not simply announce that she is proceeding pro se and begin filing documents. See Dunkin' Donuts, Inc. v. Guang Chyi Lu, Nos. No. 99-3344, 00-3666, 2002 WL 1471421, at *7 (E.D. Pa. June 25, 2002) (striking documents filed by defendant who was represented by counsel).

  Defendant Clare Keijer has entered an appearance for herself. However, she is still represented by counsel. Such "hybrid" representation is improper. See Aluminum Shapes, Inc. v. Paul Frank Roofing & Waterproofing Co., No. 94-0202, 1994 WL 410507, at *2 (E.D. Pa. Aug. 5, 1994) ("It is well established that although an individual may appear before the court pro se, he cannot appear both pro se and through counsel.") (citing 28 U.S.C. § 1654 & Move Org. v. City of Philadelphia, 89 F.R.D. 521, 523 n. 1 (E.D. Pa. 1981)); see also Dunkin' Donuts, 2002 WL 1471421, at *7; Move Org., 89 F.R.D at 523 n. 1 (holding that represented parties could not file documents when they had not waived representation by counsel and counsel had not moved to withdraw). Although Ms. Keijer is entitled to represent herself, her attorney has not moved to withdraw as counsel. Section 1654 is clear. Ms. Keijer has no right to represent herself and be represented by counsel at the same time. See O'Reilly v. The New York Times Co., 692 F.2d 863, 868 (2d Cir. 1982) ("[T]he rights of self-representation and representation by counsel cannot be both exercised at the same time. . . . [A] party seeking to assert his statutory right of self-representation must clearly and unequivocally discharge any lawyer previously retained.") (quotations omitted). Her appearance is a nullity. Until Mr. Mandell moves to withdraw as counsel, Ms. Keijer may not proceed pro se.

  AND IT IS SO ORDERED.


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