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Williams v. Advanced Urgent Care

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

April 10, 2017

NAFISAH WILLIAMS, Plaintiff,
v.
ADVANCED URGENT CARE, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This is an employment discrimination case. Plaintiff Nafisah Williams alleged that her former employer, defendant Advanced Urgent Care of City Line LLC, violated 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and Pennsylvania state law when it discriminated against her based on her race and retaliated against her for her opposition to the discrimination. Pursuant to the Order dated February 29, 2016, the Clerk of Court entered a default against defendant for failure to retain counsel. By Memorandum and Order dated August 25, 2016, the Court entered default judgment in favor of plaintiff and against defendant in the amount of $107, 904 in back pay, compensatory damages, and punitive damages. By Memorandum and Order dated February 9, 2017, the Court denied defendant's Motion to Vacate on the grounds that defendant's culpable conduct led to the default and default judgment and alternative sanctions would be ineffective.

         Presently before the Court are two documents filed by Dr. Mehdi Nikparvar, defendant's owner, entitled “Defendant Pro SE emergency Motion for reconsideration of the order dated February 9 2017” [sic] (“Dr. Nikparvar's Motion for Reconsideration”) (Document No. 70, filed Mar. 2, 2017) and “Defendant and DR Mehdi Nikparvar response to plaintiff request dated March 3, 2017” [sic] (“Dr. Nikparvar's Reply”) (Document No. 74, filed Mar. 6, 2017). Dr. Nikparvar is not a party to this action in his individual capacity.

         The questions raised at this juncture by these two documents are whether Dr. Nikparvar may intervene in this action as of right and whether he may move for reconsideration of the Court's Order dated February 9, 2017. For the reasons discussed below, the Court denies the motion to intervene as of right contained in Dr. Nikparvar's Reply and denies Dr. Nikparvar's Motion for Reconsideration.

         II. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         The facts of this case have been previously set forth in the Memorandum and Order dated August 25, 2016, and the Memorandum and Order dated February 9, 2017. The Court repeats only those facts necessary to resolve the issues presently before the Court.

         Plaintiff filed her Complaint on November 5, 2014. Defendant's then-counsel, Arsen Kashkashian, filed an Answer on December 31, 2014. Mr. Kashkashian moved to withdraw as counsel on September 9, 2015, citing Dr. Nikparvar's “fail[ure] to cooperate in the discovery process” and defendant's discharge of Mr. Kaskkashian as counsel. Mot. of Counsel for Def. (Document No. 17); Mem. Supp. Mot. of Counsel for Def. ¶¶ 7-13. The Court held a hearing on the Motion to Withdraw on November 13, 2015, and granted the Motion by Order issued on that date. Dr. Nikparvar attended the hearing, and he was informed by the Court that:

The Motion for Leave to Withdraw sets forth valid grounds for withdrawing as counsel. So absent a change of position, and it would have to be the doctor's [Nikparvar's] change of position, that Motion will be granted. That leaves Advanced Urgent Care without an attorney. As a corporation, it cannot be represented by someone who is not an attorney, so the doctor will have to retain counsel.

Nov. 13, 2015, Hr'g Tr., at 4:19-25. The Court further stated that:

I'm going to grant Mr. Kashkashian's Motion for Leave to Withdraw and give you [Dr. Nikparvar] 30 days to retain counsel and provide that the attorney must enter his appearance within the 30-day period. And if you need more time, you'll write to me. You can't just ignore this.

Nov. 13, 2015, Hr'g Tr., at 8:11-16.

         The Order dated November 13, 2015, required defendant to obtain new counsel within thirty days and provided that defendant could request an extension of time by writing to the Court. A copy of that Order was mailed to defendant.[1] Although Dr. Nikparvar is not a party to this action in his individual capacity, a copy of that Order was also mailed to Dr. Nikparvar as a courtesy.[2]

         By Order dated December 11, 2015, the Court granted Dr. Nikparvar's request for a 45 day extension of the time-to January 25, 2016-by which to retain new counsel. Notwithstanding the extension of time, no appearance was entered on behalf of defendant, and neither Dr. Nikparvar nor any other representative of defendant requested an extension of time by which to retain new counsel. Nevertheless, by Order dated February 3, 2016, the Court sua sponte extended the deadline for new counsel to enter an appearance for defendant to February 23, 2016. Copies of that Order were served on defendant and Dr. Nikparvar.

         Dr. Nikparvar failed to arrange for an entry of appearance for defendant in accordance with the Order dated February 3, 2016. As a consequence, by Order dated February 29, 2016, the Court ordered the Clerk of Court to enter a default against defendant for failure to retain counsel. This was done ...


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