United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Rock Hill Division
Ekoko K. Avoki; Francisco K. Avoki; W.A., a minor by and through his parents, Ekoko K. Avoki and Francisco K. Avoki parental natural guardian Ekoko K. Avoki parental natural guardian Franciso K. Avoki, Plaintiffs,
City of Chester S. Carolina; Police of Chester South Carolina; United States; Doe I-XX, unknown, Defendants.
J. GOSSETT, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
a civil action filed by pro se litigants. Under
Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2) (D.S.C.), pretrial proceedings
in this action have been referred to the assigned United
States Magistrate Judge.
OF MINOR CHILDREN:
case was filed by Plaintiffs on behalf of themselves and
their minor child, W.A. While 28 U.S.C. § 1654 allows
individuals to “plead and conduct their own cases
personally, ” the statute does not extend the right of
self representation to directing the litigation of others.
Myers v. Loudoun Cty. Pub. Schs., 418 F.3d 395, 400
(4th Cir. 2005) (“The right to litigate for
oneself, however, does not create a coordinate right
to litigate for others.”). This principle is
extended to litigation by parents on behalf of their minor
children. The law is well established that
“non-attorney parents generally may not litigate the
claims of their minor children in federal court.”
Myers, 418 F.3d at 401. The prohibition of pro
se parents litigating on behalf of their minor children
“ensures the children's interests are not
prejudiced by their well-meaning, but legally untrained
parents.” Id. Plaintiffs Ekoko K. Avoki and
Francisco K. Avoki may not proceed on behalf of their minor
child. Accordingly, the court hereby grants Plaintiff W.A.
thirty (30) days to obtain counsel. Failure to comply may
result in the dismissal of W.A.'s claims.
must place the civil action number listed above (C/A No.
0:17-1141-TLW-PJG) on any document provided to the court
pursuant to this order. Any future filings in this case must
be sent to the address below (901 Richland Street, Columbia,
South Carolina 29201). All documents requiring
Plaintiffs' signature shall be signed with
Plaintiffs' full legal name written in Plaintiff's
own handwriting. Pro se litigants shall not
use the “s/typed name” format used in the
Electronic Case Filing System. In all future filings with
this court, Plaintiffs are directed to use letter-sized
(8½ inches by 11 inches) paper only, to write or type
text on one side of a sheet of paper only and not to write or
type on both sides of any sheet of paper. Plaintiffs are
further instructed not to write to the edge of the paper, but
to maintain one inch margins on the top, bottom, and sides of
each paper submitted.
are pro se litigants. Therefore, Plaintiffs'
attention is directed to the following important notice:
You are ordered to always keep the Clerk of Court advised
in writing (901 Richland Street, Columbia, South
Carolina 29201) if your address changes for any reason, so as
to assure that orders or other matters that specify deadlines
for you to meet will be received by you. If, as a result of
your failure to comply with this order, you fail to meet a
deadline set by this court, your case may be dismissed
for violating this order. Therefore, if you have a
change of address before this case is ended, you must comply
with this order by immediately advising the Clerk of Court in
writing of such change of address and providing the court
with the docket number of all pending cases you have filed
with this court. Your failure to do so will not be excused by
THE CLERK OF COURT:
Clerk of Court shall mail a copy of this order to Plaintiffs.
At the expiration of the time provided for Plaintiffs to
comply with this order, the Clerk of Court shall forward the
file to the assigned United States Magistrate Judge for a
recommendation. See In Re: Procedures in Civil Actions
Filed by Non-Prisoner Pro Se Litigants, No.
Office of the Clerk of Court shall not enter any change of
address submitted by Plaintiffs which directs that mail be
sent to a person other than Plaintiffs unless that person is
an attorney admitted to practice before this court who has
entered a formal appearance.
IS SO ORDERED.
INFORMATION-PLEASE READ CAREFULLY
TO PRO SE PARTY ...