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Avoki v. City of Chester S. Carolina

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Rock Hill Division

May 22, 2017

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,
v.
City of Chester S. Carolina; Police of Chester South Carolina; United States; Doe I-XX, unknown, Defendants.

          ORDER

          PAIGE J. GOSSETT, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This is 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.

         REPRESENTATION OF MINOR CHILDREN:

         This 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.

         TO PLAINTIFFS:

         Plaintiffs 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.

         Plaintiffs 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 court.

         TO THE CLERK OF COURT:

         The 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. 3:07-mc-5015-JFA.

         The 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.

         IT IS SO ORDERED.

         IMPORTANT INFORMATION-PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

         WARNING TO PRO SE PARTY ...


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