United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Columbia Division
Orlando Ira Brown, on behalf of; International Recovery Services, LLC; International Trade Finance, LLC; Standard Commerce Bank, Plaintiffs,
Synovus Bank; SunTrust Bank, Defendants.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
J. GOSSETT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Ira Brown filed this Complaint on behalf of the corporate
plaintiffs named in the caption. This matter is before the
court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Civil
Rule 73.02(B)(2) (D.S.C.). Because the Complaint was signed
by Orlando Ira Brown, the Clerk of Court listed Brown as a
Plaintiff on the docket, and the court conducted a
preliminary review of the case in accordance with applicable
on the preliminary review, it appears Brown is attempting to
prosecute this civil action on behalf of the named corporate
plaintiffs. However, Brown is not an attorney, and
corporations may not proceed in this court without counsel.
See Eagle Assocs. v. Bank of Montreal, 926 F.2d,
1305, 1308 (2d Cir. 1991) (collecting cases); see also
Ashbaugh v. Corp. of Bolivar, 481 Fed.Appx. 840 (2012).
Therefore, the court issued an order on July 9, 2018
directing the named corporate plaintiffs to obtain counsel
within thirty days or be terminated as plaintiffs. (ECF No.
9.) The court has not received a response to that order and
the deadline to respond has lapsed. Because the corporate
plaintiffs have not obtained counsel in this case, the court
finds that any claims they are attempting to raise in this
matter must be dismissed without prejudice.
Brown, the court finds he should be terminated from the
docket as a plaintiff because he appears to be attempting to
act as counsel for the named corporations, even though he is
not an attorney. Thus, Brown has no standing to bring the
claim or claims asserted in the Complaint. See Pye v.
United States, 269 F.3d 459, 466 (2001) (“Standing
is a threshold jurisdictional question which ensures that a
suit is a case or controversy appropriate for the exercise of
the courts' judicial powers under the Constitution of the
United States.”) (citing Steel Co. v. Citizens for
a Better Environment, 523 U.S. 83, 102 (1998)); see
also Beck v. McDonald, 848 F.3d 262, 269-70 (4th Cir.
2017) (stating the plaintiff bears the burden of establishing
extent Brown seeks to prosecute this case personally, the
Complaint should be dismissed as frivolous. See Mallard
v. U.S. Dist. Court, 490 U.S. 296, 307-08 (1989)
(“Section 1915(d) . . . authorizes courts to dismiss a
‘frivolous or malicious' action, but there is
little doubt they would have power to do so even in the
absence of this statutory provision.”); Ross v.
Baron, 493 Fed.Appx. 405, 406 (4th Cir. 2012)
(“[F]rivolous complaints are subject to dismissal
pursuant to the inherent authority of the court, even when
the filing fee has been paid . . . [and] because a court
lacks subject matter jurisdiction over an obviously frivolous
complaint, dismissal prior to service of process is
permitted.”) (citations omitted). The Complaint
indicates the court's basis for jurisdiction is a claim
pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act
(“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 et
seq., but the Complaint contains no facts that would
support such a claim. See Burgess v. Charlottesville Sav.
& Loan Ass'n, 477 F.2d 40, 43-44 (4th Cir. 1973)
(“[T]he mere assertion in a pleading that the case is
one involving the construction or application of the federal
laws does not authorize the District Court to entertain the
suit[, ] nor does federal jurisdiction attach on the bare
assertion that a federal right or law has been infringed or
violated or that the suit takes its origin in the laws of the
United States.”) (internal citations and quotation
marks omitted). No. other cognizable legal claim is apparent
on the face of the Complaint. See Dracos v. Hellenic
Lines, Ltd., 762 F.2d 348, 350 (4th Cir. 1985)
(“[P]laintiffs must affirmatively plead the
jurisdiction of the federal court.”); see also
Holloway v. Pagan River Dockside Seafood, Inc., 669 F.3d
448, 452-53 (4th Cir. 2012) (finding that where the alleged
federal claim is “so insubstantial, implausible,
foreclosed by prior decisions of [the United States Supreme
Court], or otherwise completely devoid of merit as not to
involve a federal controversy, ” subject matter
jurisdiction does not exist over that claim) (citing
Steel Company v. Citizens for a Better Environment,
523 U.S. 83, 89 (1998)). Thus, even assuming Brown intends to
prosecute this action on his own behalf, the Complaint is
frivolous and lacks any indication that the court would have
subject matter jurisdiction.
on the foregoing, the court recommends that the case be
dismissed for lack of prosecution and for lack of subject
matter jurisdiction. See Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 41(b); Link v. Wabash R.R. Co., 370 U.S.
626, 630-31 (1962). The court also recommends Brown's
motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis be
terminated as moot. (ECF No. 2.)
of Right to File Objections to Report and
parties are advised that they may file specific written
objections to this Report and Recommendation with the
District Judge. Objections must specifically identify the
portions of the Report and Recommendation to which objections
are made and the basis for such objections. “[I]n the
absence of a timely filed objection, a district court need
not conduct a de novo review, but instead must ‘only
satisfy itself that there is no clear error on the face of
the record in order to accept the recommendation.'”
Diamond v. Colonial Life & Acc. Ins. Co., 416
F.3d 310 (4th Cir. 2005) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 72 advisory
written objections must be filed within fourteen (14) days of
the date of service of this Report and Recommendation. 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b); see
Fed.R.Civ.P. 6(a), (d). Filing by mail pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 5 may be accomplished by mailing
Robin L. Blume, Clerk United States District Court 901
Richland Street Columbia, South Carolina 29201
to timely file specific written objections to this Report and
Recommendation will result in waiver of the right to appeal
from a judgment of the District Court based upon such
Recommendation. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1);
Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140 (1985); Wright v.
Collins, 766 F.2d 841 (4th Cir. 1985); United States
v. Schronce, 727 F.2d 91 (4th Cir. 1984).
 Consequently, the court also
recommends Brown's motion for leave to proceed in
forma pauperis be terminated as ...