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Never Lost Golf, LLC v. Steinert

United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division

September 27, 2016

NEVER LOST GOLF, LLC; MICHAEL CARNELL, d/b/a The Never Lost Golf Tee Saver and d/b/a The Never Lost Golf Tee Saver Mat System; THE N.L.G. LIVING TRUST, by Teresa O'Keefe and Grant L. Holloway, Trustees; and ADM HOTELS AND RESORTS GROUP, LLC; Plaintiffs,
v.
MAIA STEINERT, CHRISTOPH STEPHAN, RALF MENWEGEN, STEINERT & STEPHAN, MARKUS SCHUMANN, and HARRIBERT PAMP, Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          JOSEPH S. VAN BOKKELEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         A. Background and procedural posture

         Plaintiffs filed their complaint on October 22, 2015. (Compl., DE 1.)

         On January 27, 2016, Plaintiffs moved for entry of default against Defendant Pamp. (Pls.' Mot. Entry Default, DE 11.) The same day, Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint. (Am. Compl., DE 12).

         On February 16, 2016, Defendants Steinert, Stephan, and Schumann moved to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction and venue. (Defs.' Mot. Dismiss, DE 13.) On February 26, 2016, Plaintiffs moved for an extension of time to respond to the motion to dismiss, noting that Plaintiffs would retain new co-counsel “shortly” to help with the response. (Pls.' Mot. Extension, DE 15.)

         But on March 15, 2015, without the appearance of any new co-counsel, Plaintiffs moved for a further extension to respond and Plaintiffs' attorney moved to withdraw. (Pls.' Supplemental Mot. Extension, DE 16; Mot. Withdraw, DE 17.)

         On March 17, 2016, the Magistrate Judge granted the attorney's withdrawal regarding four of the five Plaintiffs and allowed the attorney an opportunity to complete the withdrawal process regarding the fifth Plaintiff. (Order, DE 18 at 2.) The Magistrate Judge ordered Plaintiff Carnell to file a status report regarding his representation intentions by April 18, 2016, cautioning him that failure to respond may result in dismissal of this case. (Id.) The Magistrate Judge also noted that the LLC Plaintiffs and trust Plaintiff cannot litigate this case without representation, ordered these Plaintiffs to file status reports by April 18, 2016, indicating whether they intended to secure counsel, and cautioned them that failure to respond may result in dismissal of this case. (Id. at 3.) Finally, the Magistrate Judge extended the deadline for all Plaintiffs to respond to the motion to dismiss to May 18, 2016. (Id.)

         On April 14, 2016, the attorney for the fifth Plaintiff corrected the defect precluding his withdrawal from representation of that Plaintiff. (Am. Mot. Withdraw, DE 19.)

         On April 26, 2016, Plaintiff Carnell “on behalf of all plaintiffs” filed a status report asserting that all Plaintiffs intended to retain new counsel and asking for more time to do so. (Status Report, DE 20 at 2.)

         On April 28, 2016, the Magistrate Judge granted the attorney's withdrawal from the fifth Plaintiff. (Order, DE 21 at 1.) The Magistrate Judge reiterated that the LLC Plaintiffs could not proceed in this case without counsel. (Id. at 2.) The Magistrate Judge gave all Plaintiffs until May 27, 2016, to secure counsel, cautioning them that failure to respond may result in dismissal of this case. (Id. at 2.) The Magistrate Judge also extended the deadline for all Plaintiffs to respond to the motion to dismiss to May 27, 2016. (Id. at 2.)

         On June 16, 2016, the Magistrate Judge extended the deadline for all Plaintiffs to respond to the motion to dismiss to July 15, 2016. (Order, DE 23 at 2.) But on July 13, 2016, Plaintiff Carnell asked for another extension to retain counsel and respond to the motion to dismiss. (Mot. Extension, DE 24.)

         On July 20, 2016, Plaintiff Carnell, still pro se but still purporting to speak on behalf of all Plaintiffs, moved for a cease and desist order forbidding all Defendants from having any contact with any Plaintiff. (Mot. Cease and Desist Order, DE 25.)

         On July 22, 2016, the Magistrate Judge stayed all proceedings until September 1, 2016, and noted that if by that date no counsel had appeared for the LLC Plaintiffs or trust Plaintiff, then the Court would consider dropping them from this case. (Order, DE 26 at 1-2.) The Magistrate Judge also extended the deadline to respond to the motion to dismiss to September 15, 2016, for any represented entity Plaintiffs and for Plaintiff Carnell regardless of representation. (Id. at 2.)

         The stay lifted and still no new attorney appeared for the Plaintiffs. On September 6, 2016, the Magistrate Judge ordered the entity Plaintiffs to file a status report by September 22, 2016, regarding why they should not be dropped from this case. (Order, DE 27 at 2.) Yet again, the Magistrate Judge cautioned these Plaintiffs that failure to respond may result in dismissal of this case. (Id. at 3.) The Magistrate Judge also noted that the deadline for all ...


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