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Cook v. General Motors Corp.

February 15, 2006

SYLVIA COOK, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS NEXT FRIEND OF MINORS ANDRE COOK, JR. AND ANDREA COOK; ANDRE COOK, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS NEXT FRIEND OF MINORS ANDRE COOK, JR. AND ANDREA COOK; ANDRE COOK, JR., THROUGH HIS NEXT FRIENDS SYLVIA COOK AND ANDRE COOK; AND ANDREA COOK, THROUGH HER NEXT FRIENDS SYLVIA COOK AND ANDRE COOK, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
GENERAL MOTORS CORPORATION, A DELAWARE CORPORATION; GENERAL MOTORS DE MEXICO, S. DE. R. L. DE. C.V., A MEXICAN CORPORATION; DELPHI AUTOMOTIVE SYSTEMS, LLC, A DELAWARE CORPORATION; EMERSON ELECTRIC CO., A MISSOURI CORPORATION; PBR AUSTRALIA PTY LTD., AN AUSTRALIAN CORPORATION; AND DURA AUTOMOTIVE SYSTEMS, INC., A DELAWARE CORPORATION, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Magistrate Judge Craig B. Shaffer

ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFFS' ATTORNEYS' AMENDED MOTION TO WITHDRAW

THIS MATTER comes before the court on Plaintiffs' Attorneys' Amended Motion to Withdraw (Document # 64), filed on February 6, 2006. The court will GRANT the pending motion and permit counsel to withdraw from their representation of Plaintiffs Sylvia Cook, Andre Cook, and the minor children Andre Cook, Jr. and Andrea Cook.

During a hearing on February 13, 2006, Plaintiff Sylvia Cook indicated that she was seeking replacement counsel for herself and her minor children. In the event those efforts are unsuccessful, Plaintiffs Sylvia Cook and Andre Cook may conduct their own cases personally, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1654. However, Ms. Cook should understand that her minor children cannot proceed pro se and must be represented by counsel. Although Mr. and Ms. Cook have the right to proceed pro se, they do not have the right to represent their minor children. See Meeker v. Kercher, 782 F.2d 153, 154 (10th Cir. 1986) (holding that under Fed.R.Civ.P. 17(c) and 28 U.S.C. § 1654, a minor child cannot bring suit through a parent acting as next friend if the parent is not represented by an attorney). See also Oltremari by McDaniel v. Kansas Social & Rehabilitative Service, 871 F. Supp. 1331, 1332 (D. Kan. 1994) (noting that because the plaintiff was not a lawyer, she could not represent her minor child without an attorney because the right to counsel belong to the child and the parent is powerless to waive it). Plaintiffs Sylvia Cook and Andre Cook are on notice that the claims of their minor children may be dismissed if counsel does not promptly enter an appearance on the behalf of Andre Cook Jr. and Andrea Cook.

Craig B. Shaffer United States Magistrate Judge

20060215

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