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Brent v. Snyder

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

April 21, 2015

NATHANIEL BRENT, personally and on behalf of his minor children SB and JB; SHERRIE BRENT, personally and on behalf of her minor children SB and JB; AARON BRENT;
v.
RICK SNYDER, et al., Defendants-Appellees JAMIE BRENT; ROBERT BRENT, Plaintiffs-Appellants,

April 21, 2015, Filed

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan at Detroit. No. 2:13-cv-13128--Julian A. Cook, Jr., District Judge.

NATHANIEL BRENT, personally and on behalf of his minor children SB and JB, Plaintiff - Appellant, Pro se, Detroit, MI.

SHERRIE BRENT, personally and on behalf of her minor children SB and JB, Plaintiff - Appellant, Pro se, Detroit, MI.

AARON BRENT, Plaintiff - Appellant, Pro se, Detroit, MI.

JAMIE BRENT, Plaintiff - Appellant, Pro se, Detroit, MI.

ROBERT BRENT, Plaintiff - Appellant, Pro se, London, KY.

RICK SNYDER, in his official capacity as Governor of the State of Michigan, MAURA CORRIGAN, in her official capacity as Director of the Department of Human Service, STEVE ARWOOD, in his official capacity as Director of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, MIKE ZIMMER, in his official capacity as Executive Director of the Michigan Administrative Hearing System, BILL SCHUETTE, in his official capacity as the Michigan Attorney General, DWAYNE A. HAYWOOD, in his official capacity as the Director of Wayne County Department of Human Services, ROBERT P. YOUNG, JR., in his official capacity as the Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, Defendants - Appellees: Kristin M. Heyse, Lisa C. Geminick, Office of the Attorney General of Michigan, Lansing, MI.

Before: GIBBONS, SUTTON, and KETHLEDGE, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Per Curiam.

This matter is before the court upon consideration of the response to this court's order directing Nathaniel Brent to show cause why his adult children Aaron Brent, Jamie Brent, and Robert Brent should not be removed as appellants in this appeal.

The district court dismissed the Brents' lawsuit on September 21, 2014. Nathaniel filed a notice of appeal on October 17, 2014, well within Appellate Rule 4's thirty-day limit. See Fed. R. App. P. 4(a)(1)(A). The notice identifies " all plaintiffs" as appellants, but only Nathaniel's signature appears on the page.

The absence of other signatures does not pose a problem for Nathaniel's wife Sherrie and his minor children. See Fed. R. App. P. 3(c)(2). But it does pose a problem for his adult children. Nathaniel does not appear to be licensed to practice law, and as a consequence may not represent them on appeal--or sign his name on their behalf. See 28 U.S.C. § 1654. Because his adult children did not sign the notice themselves, they have failed to perfect their appeal. See Becker v. Montgomery, 532 U.S. 757, 763, 121 S.Ct. 1801, 149 L.Ed.2d 983 (2001). Fortunately for them, that is not the end of the matter. The signature requirement is mandatory but not jurisdictional. See id. at 765. That means they may correct their error " bye signing the paper on file or by submitting a duplicate that contains the signature." Id. at 764 (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 11(a)).

We therefore give Aaron Brent, Jamie Brent, and Robert Brent thirty days from this order's entry to sign their already-filed notice of appeal or to submit a duplicate notice of appeal containing their signatures. Otherwise, we will dismiss them as appellants from this appeal.


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