In January, Le-Marr Talley, Chaedyn Munn, John Turgeon and the company that they co-own, TalleyUp LLC, filed a complaint against California’s Tally Up LLC and its shareholders, alleging trademark infringement in connection with Tally Up’s use of “shoptallyup”. The complaint was filed pro se by Le-Marr Talley along with a motion to proceed in forma pauperis for a permanent injunction and an ex parte seizure order.
Judge Mastroianni granted Le-Marr Talley’s motion to proceed in forma pauperis, but noted that Talley, a non-lawyer, cannot represent TalleyUp LLC, as corporations in Massachusetts are not permitted to represent themselves and must be represented by a Massachusetts-barred attorney. Judge Mastroianni further noted that, where the complaint is not signed by an attorney, each party to the complaint must themselves sign it subject to the requirements of Fed. R. Civ. P. 11. As a non-lawyer, Talley cannot represent the other individuals, and each must sign indicating that they are proceeding pro se. Judge Mastroianni went on to note that, while Talley himself may proceed without paying the filing fee, no other party sought in forma pauperis status, and that each must thus pay a pro-rata portion of the $402 filing fee. He also indicated that the complaint (which did not contain separate counts) failed to comply with the pleading requirements of Fed. R. Civ. P. 8 and 10. Judge Mastroianni gave the non-Talley plaintiffs 21 days to sign an amended complaint, pay the requisite filing fee, and (in the case of TalleyUp LLC) file a notice of appearance of counsel.
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