United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
CARL J. PERRY, JR., Plaintiff,
COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY et al., Defendants.
J. Hale, Judge
a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 prisoner civil rights action
ostensibly brought by Carl J. Perry, Jr. However, a review of
the pleadings prompted the Court to be concerned about the
authenticity of Mr. Perry's signatures on both the
complaint and the motion for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis (DNs 1 & 3). Indeed, their unique
handwriting style suggested to the Court that they may have
been drafted and signed by a frequent-filer in this Court,
Mr. Yale Larry Balcar. Thus, the Court directed Mr. Perry to show
cause why the action should not be dismissed based upon the
apparent forgery of his signature on these documents by Mr.
response to the show cause Order, a document again
handwritten in Mr. Balcar's unique style was filed with
the Court (DN 6). This document does not refute the fact that
Mr. Balcar signed Mr. Perry's name to the complaint or
motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis.
Rather, it states that Mr. Balcar has “my general power
of attorney as a true and lawful person for me and in my
name, place and stead and for my use and benefit. Also before
Yale Larry Balcar had a limit power of attorney on record at
KSR about 1 years now. Mr. Balcar has the rights to sign my
name and no violation of the Rules and no cause for dismissal
of the case.” This document is purportedly signed by
Mr. Perry himself and by Mr. Balcar for Mr. Perry as
“power of attorney.” A general power of attorney
form is attached to this document as an exhibit (DN 6-1).
This form appears to give Mr. Balcar power of attorney for
Mr. Perry. This form was purportedly signed by Mr. Perry on
October 16, 2017, approximately two months after Mr. Balcar
signed Mr. Perry's name to the complaint and motion for
leave to proceed in forma pauperis in this action.
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires that
“every pleading, written motion, and other paper”
be signed “by a party personally if the party is
unrepresented.” This means that that each unrepresented
party must personally sign every pleading, motion, or other
paper filed with the Court. Furthermore, 28 U.S.C. §
1654 provides that “[i]n all courts of the United
States the parties may plead and conduct their own cases
personally or by counsel . . . .” See Eagle Assocs.
v. Bank of Montreal, 926 F.2d 1305, 1308 (2d Cir. 1991)
(advising that § 1654 “‘does not allow for
unlicensed laymen to represent anyone else other than
themselves'”) (citation omitted).
is no exception in these rules for the use of a “power
of attorney.” “[I]n federal court a party can
represent himself or be represented by an attorney, but
cannot be represented by a nonlawyer.” Shepherd v.
Wellman, 313 F.3d 963, 970 (6th Cir. 2002); Gonzales
v. Wyatt, 157 F.3d 1016, 1021 (5th Cir. 1998). Thus, any
authority that Mr. Balcar may have as power of attorney for
Mr. Perry does not authorize him to practice law by
representing Mr. Perry in a lawsuit; that can only be done by
a licensed attorney. See Kapp v. Booker, No.
05-402-JMH, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6370, *8 (E.D. Ky. Feb. 16,
2006); see also Laurie v. Maxwell, No. CV-
08-004-BLG-RFC, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27414, at *2 (D. Mont.
Apr. 1, 2008) (finding that non-party who signed motion with
“power of attorney” was not licensed to practice
law and could not file actions, sign pleadings for or act on
behalf of the plaintiff, even with a power of attorney);
Harris v. Philadelphia Police Dept., No. 06-CV-2192,
2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76765, at *7 (E.D. Pa. Oct. 20, 2006)
(“federal courts do not permit a non-attorney to engage
in the unauthorized practice of law by pursuing an action
pro se with the plaintiffs power of
attorney”); DePonceau v. Pataki, 315 F.Supp.2d
338, 341 (W.D.N.Y. 2004) (authority conferred on another by a
power of attorney cannot be used to circumscribe state laws
that prohibit the practice of law by anyone other than a
the Court will dismiss this action by separate Order for
failure to comply with Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Mr. Balcar is WARNED that if he continues to
engage in the unauthorized practice of law by signing
pleadings or motions on behalf of other individuals, he may
be exposed to sanctions, including fines.
 Since 2015, Mr. Balcar has filed 12
prisoner civil rights actions in this Court and is now
subject to the three-strikes bar of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).
In five of these actions, Mr. Perry was a co-plaintiff with
Mr. Balcar. The complaints in each of these five actions bear
the distinct signatures of both Mr. Perry and Mr. Balcar.
See Balcar v. Smith et al., No. 3:16-cv-599-TBR (DN
1-3); Balcar et al. v. Kentucky State Reformatory et
al., 3:16-cv-665-CRS (DN 1); Balcar et al. v.
Kentucky State Reformatory et al., 3:16-cv-687-GNS (DN
1); Balcar et al. v. Aramark et al., 3:17-cv-327-GNS
(DN 1-1); and Balcar et al. v. Kentucky State Reformatory
et al., 3:17-cv-355-TBR (DN 1). Neither the signature on