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Luxottica Retail North America, Inc., D/B/A Pearle Vision v. George L. Haffner Enterprises

December 16, 2011


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Steven D. Merryday United States District Judge


The plaintiff, Luxottica Retail North America, Inc., operate a "distinctive optical retail system" known as "Pearle Vision." The plaintiff sues (Doc. 1) for breach of contract, trademark infringement, and unfair competition. Seeking money damages and injunctive relief, the complaint alleges unauthorized operation of two Pearle Vision stores and unauthorized use of Pearle Vision's trademarks.

On October 26, 2011, the plaintiff moved (Doc. 2) for a preliminary injunction. The defendants George L. Haffner Enterprises, Inc., and George L. Haffner each received service on October 31, 2011. (Docs. 5, 7) The defendant Gail Mabry received service on November 1, 2011. (Doc. 6) On November 18, 2011, Haffner and Mabry each filed (Docs. 8, 9) a notice of pro se appearance or, in the defendants' words, a "notice of limited appearance." The unusual notices include an assortment of more or less familiar phrases arranged in a bizarre manner, for example:

Now coming is the man george-leslie, formerly of the Haffner family, by Limited Appearance and not by general appearance, reserving all rights, by necessity, for the protection of freedom, rights, titles, and interests in this civil action. The sole purpose of this limited appearance is to honor this court and at all pertinent times by acting under Variation of Agreement, in good-fath, with clean hands, with no intention of contempt, delay, or obstruction of the due process of the law, but for the purpose of maintaining the domestic, private, and public international order. Moreover, limited appearance is made in an effort to facilitate the peaceful and immediate-settlement of any and all stated disputes or claims, charges) [sic] and to further facilitate the immediate satisfaction, closure, and discharge of GEORGE L. HAFFNER pertaining to this account . . . and any other related account(s).

(Doc. 8) (emphasis in original) On November 18, 2011, Haffner and Mabry filed (Docs. 10, 11) documents entitled "Response to Civil Complaint; and Motion for Injunctive Relief." Unsurprisingly, the documents include similar assertions:

1. For the reasons outlined below, George L. Haffner cannot and does not enter a plea in this matter at this time.

2. George L. Haffner does not have legal standing in this court.

8. There is no controversy to be adjudicated by this court.

12. George L. Haffner cannot comprehend the intent of this civil action with out [sic] the aid of a qualified attorney.

15. Due to George L. Haffner's lack of understanding and lack of knowledge, George L. Haffner does not consent or agree at this time to grant general jurisdiction to this court or the adjudication of any facts stated in the papers without proper representation and advice of a qualified attorney.

The documents purport to offer a (confusing) settlement, confess "common law" judgment, and appoint the plaintiff's counsel as the defendants' own "collateral endorser and surety."

On November 28, 2011, the defendants filed (Docs. 12, 13) two boxes of documents, which include a copy of the summons, complaint, and each exhibit filed by the plaintiff. Revealing an impressive tolerance for tedium, Haffner and Mabry (and not "george-leslie" and "marjorie-gail") stamped and signed each page. The stamp states:

ACCEPTED FOR VALUE NON-NEGOTIABLE ACCEPTED FOR VALUE AND RETURNED George Leslie Haffner Accepts for Value this presentment "CLAIM" and ALL related Endorsements front and back, in accordance with Uniform Commercial Code 3-419 and House Joint Resolution 192 of June 5, 1933. Please adjust the account(s) for all bonds proceeds, products, accounts and fixtures and the court is directed to immediately release the order(s) of this court to this man, george-leslie (haffner). This Religious and Holy man, george-leslie (haffner), the res, corpus-body, and property is EXEMPT FROM BODILY ATTACHMENT, ARREST, LEVY or LIEN PRIORITY-PREPAID. (Docs. 12, 13, 17) (emphasis in original) On December 5, 2011, default was entered (Doc. 15) against George L. Haffner Enterprises, Inc. On December 9, 2011, Haffner and Mabry returned (Doc. 17) to the court the notice of designation, the order directing the clerk to enter default against the corporation, and the clerk's default.

Again, Haffner and Mabry stamped and signed each page.*fn1 Citing Rules 8 and 12, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the plaintiff moves (Doc. 18) to strike the pro se ...

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