Webster et al v. Sutton et al
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING defendants Alexander and Damian Sutton's 12 MOTION for Joinder of L.S., as further set out in order. Signed by Honorable Judge Myron H. Thompson on 2/18/14. (Attachments: # 1 civil appeals checklist)(djy, )
IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA, EASTERN DIVISION
GLENN WEBSTER and
ALEXANDER SUTTON and
CIVIL ACTION NO.
OPINION AND ORDER
defendant Alexander Sutton, while driving a car owned by
defendant Damian Sutton, rear-ended them on Interstate
The Suttons removed this case from state to
federal court under diversity-of-citizenship jurisdiction,
28 U.S.C. § 1332.
Subsequently, Ms. Webster’s minor son,
L.S., through his mother brought a separate state-court
suffered in the same car crash.
This federal lawsuit is now before the court on the
Suttons’ motion to join L.S. as a plaintiff under Fed. R.
Civ. P. 20(a).
A hearing was held on the motion on
February 10, 2014.
Rule 20(a) states: “Persons may join
in one action as plaintiffs if” certain prerequisites are
plaintiffs to choose to bring litigation together or
The Suttons argue that the rule leaves the question of
whether to add a plaintiff to the court’s discretion.
Such an interpretation mangles the plain text of the rule,
telephone conference with the court, there is no authority
for their interpretation.
Rather, one commentator has
“The permissive party joinder rule gives
plaintiff great discretion to determine
the structure of litigation. Although
defendants may be able to alter the
plaintiff’s structure by impleading
third-party defendants or by moving for
the joinder of absentees who satisfy
Rule 19, defendants have no right to
insist that plaintiff join all persons
who might be joined under permissive
party joinder requirements.”
§ 20.02[b][I] (3d ed. 2013) (internal references and
Neither is it relevant that L.S.’s state-court suit
was brought through his mother, who is a plaintiff in
representing L.S.’s interests in the state-court lawsuit
and Ms. Webster’s in this one.
damages for his own injuries.
L.S.’s lawsuit seeks
It could have been brought
consequence that Ms. Webster was the one who brought it.
* * *
For the reasons listed above, it is the ORDERED that
defendants Alexander Sutton and Damian Sutton’s motion
for joinder of L.S. (Doc. No. 12) is denied.
DONE, this the 18th day of February, 2014.
/s/ Myron H. Thompson
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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