Bolden v. Moore et al
ORDER AND FINAL JUDGMENT: it is the ORDER, JUDGMENT, and DECREE of this Court that Bolden's garnishment claim against Nautilus is DISMISSED with prejudice; It is further ORDERED that costs are taxed as paid; The Clerk of the Court is DIRECTED to enter this document on the civil docket as a Final Judgment pursuant to Rule 58 of the FRCP. Signed by Chief Judge Emily C. Marks on 8/1/2022. (Furn: calendar, WS) (Terminated: FPC for 10/13/2022 & Jury Selection & Trial set for 11/28/2022)(es, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
LATISHA BOLDEN, as mother
and next friend of T.B., a minor, et al.,
NAUTILUS INSURANCE COMPANY,
) CIVIL ACT. NO. 3:20-cv-390-ECM
ORDER AND FINAL JUDGMENT
On July 11, 2022, the Court entered a Memorandum Opinion and Order granting
Defendant Nautilus Insurance Company’s (“Nautilus”) motion for summary judgment and
granting Nautilus’ motion for default judgment against Plaintiff Arnetta Moore on
Nautilus’ counterclaim for declaratory judgment. (Doc. 48). Therein, the Court found that
“Arnetta Moore is not entitled to coverage for the default judgment entered against her in
state court under the insurance policy issued by Nautilus (Policy Number
NEA_AL00001_P-4).” (Id. at 21). On July 21, 2022, the Court held a status conference
regarding the impact of the Court’s ruling (doc. 48) on Plaintiff Latisha Bolden’s
garnishment claim against Nautilus pursuant to Alabama Code §§ 27-23-1, -2. Thereafter,
the Court directed the parties to jointly file a document outlining their respective positions
regarding the appropriate disposition of the garnishment claim.
The parties filed a Joint Submission outlining their respective positions regarding
the appropriate disposition of the garnishment claim on July 27, 2022. (Doc. 54). Although
Bolden does not concede that Nautilus was entitled to summary judgment on the issue of
coverage, Bolden nonetheless “agrees that the garnishment claim is dependent upon the
existence of coverage for Nautilus’ insured Arnetta Moore.” (Id. at 2). Bolden requests
that the Court “enter a final order on both the issues of coverage and garnishment so that
the disposal of her claims against Defendant Nautilus may be made final.” (Id.). Nautilus
contends that Bolden’s “garnishment rights are dependent upon the rights of Arnetta
Moore,” and “[b]ecause the Court ruled there is no coverage for Arnetta Moore, and
Plaintiff Bolden stands in Moore’s shoes with regard to insurance coverage, summary
judgment also is warranted on Bolden’s garnishment claim against Nautilus.” (Id. at 3).
“The law is clear that a judgment creditor’s right under § 27-23-2 to proceed against
the insurance company to satisfy a judgment obtained against the defendant/insured is
dependent upon the rights of the insured against its insurer under the policy.” St. Paul Fire
& Marine Ins. Co. v. Nowlin, 542 So. 2d 1190, 1194 (Ala. 1988); see also Barton v.
Nationwide Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 524 F. Supp. 3d 1219, 1228 (N.D. Ala. 2021) (“[R]ecovery
under Section 27-23-2 is circumscribed by the coverage limitations of the insured’s
insurance policy.”). Thus, in a § 27-23-2 action, the injured party “effectively stands in
the shoes of the insured tortfeasor . . . in making h[er] claim, and [s]he is entitled to
recover from [the insurer] only to the extent of [the insured tortfeasor’s] coverage for the
claims asserted against them.” Admiral Ins. Co. v. Price-Williams, 129 So. 3d 991, 997
(Ala. 2013). Based upon the applicable law and the parties’ Joint Submission, the Court
concludes that its finding that Nautilus owes no coverage to Arnetta Moore is determinative
of Bolden’s garnishment claim against Nautilus, and that Bolden’s garnishment claim
against Nautilus is due to be dismissed. Accordingly, it is the
ORDER, JUDGMENT, and DECREE of this Court that Bolden’s garnishment
claim against Nautilus is DISMISSED with prejudice. It is further
ORDERED that costs are taxed as paid.
The Clerk of the Court is DIRECTED to enter this document on the civil docket as
a Final Judgment pursuant to Rule 58 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Done this 1st day of August, 2022.
/s/Emily C. Marks
EMILY C. MARKS
CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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