Ventura et al v. Rutledge et al
ORDER GRANTING 15 Motion to Appoint Guardian Ad Litem ; ORDER GRANTING 14 Motion to File Second Amended Complaint, signed by District Judge Dale A. Drozd on 10/4/17. (Martin-Gill, S)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
MARIA VENTURA, individually and on
behalf of the ESTATE OF OMAR
OFFICER JENNIFER RUTLEDGE;
UNKNOWN POLICE OFFICERS; and
CITY OF PORTERVILLE,
ORDER GRANTING LEAVE TO FILE
SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT AND
APPOINTING GUARDIAN AD LITEM
(Doc. Nos. 14, 15)
On October 3, 2017, the parties in this action filed a stipulation to grant plaintiffs leave to
file a second amended complaint to add two additional plaintiffs, the children and heirs of the
decedent, Omar Ventura: O.V. and J.V. (Doc. No. 14.) Plaintiffs have also separately filed a
motion to appoint Maria Ventura as guardian ad litem for O.V. and J.V. (Doc. No. 15.)
“District courts have a special duty, derived from Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 17(c),
to safeguard the interests of litigants who are minors.” Robidoux v. Rosengren, 638 F.3d 1177,
1181 (9th Cir. 2011). Rule 17 provides that “[t]he court must appoint a guardian ad litem—or
issue another appropriate order—to protect a minor or incompetent person who is unrepresented
in an action.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 17(c)(2). Local Rule 202(a) of this court further states, in pertinent
Upon commencement of an action or upon initial appearance in
defense of an action by or on behalf of a minor . . . the attorney
representing the minor or incompetent person shall present . . . a
motion for the appointment of a guardian ad litem by the Court, or .
. . a showing satisfactory to the Court that no such appointment is
necessary to ensure adequate representation of the minor or
incompetent person. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 17(c).
The decision to appoint a guardian ad litem “must normally be left to the sound discretion of the
trial court.” United States v. 30.64 Acres of Land, 795 F.2d 796, 804 (9th Cir. 1986).
Maria Ventura is the paternal grandmother to the minor children, O.V. and J.V. (Id. at 1,
¶ 2.) She is a resident of Tulare County and the surviving mother of the decedent, Omar Ventura.
Both O.V. and J.V. live in Tulare County with their mother, Martha Andrade who has consented
to the appointment of Ms. Ventura as their guardian ad litem. (Id. at 1–2, ¶¶ 2, 3, 5.) Ms.
Ventura avers that she has no interests adverse to the minors, is not a competing heir to the Estate
of Omar Ventura, and that it would be administratively simpler to appoint a current plaintiff as
the minor’s guardian ad litem than to add another party. (Id. at 2, ¶¶ 3–4.)
Accordingly, finding good cause and for the reasons set forth above, the court will:
1. In light of the parties’ stipulation, grant plaintiffs’ leave to file a second amended
complaint to add O.V. and J.V. as plaintiffs in this action in accordance with Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a)(2); and
2. Grant plaintiffs’ motion (Doc. No. 15) to appoint Maria Ventura as guardian ad litem
for O.V. and J.V.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
October 4, 2017
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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