Ventura et al v. Rutledge et al

Filing 16

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)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 12 MARIA VENTURA, individually and on behalf of the ESTATE OF OMAR VENTURA, 13 14 15 16 17 18 Plaintiff, v. OFFICER JENNIFER RUTLEDGE; UNKNOWN POLICE OFFICERS; and CITY OF PORTERVILLE, CALIFORNIA, No. 1:17-cv-00237-DAD-SKO ORDER GRANTING LEAVE TO FILE SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT AND APPOINTING GUARDIAN AD LITEM (Doc. Nos. 14, 15) Defendants. 19 On October 3, 2017, the parties in this action filed a stipulation to grant plaintiffs leave to 20 file a second amended complaint to add two additional plaintiffs, the children and heirs of the 21 decedent, Omar Ventura: O.V. and J.V. (Doc. No. 14.) Plaintiffs have also separately filed a 22 motion to appoint Maria Ventura as guardian ad litem for O.V. and J.V. (Doc. No. 15.) 23 “District courts have a special duty, derived from Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 17(c), 24 to safeguard the interests of litigants who are minors.” Robidoux v. Rosengren, 638 F.3d 1177, 25 1181 (9th Cir. 2011). Rule 17 provides that “[t]he court must appoint a guardian ad litem—or 26 issue another appropriate order—to protect a minor or incompetent person who is unrepresented 27 in an action.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 17(c)(2). Local Rule 202(a) of this court further states, in pertinent 28 1 1 part: 2 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). 3 4 5 6 The decision to appoint a guardian ad litem “must normally be left to the sound discretion of the 7 trial court.” United States v. 30.64 Acres of Land, 795 F.2d 796, 804 (9th Cir. 1986). 8 Maria Ventura is the paternal grandmother to the minor children, O.V. and J.V. (Id. at 1, 9 ¶ 2.) She is a resident of Tulare County and the surviving mother of the decedent, Omar Ventura. 10 Both O.V. and J.V. live in Tulare County with their mother, Martha Andrade who has consented 11 to the appointment of Ms. Ventura as their guardian ad litem. (Id. at 1–2, ¶¶ 2, 3, 5.) Ms. 12 Ventura avers that she has no interests adverse to the minors, is not a competing heir to the Estate 13 of Omar Ventura, and that it would be administratively simpler to appoint a current plaintiff as 14 the minor’s guardian ad litem than to add another party. (Id. at 2, ¶¶ 3–4.) 15 Accordingly, finding good cause and for the reasons set forth above, the court will: 16 1. In light of the parties’ stipulation, grant plaintiffs’ leave to file a second amended 17 complaint to add O.V. and J.V. as plaintiffs in this action in accordance with Federal 18 Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a)(2); and 19 2. Grant plaintiffs’ motion (Doc. No. 15) to appoint Maria Ventura as guardian ad litem 20 21 22 for O.V. and J.V. IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: October 4, 2017 UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

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