Nunes et al v. County of Stanislaus et al

Filing 4

ORDER Requiring Plaintiff's to Apply for Appointment of Guardian Ad Litem signed by Magistrate Judge Stanley A. Boone on 05/17/2017. (Flores, E)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 ANGELINA NUNES, et al., Plaintiffs, 12 13 14 15 Case No. 1:17-cv-00633-DAD-SAB ORDER REQUIRING MINOR PLAINTIFFS TO APPLY FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM v. COUNTY OF STANISLAUS, et al., Defendants. 16 17 On May 5, 2017, this action was filed by Plaintiffs Angelina Nunes, Emanuel Alves, and 18 minors D. X. and L. X. In the complaint, the minors asserted that they would be applying to this 19 court for appointment of a guardian ad litem. However, no request for appointment of a guardian 20 ad litem has been filed. 21 Pursuant to Rule 17 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a representative of a minor 22 may sue or defend on the minor’s behalf. Fed. R. Civ. P. 17(c). This requires the Court to take 23 whatever measures it deems appropriate to protect the interests of the individual during the 24 litigation. United States v. 30.64 Acres of Land, More or Less, Situated in Klickitat Cty., State 25 of Wash., 795 F.2d 796, 805 (9th Cir. 1986). The appointment of the guardian ad litem is more 26 than a mere formality. Id. “A guardian ad litem is authorized to act on behalf of his ward and 27 may make all appropriate decisions in the course of specific litigation.” Id. A guardian ad litem 28 need not possess any special qualifications, but he must “be truly dedicated to the best interests 1 1 of the person on whose behalf he seeks to litigate.” AT&T Mobility, LLC v. Yeager, 143 2 F.Supp.3d 1042, 9 (E.D. Cal. 2015). This means that the guardian ad litem cannot face an 3 impermissible conflict of interest with the ward and courts consider the candidate’s “experience, 4 objectivity, and expertise” or previous relationship with the ward. Id. (citations omitted). “[W]hen a parent brings an action on behalf of a child, and it is evident that the interests 5 6 of each are the same, no need exists for someone other than the parent to represent the child’s 7 interests under Rule 17(c).” Gonzalez v. Reno, 86 F.Supp.2d 1167, 1185 (S.D. Fla.), aff’d sub 8 nom. Gonzalez v. Reno, 212 F.3d 1338 (11th Cir. 2000). While a parent is generally appointed 9 as a guardian ad litem, there are situations where the best interests of the minor and the interests 10 of the parent conflict. Anthem Life Ins. Co. v. Olguin, No. 1:06-CV-01165 AWINEW, 2007 11 WL 1390672, at *2 (E.D. Cal. May 9, 2007). Therefore, a parent is not entitled as a matter of 12 right to act as guardian ad litem for the child. Id. at *2. Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that within ten (10) days from the date of entry 13 14 of this order, Plaintiffs D.X. and L.X. shall either file a notice regarding appointment as guardian 15 ad litem by the State court or a petition for appointment of guardian ad litem in this action. 16 17 IT IS SO ORDERED. 18 Dated: May 17, 2017 UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

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