S.V. v. Delano Union Elementary School District, et al.

Filing 72

ORDER DENYING 71 Motion for Reconsideration of Request to Withdraw Funds signed by Chief Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill on 10/9/2019. (Sant Agata, S)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 S.V., a minor, by and through her Guardian ad ) Litem, CLAUDIA VALENCIA, ) ) Plaintiff, ) ) v. ) DELANO UNION ELEMENTARY SCHOOL ) ) DISTRICT, et al., ) ) Defendants. Case No.: 1:17-cv-780- LJO JLT ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION OF REQUEST TO WITHDRAW FUNDS (ECF No. 69) Before the Court for decision is the renewed request by Claudia Valencia, guardian ad litem for her daughter S.V., to withdraw $4,000.00 from the blocked account set up in S.V.’s name as part of the settlement of this action. ECF No. 71. In May 2019, S.V., through her guardian, entered into a settlement agreement to resolve this matter in its entirety. ECF No. 62. Pursuant to the settlement, Defendants agreed to pay $45,000.00. ECF No. 64-1, Ex. 1. After attorney’s fees and costs were awarded to Plaintiff’s counsel, $25,713.53 of the total settlement fund was placed in a blocked account for S.V., designated to remain there until she obtains the age of 18. ECF No. 64-3. In petitioning for approval of the settlement, Claudia Valencia acknowledged on June 14, 2019, that “these funds may not be withdrawn before S.V. reaches the age of majority, 18 years old.” ECF No. 64-2. On September 3, 2019, Claudia Valencia filed a request to withdraw funds indicating that S.V.’s family has “personal matters” and that S.V. “needs money for her education, and essential necessities,” but did not provide any other details apart from indicating that Claudia Valencia’s “husband’s salary is 1 not enough to support our family at this time.” ECF No. 69. The Court denied that request without 2 prejudice. ECF No. 70. 3 On September 26, 2019, Claudia Valencia filed a revised request, again seeking to withdraw 4 $4,000.00 from the blocked account. ECF No. 71. This time, Claudia Valencia indicates that: (1) she 5 has a medical condition that prevents her from working; and (2) her husband was injured at work and 6 had to be off work for an unspecified period of time beginning in September of this year; and (3) it was 7 unclear at the time of her request whether her husband would receive workman’s compensation 8 benefits. Id. Claudia Valencia indicates that if her husband is unable to work and/or does not receive 9 workman’s compensation benefits, they would be struggling to pay their upcoming expenses. Id. 10 The Court finds the assertions of financial difficulty in the present request to be credible and is 11 sympathetic to the family’s situation. However, the minor’s funds cannot be used to support the family. 12 To find otherwise would be to disregard the very reason why the funds were placed in a blocked 13 account in the first place. Accordingly, the request is again DENIED. 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: October 9, 2019 /s/ Lawrence J. O’Neill _____ UNITED STATES CHIEF DISTRICT JUDGE

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