Anita Valladores et al v. Ashtree Apartments, LLC

Filing 18

ORDER GRANTING 17 Samantha Shepherd's Petition for Appointment of Guardian Ad Litem for her Minor Children E.J. and M.J., signed by Magistrate Judge Stanley A. Boone on 11/18/2020. (Rivera, O)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 ANITA VALLADORES, et al., 12 13 14 Case No. 1:20-cv-01155-DAD-SAB Plaintiffs, v. ASHTREE APARTMENTS, LLC., 15 Defendant. ORDER GRANTING SAMANTHA SHEPHERD’S PETITION FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM FOR HER MINOR CHILDREN E.J. AND M.J. (ECF No. 17) 16 17 On August 17, 2020, Anita Valladores and minors D.C. and K.C. filed a complaint in this 18 action alleging violations of the Fair Housing Act of 1968, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq. 19 (ECF No. 2.). On August 19, 2020, the parties were ordered to file a petition for appointment of 20 guardian ad litem for the minor plaintiffs. (ECF No. 8.) On August 31, 2020, an order issued 21 granting Anita Valladores petition to be appointed guardian ad litem for her minor children. 22 (ECF No. 10.) 23 On October 27, 2020, Ashtree Apartments, LLC filed an answer to the complaint. (ECF 24 No. 12.) A first amended complaint was filed on November 17, 2020 adding Samantha Shepherd 25 and her minor children M.J. and E.J. as plaintiffs in this matter. (ECF No. 16.) Along with the 26 amended complaint, a petition for appointment of Samantha Shepherd as a guardian ad litem for 27 her minor children was filed. (ECF No. 17.) 28 Pursuant to Rule 17 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a representative of an 1 1 incompetent person may sue or defend on the incompetent person’s behalf. Fed. R. Civ. P. 17(c). 2 This requires the Court to take whatever measures it deems appropriate to protect the interests of 3 the individual during the litigation. United States v. 30.64 Acres of Land, More or Less, Situated 4 in Klickitat Cty., State of Wash., 795 F.2d 796, 805 (9th Cir. 1986). The appointment of the 5 guardian ad litem is more than a mere formality. Id. “A guardian ad litem is authorized to act on 6 behalf of his ward and may make all appropriate decisions in the course of specific litigation.” Id. 7 A guardian ad litem need not possess any special qualifications, but he must “be truly dedicated 8 to the best interests of the person on whose behalf he seeks to litigate.” AT&T Mobility, LLC v. 9 Yeager, 143 F.Supp.3d 1042, 9 (E.D. Cal. 2015). This means that the guardian ad litem cannot 10 face an impermissible conflict of interest with the ward and courts consider the candidate’s 11 “experience, objectivity, and expertise” or previous relationship with the ward. Id. (citations 12 omitted). 13 “[W]hen a parent brings an action on behalf of a child, and it is evident that the interests 14 of each are the same, no need exists for someone other than the parent to represent the child’s 15 interests under Rule 17(c).” Gonzalez v. Reno, 86 F.Supp.2d 1167, 1185 (S.D. Fla.), aff’d sub 16 nom. Gonzalez v. Reno, 212 F.3d 1338 (11th Cir. 2000). While a parent is generally appointed as 17 a guardian ad litem, there are situations where the best interests of the minor and the interests of 18 the parent conflict. Anthem Life Ins. Co. v. Olguin, No. 1:06-CV-01165 AWINEW, 2007 WL 19 1390672, at *2 (E.D. Cal. May 9, 2007). Therefore, a parent is not entitled as a matter of right to 20 act as guardian ad litem for the child. Id., at *2. 21 The Court has considered the petition of Samantha Shepherd for appointment as guardian 22 ad litem for minors E.J. and M.J. who are plaintiffs in this action. Upon review of the petition 23 and the complaint in this action, the Court finds that no conflict exists that would preclude 24 Samantha Shepherd from serving as a guardian ad litem for E.J. and M.J. The Court finds that 25 the appointment is both necessary and appropriate. 26 /// 27 /// 28 /// 2 1 2 Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, that Samantha Shepherd is appointed as guardian ad litem for E.J. and M.J. 3 4 5 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: November 18, 2020 UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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