Bell v. Reid
ORDER granting 9 Motion to Substitute Party. The Clerk is directed to amend the case caption to substitute Nationwide Judgment Recovery, Inc. as the named Plaintiff in this matter. Signed by Magistrate Judge Daniel C. Irick on 11/21/2022. (TNP)
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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
KENNETH D. BELL and
Case No: 6:21-mc-45-PGB-DCI
This cause comes before the Court for consideration without oral argument on the
Motion to Substitute Party (Doc. 9)
October 26, 2022
THEREON it is ORDERED that the motion is GRANTED.
Pending before the Court is Nationwide’s Motion for Substitution of Plaintiff. Doc. 9 (the
Motion). Nationwide asserts, and provides evidence showing, that it is an assignee of Matthew
Orso (Orso); Orso having succeeded Kenneth D. Bell (Bell) in Bell’s capacity as court-appointed
receiver for Rex Venture Group, LLC. Docs. 9, 9-1. Nationwide seeks to substitute itself as the
named plaintiff in this matter. Doc. 9. Upon consideration, the Motion is due to be granted.
Motion for Substitution
The purpose of Rule 25(c) “is to ensure that after litigation commences, the Court, at its
discretion, can proceed in an efficient manner with the real parties in interest.” Tesseron, Ltd. v.
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Oce N.V., 110 F. Supp. 3d 1255, 1257 (M.D. Fla. 2015). “Substitution under Rule 25(c) is purely
a matter of convenience, and regardless of whether substitution is ordered, the respective
substantive rights of the transferor or the transferee are not affected.” Barker v. Jackson Nat. Life
Ins. Co., 163 F.R.D. 364, 365 (N.D. Fla. 1995). Substitution under Rule 25(c) is committed to the
discretion of the court. See id. at 366. Indeed, “[a] court may within its discretion permit the
substitution of the parties pursuant to Rule 25(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure even after
judgment is entered where substitution is necessary for enforcement of the judgment.” Regions
Bank v. Pjsf&T Property Acquisitions, Inc., 2016 WL 3748714 at *2 (M.D. Fla. June 14, 2016)
(citing Vision Bank v. Algernon Land Co., LLC, 2012 WL 827011, at *2 (S.D. Ala. Mar. 12, 2012)).
Here, Bell obtained final judgments in a class action case against Defendant and others.
Doc. 1. Nationwide argues, and the Court agrees, that since Orso succeeded Bell, and Orso made
a complete transfer of interest to Nationwide in the judgment against Defendant, Nationwide is the
appropriate Plaintiff; thus, the requested substitution is appropriate. See Doc. 9 at 2. Nationwide
contends that “[t]he requested substitution, while not mandatory, will assist in expediting and
simplifying the action for the Court and the parties as judgment enforcement progresses.” Id. at
a. Service of a Motion to Substitute
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 25 states “[i]f an interest is transferred, the action may be
continued by or against the original party unless the court, on motion, orders the transferee to be
substituted in the action or joined with the original party. The motion must be served as provided
in Rule 25(a)(3).” Service according to Rule 25(a)(3) requires that a “motion to substitute, together
with a notice of hearing, must be served on the parties as provided in Rule 5 and on nonparties as
provided in Rule 4.”
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Nationwide asserts that Motion was served on Defendant.1 Doc. 9 at 7. Therefore, the
Court finds that the Motion was properly served in accordance with Rule 25.
b. Evidentiary Hearing Not Required
There is a “strict requirement” that a Rule 25(c) motion be validly served. Sas v. Serden
Techs., Inc., 2013 WL 12086638, at *4 (S.D. Fla. Dec. 3, 2013) (citing Trustees of Chicago Reg’l
Council of Carpenters Pension Fund v. Conforti Constr. Co., Inc., 2013 WL 3771415, at *1 (N.D.
III. July 17, 2013)). However, it is the non-moving party’s “responsibility to request an evidentiary
hearing.” Sullivan v. Running Waters Irrigation, Inc., 739 F.3d 354, 359 (7th Cir. 2014).2 The
Court may decide a Rule 25 motion without an evidentiary hearing if the Court determines a
hearing is not necessary. 7C WRIGHT & MILLER, FEDERAL PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE § 1958 (3d
ed.). Additionally, in other related cases Nationwide filed a Notice of Supplemental Authority
wherein it cited five recent orders from this District dealing with the same issue—all were granted
without an evidentiary hearing.
Defendant has not filed a response to the Motion, so the Court deems the Motion
unopposed. Local Rule 3.01(c). As such, there is no dispute that substitution is proper or that there
is any genuine issue of material fact, and the Court finds that an evidentiary hearing is not
warranted in this case.
According to the certificate of service, Defendant will receive the Motion through United States
The Court finds the reasoning in Sullivan on this issue persuasive, and there does not appear to
be any Eleventh Circuit authority on this issue. 739 F.3d at 358–359 (7th Cir. 2014). The Court
also finds the cases cited in the Motion persuasive.
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A court in this district recently found that the “miscellaneous matter and the issuance of
the writs of garnishment are a continuation of the original litigation that produced the judgment.
Thus, under Rule 25(c), the litigation may be continued by [Nationwide] (the party in interest) and
against [Defendant] (the original party).” Bell v. Woods, 2022 WL 428440, at *3 (M.D. Fla. Jan.
7, 2022), report and recommendation adopted, 2022 WL 425719 (M.D. Fla. Feb. 11, 2022).
Here, a review of the evidence Nationwide has submitted (Docs. 9, 9-1) leaves no doubt
that Nationwide is the proper party in interest, and therefore Nationwide should be substituted as
plaintiff in this action.
Accordingly, it is ORDERED that:
1. Nationwide’s Motion for Substitution of Plaintiff (Doc. 9) is GRANTED; and
2. The Clerk is directed to amend the case caption to substitute Nationwide Judgment
Recovery, Inc. as the named Plaintiff in this matter.
DONE AND ORDERED in Orlando, Florida on November 21, 2022.
Copies furnished to:
Counsel of Record
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