Trustees of the Michiana Area Electrical Workers Pension Fund v. La Places Electric Company Inc et al
OPINION AND ORDER The Court GRANTS 70 Plaintiffs Motion for Order of Substitution Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 25(a)(1) and SUBSTITUTES Troy D. Warner, Administrator and Attorney for the Estate of Harold Oscar LaPlace, for Harold Oscar LaPlace. Because the briefing included enough information for the Court to rule on the pending motion, the Court DENIES as moot the request for hearing contained within the 71 Notice of Hearing. Signed by Magistrate Judge John E Martin on 4/11/18. (kjp)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
TRUSTEES OF THE MICHIANA
AREA ELECTRICAL WORKERS
LAPLACE ELECTRIC, INC., et al.,
CAUSE NO. 2:14-CV-244-TLS-JEM
OPINION AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on Plaintiffs’ Motion for Order of Substitution Pursuant to
Fed. R. Civ. P. 25(a)(1) [DE 70], filed April 9, 2018. Plaintiff requests that the Court substitute Troy
D. Warner, administrator and attorney of the estate of Harold Oscar LaPlace, for Defendant Harold
Oscar LaPlace, now deceased.
Defendant Harold Oscar LaPlace died on December 28, 2017. Counsel for Plaintiff
represents that letters of administration were issued to Troy Warner in St. Joseph Superior Court on
April 9, 2018, and that he will immediately commence acting as administrator and attorney for the
Estate of Harold Oscar LaPlace.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 25(a) addresses substitution of a party upon death. It
(1) Substitution if the Claim Is Not Extinguished. If a party dies and
the claim is not extinguished, the court may order substitution of the
proper party. A motion for substitution may be made by any party or
by the decedent’s successor or representative. If the motion is not
made within 90 days after service of a statement noting the death, the
action by or against the decedent must be dismissed.
(3) Service. 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. A statement noting death must be served in the
same manner. Service may be made in any judicial district.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 25(a).
Plaintiff represents that slightly more than 90 days have passed since it filed the suggestion
of death with the Court on January 2, 2018, and request an extension of time to substitute the
administrator of the estate for the deceased.
Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 6, “[w]hen an act may or must be done within a
specified time, the court may, for good cause, extend the time: . . . (A) before the original time or
its extension expires; or (B) on motion made after the time has expired if the party failed to act
because of excusable neglect.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 6(b)(1). To determine whether the neglect was
Court must “tak[e] into consideration all relevant circumstances including the danger of prejudice
to the non-moving party, the length of the delay and its potential impact on judicial proceedings, the
reason for the delay, including whether it was within the reasonable control of the movant, and
whether the movant acted in good faith.” Marquez v. Mineta, 424 F.3d 539, 541 (7th Cir. 2005)
(quotations and citations omitted); see also Cont’l Bank, N.A. v. Meyer, 10 F.3d 1293, 1297 (7th Cir.
1993) (“While couched in mandatory terms, the Advisory Committee Notes to Rule 25 indicate that
the 90-day requirement may be extended by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 6(b) . . . The history
of Rule 25(a) and Rule 6(b) makes it clear that the 90 day time period was not intended to act as a
bar to otherwise meritorious actions, and extensions of the period may be liberally granted.”)
(quotation and quotation marks omitted).
Plaintiff argues that there was no administrator until shortly after the ninety-day time period
expired, and that it filed the instant Motion as soon as the administrator was appointed. The Court
concludes that there is good cause for extending the time period, the delay was not within the
reasonable control of the movant, and that no party is prejudiced by the brief delay. Accordingly,
the brief extension is allowed.
For the foregoing reasons, the Court hereby GRANTS Plaintiffs’ Motion for Order of
Substitution Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 25(a)(1) [DE 70] and SUBSTITUTES Troy D. Warner,
Administrator and Attorney for the Estate of Harold Oscar LaPlace, for Harold Oscar LaPlace. The
Court DIRECTS the Clerk of Court to amend the caption to show “Troy D. Warner, Administrator
and Attorney for the Estate of Harold Oscar LaPlace” as party Defendant in place of Harold Oscar
Because the briefing included enough information for the Court to rule on the pending
motion, the Court DENIES as moot the request for hearing contained within the Notice of Hearing
SO ORDERED this 11th day of April, 2018.
s/ John E. Martin
MAGISTRATE JUDGE JOHN E. MARTIN
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
All counsel of record
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