C.H.L., a minor, by and through his Next Friend, Marla Camille Hunter v. Razor USA LLC et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER...IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendants' Motion to Strike Improper Party-Plaintiff (ECF No. 51 ) is GRANTED and Marla Camille Hunter shall be removed as Next Friend and party. C.H.L. (a minor, by and through) terminated. Signed by District Judge Ronnie L. White on 9/24/2014. (NEB)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
CHRISTOPHER H. LOWE, 1
RAZOR USA, LLC and
TOYS “R” US DELAWARE, INC.,
No. 4:12CV904 RLW
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on Defendants’ Motion to Strike Improper Party-Plaintiff
(ECF No. 51). The motion is fully briefed and ready for disposition.
Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint on November 20, 2012, alleging negligence and
strict liability/product defect against Defendants for injuries sustained while riding a Razor
scooter. (First Am. Pet., ECF No. 22) The Complaint included Plaintiff’s Next Friend, Marla
Camille Hunter, but also indicated that Plaintiff was no longer a minor. (Id. at ¶ 1, ECF No. 22)
On September 23, 2014, Defendant filed the instant Motion to Strike the Next Friend as an
improper party-plaintiff, and Plaintiff filed his consent that Plaintiff Lowe maintains the case
individually and no longer through his Next Friend.
Under Missouri statute, a “person of the age of eighteen years or older . . . may
commence, prosecute, or defend any [civil] action in his own name as the real party in interest.”
Mo. Rev. Stat. 507.115. Thus, when a minor reaches the age of eighteen, the need for and
authority of a next friend expires. State ex rel. Hill v. Davis, 488 S.W.2d 305, 310 (Mo. Ct. App.
Because this Memorandum and Order strikes Marla Camille Hunter as Next Friend based on
Plaintiff Christopher H. Lowe’s current age of majority, the caption should change accordingly.
Future pleadings shall reflect this change in the caption.
1972). While Plaintiff does not contest that Marla Hunter is no longer a party, he opposes an
order striking her as an improper party. Plaintiff avers that the Amended Complaint is clear that
Marla Hunter is not a party, as the Amended Complaint demonstrates that only Plaintiff Lowe
alleges damages and seeks redress. However, the pleading also refers to both individuals as
Plaintiffs and states that “Plaintiffs claim for damages against these defendants exceeds SeventyFive Thousand Dollars ($75,000.00).” (First Am. Pet. ¶¶ 1, 5, ECF No. 52) For the sake of
clarity, the undersigned will grant Defendants Motion to Strike to the extent that Next Friend
Marla Camille Hunter is removed as a party-plaintiff from this action and the caption. The case
shall proceed with Christopher H. Lowe as the sole Plaintiff.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendants’ Motion to Strike Improper Party-Plaintiff
(ECF No. 51) is GRANTED and Marla Camille Hunter shall be removed as Next Friend and
Dated this 24th Day of September, 2014.
RONNIE L. WHITE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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