Modern Woodmen of America v. Cason et al
ORDER GRANTING Modern Woodmen of America's 10 Agreed MOTION to Approve Interpleader. Bench Trial set for 3/6/2018 01:30 PM before Judge Lee Yeakel. Signed by Judge Lee Yeakel. (klw)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
MODERN WOODMEN OF AMERICA,
MITZIE CASON, DEVIN CASON, AND
CAUSE NO. 1:1 7-CV-994-LY
Before the court is Modern Woodmen of America's ("MWA") Agreed Motion to
Approve Interpleader, filed on January 16, 2018 (Dkt. No. 10). This is an interpleader action
commenced by Modern Woodmen of America on October 18, 2017 (Dkt. No. 1). Mitzie Cason
and Devon Cason each waived service of process (Dkt. Nos. 4 & 5). Service of summons was
effected on Ursula Hernandez-Cason on November 17, 2017 (Dkt. No. 6). Hernandez-Cason has
not filed a responsive pleading or otherwise made an appearance. MWA moved for an entry of
default against Hernandez-Cason, and the clerk of the court entered default against HernandezCason on December 11, 2017 (Dkt. No. 8).
Defendants, Mitzie Cason and Devon Cason, answered on December 11, 2017, in which,
they denied all "allegations" brought against them by Plaintiff (there were none) and
asked that the suit be dismissed with prejudice. The answer said nothing of Mitzie' s and Devin's
entitlement to the funds held by MWA and was otherwise unresponsive to the complaint in
interpleader. Sometime later, Mitzie and Devon reached an agreement with MWA, and the three
jointly filed an Agreed Motion to Approve Interpleader on January 16, 2018 (Dkt. No. 10).
Having considered the motion, the court finds as follows:
At the time suit was filed, there were potential rival claims by Devin Cason, Mitzie
Cason, and Ursula Hernandez-Cason to $27,427.68 in death benefits from a fixed-premium
whole-life insurance certificate (policy) issued by MWA on the life of Mark Cason, deceased.
The rival claims are adverse and conflicting. MWA is therefore in the position of an innocent
stakeholder faced with the possibility of multiple liability and incidental costs. MWA does not
have, nor claim, any interest in the funds at issue and at all times has been willing to deliver the
funds to the person or persons entitled to possession. MWA unconditionally offered to and is
ready to deposit with the court the funds at issue.
MWA's interpleader action is properly
brought. MWA should be discharged from future liability after payment of the proceeds of the
funds at issue into the court's registry.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Modern Woodmen of America shall pay
$27,427.68 to the clerk of the court, which represents funds at issue under the policy.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk, United States District Court, shall receive
and deposit into Court's registry a check in the amount of $27,427.68. The Clerk, United States
District Court, as soon as the business of the office allows, shall deposit these monies into the
Court Registry Investment System (CRIS) where they shall remain until further order of the
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that upon payment of $27,427.68 to the clerk of the
court, Modern Woodmen of America shall be DISMISSED as a party to this action and
DISCHARGED from any further liability pertaining in any way to the policy (including
accidental death and dismemberment benefits).
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Modern Woodmen of America may submit proof of
reasonable attorney's fees and costs on or before February 27, 2018, if it wishes to seek fees
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this case is set for a BENCH TRIAL on the 6th day
of March, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. in Courtroom No. 7, Seventh Floor of the United States
Courthouse, 501 West 5th Street, Austin, Texas.
day of February, 2018.
ISTRI T JUDGE
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