UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
January 24, 2011
THOMAS ANGSTMAN; TRACEY ANGSTMAN; S.A., A MINOR, BY AND THROUGH HIS GUARDIAN AD LITEM EX PARTE KRISTINE ANGSTMAN; S.A., A MINOR, BY AND THROUGH HER GUARDIAN AD
LITEM FOR S.A. LITEM KRISTINE ANGSTMAN AND S.A.
CARLSBAD SEAPOINT RESORT II, ET AL.,
The opinion of the court was delivered by: M. James LorenzUnited States District Court Judge
ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD
Petitioner Kristine Angstman moves to be appointed as guardian ad litem to represent the interests of the two minor plaintiffs in this action. Kristine Angstman is the paternal aunt of the minor plaintiffs.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 17(c)(2) provides that a minor may sue through a guardian ad litem or by next friend, but a court must formally appoint the guardian ad litem to protect the unrepresented minor. See Watson v. County of Santa Clara, 468 F. Supp.2d 1150, 1155 (N.D. Cal.2007). In determining "what factors or procedures to use when appointing the guardian ad litem" or next friend, a court focuses on "the protection of the [minor's] interests." Gibbs v. Carnival Cruise Lines, 314 F.3d 125, 135-36 (3d Cir.2002).
The proposed guardian ad litem, Kristine Angstman, is not a party to this action. Although not specifically stated in the ex parte motion and declaration, it does not appear that she has a personal financial interest in the outcome of the litigation or any interests adverse to the minor plaintiffs or any other reason why she might not protect their interests. Kristine Angstman has made an adequate showing that she will act in good faith to protect the minor plaintiffs' interests and therefore, she will be appointed guardian ad litem for both minor children.
After a court appoints a guardian ad litem to represent a minor child, the guardian ad litem must retain a lawyer, because the non-lawyer guardian may not appear as an attorney for anyone other than himself. See Johns v. County of San Diego, 114 F.3d 874, 877 (9th Cir.1997). The Law Offices of Craig P. Fagan has been engaged to represent the plaintiffs, including the minor plaintiffs, in this action.
Based on the foregoing, Kristine Angstman's ex parte motion for appointment of guardian ad litem for minor plaintiffs S.A. and S.A. is GRANTED.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
COPY TO: HON. WILLIAM McCURINE, JR. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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