The opinion of the court was delivered by: Howard R. Lloyd United States Magistrate Judge
** E-filed April 29, 2011 **
Plaintiff Tanya Velo ("Velo") filed suit against Cambrian Properties, LLC ("Cambrian"), 20 owner of the Balmoral Luxery Apartments in Santa Clara, California, for violation of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3601, et seq., and other state laws. Docket No. 1 ("Compl.") ¶¶ 36-45.
Velo alleges that she and her two minor children, B.V. and P.V., who are also plaintiffs in this 23 action, were denied housing in the Balmoral Luxury Apartments because of their familial status. Id.
¶ 7. Because the children are unable to bring suit themselves, Velo petitioned this Court for her 25 appointment as guardian ad litem for them. Docket No. 3 ("Petition"). No opposition has been filed.
"A minor or an incompetent person who does not have a duly appointed representative may sue by a next friend or by a guardian ad litem. The court must appoint a guardian ad litem - or issue another appropriate order - to protect a minor or incompetent person who is unrepresented in an 2 action."*fn1 FED. R. CIV. P. 17(c)(2). R. CIV. P. 17(b). Under California law, an individual under the age of eighteen is a minor. Cal. Fam. Code § 6601. The court may appoint a guardian ad litem to represent a minor's interests in the 7 litigation. Cal. Code Civ. P. § 372(a). In making the determination concerning the appointment of a 8 particular guardian ad litem, the court shall consider whether the minor and the guardian have 9 divergent interests. Cal. Code Civ. P. § 372(b)(1). obligation to assist the court in achieving a just and speedy determination of the action,' a court has the right to select a guardian ad litem who is not a parent if that guardian would best protect the 13 child's interests." Williams v. Super. Ct., 54 Cal. Rptr. 3d 13, 22-23 (Cal. Ct. App. 4th 2007) (citing M.S. v. Wermers, 557 F.2d 170, 175 (8th Cir. 1977)). "[I]f the parent has an actual or potential 15 conflict of interest with his child, the parent has no right to control or influence the child's litigation." Williams, 54 Cal. Rptr. 3d at 23.
Velo's children, B.V. and P.V., were born in 2000 and 2007, respectively. Petition ¶ 1. Thus, they are under the age of eighteen and are minors under California law. Cal. Fam. Code § 6502. As 20 minors, their ability to bring suit is contingent upon appointment by the court of a guardian ad litem. Cal. Fam. Code § 6601. Velo may serve as their guardian ad litem so long as she does not have an 22 interest adverse to theirs.
Here, Velo alleges that she and her children were injured by Cambrian when it denied them housing. The injuries allegedly suffered by each individual plaintiff are the same: they were denied
An individual's capacity to sue is determined by the law of the individual's domicile. FED.
Code § 6502. A minor may bring suit as long as a guardian conducts the ...