UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
May 3, 2011
MARTHA ARROYO, HECTOR ARROYO, JR., TIFFANY GARCIA, RAYMOND RIVERA, JR.,
A MINOR, BY AND THROUGH HIS GUARDIAN AD LITEM, RAYMOND RIVERA, SR., PLAINTIFFS,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, DEFENDANT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Morrison C. England, Jr. United States District Judge
ORDER APPROVING COMPROMISE OF DISPUTED CLAIM OF MINOR
Petitioner Raymond Rivera, Sr., the Guardian ad Litem for three year-old plaintiff, Raymond Rivera, Jr., moves this Court to approve settlement of Raymond's claim against the United States. The hearing was scheduled for May 5, 2011 on an Order Shortening Time stipulated by the parties. The United States has filed a statement of non-opposition to the Petition agreeing that the proposed settlement is a fair and just compromise of the minor's claims. Having reviewed the papers and documentation submitted, the Court grants the instant Petition.
These claims arose from an automobile accident caused by a United States Department of Justice vehicle. As a result of the collision, "Raymond was shaken up in the accident and had to be thoroughly evaluated for injuries due to his age. He was taken to the hospital and seen in the emergency room." (Pls. Mot. For Approval of Compromise, ECF No. 34, p. 3). The Petition goes on to state there was no apparent injuries, and that Raymond has since had "no medical problems or complaints stemming from the accident." Id.
Pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure § 372, settlement of a minor's claim requires judicial approval. "[T]he compromise of a minor's claim is not final or binding until it has been approved by the trial court." Scruton v. Korean Air Lines Co., 39 Cal. App. 4th 1596, 1603 (1995). Furthermore, if any fees or expenses will be covered by a portion of the settlement amount, the court order approving the settlement must specify the amounts and the recipients. Cal. Prob. Code §§ 3600, 3601.
Here, Rivera proposes to settle Raymond's claim against the Government for $5,000.00. The amount being made payable to Raymond after attorney's fees ($1,250.00) and costs ($354.99)*fn1 is $3,395.01.
This amount will be paid in full to his father, Raymond Rivera, Sr., and held in trust for Raymond Rivera, Jr. pending his majority.*fn2 The Court finds these proposed settlement terms acceptable and directs Petitioner to execute any and all documents reasonably necessary to execute the agreement explained above.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Raymond Rivera, Sr.'s Petition for Approval of Minor, Raymond Rivera, Jr.'s settlement be, and the same hereby is GRANTED.*fn3