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Ae, A Minor, By and Through His Guardian Ad Litem, Maribel v. Yadira Portillo

October 15, 2012

AE, A MINOR, BY AND THROUGH HIS GUARDIAN AD LITEM, MARIBEL HERNANDEZ, PLAINTIFF,
v.
YADIRA PORTILLO, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dennis L. Beck United States Magistrate Judge

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR COURT APPROVAL OF MINOR'S SETTLEMENT (Document 224)

Plaintiff AE, a minor by and through his Guardian Ad Litem Maribel Hernandez, ("Plaintiff"), filed this Motion for Court Approval of a Minor's Settlement on August 22, 2012. The matter was heard on September 28, 2012, before the Honorable Dennis L. Beck, United States Magistrate Judge. J. Miguel Flores appeared on behalf of Plaintiff. AE and Maribel Hernandez were also present. Eugene West appeared on behalf of Defendant Sandra Ceballos. Judith Chapman appeared on behalf of Defendants Yadira Portillo, Courtney Wampler, CWA Felix and the County of Tulare.

PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Plaintiff filed the instant civil rights action on December 17, 2009. His complaint arises from allegations that he was physically and sexually assaulted by an older boy while in foster care.

Defendants Portillo, Wampler and Felix filed a Cross-Claim against Defendant Sandra Ceballos and Alejandro Puentes on July 1, 2011, and a Third Party Complaint for indemnity against Family Builders Foster Care, Inc., on July 8, 2011.

After numerous motions to dismiss, amended complaints and a reversal by the Ninth Circuit, Plaintiff filed a Sixth Amended Complaint on April 10, 2012. The Sixth Amended Complaint names Defendants Portillo, Wampler, Felix, Heidi Williams*fn1 and the County of Tulare, and alleges causes of action for (1) deliberate indifference to the risk of harm in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment against Defendants Portillo, Wampler, Felix, Williams and the County of Tulare; (2) negligence against all Defendants; and (3) defamation and slander against Defendant Ceballos.

On May 31, 2012, Defendant Ceballos filed a motion for summary judgment. Defendants Portillo, Wampler, Felix, and the County of Tulare filed a motion for summary judgment on June 6, 2012.

On July 11, 2012, prior to the hearings on the motions for summary judgment, Plaintiff and Defendants Ceballos, Portillo, Wampler, Felix and the County of Tulare filed a Joint Notice of Settlement. The notice indicated that the parties had settled all claims at issue.

Plaintiff requests that the action be dismissed with prejudice against all Defendants in exchange for a waiver of costs and potential attorneys' fees under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1988.

On August 22, 2012, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Court Approval of a Minor's Settlement.

On August 27, 2012, Defendants requested that if the Court grants the settlement, that the Third Party Complaint and Cross-Claims be dismissed.

DISCUSSION

This Court's Local Rule 202 addresses settlements for minors and provides in pertinent part:

(b) Settlement. No claim by or against a minor or incompetent person may be settled or compromised absent an order by the Court approving ...


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