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Prudential Insurance Company of America v. Michelle E. Cunningham

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS EASTERN DIVISION


October 14, 2011

PRUDENTIAL INSURANCE COMPANY OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHELLE E. CUNNINGHAM, ETC., ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Milton I. Shadur Senior United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM ORDER

With defendant Michelle Cunningham ("Cunningham") having complied with this Court's order to file an Amended Answer to the Complaint in Interpleader brought against her by Prudential Insurance Company of America ("Prudential"), it is plain that the dispute between the parties poses a pure question of law that is most likely capable of swift resolution: Prudential asserts that a formal designation--the issuance of guardianship papers--is needed before it can accede to Cunningham's request for payment of the insurance death benefits to her in her individual capacity and as representative of her three minor children, while Cunningham asserts that her status as the sole parent of and guardian for the children (in a more colloquial sense) should suffice. This Court has also been apprised, as a side matter, that Cunningham's counsel are serving her on a pro bono basis, so that it makes even less sense "to make a federal case out of it" by multiplying the work for the lawyers on both sides of the dispute.

Accordingly both sides' counsel are ordered to file brief memoranda staking out their respective legal positions on or before October 26, 2011. For that purpose no argument about the content and meaning of any authorities relied on is called for--this Court will of course read the cited authorities. It is hoped and expected that this procedure will enable this Court to rule at or before the previously scheduled initial status hearing date of November 18, 2011.

20111014

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