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Minnesota Life Insurance Co. v. Hackman

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

May 20, 2013

MINNESOTA LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiff,
v.
BRUCE HACKMAN, individually and as Parent of K. S., a minor, BROCK J. HACKMAN, C.S., a minor, ANGEL BELL, BRADLEY BELL, and S.S., a minor. Defendants.

JUDGMENT & MEMORANDUM & ORDER

DAVID R. HERNDON, Chief District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Pending before the Court are defendants' Bruce Hackman, individually and as parent of K.S., a minor, Brock J. Hackman, and C.S., a minor ("appearing defendants"), amended request for disbursement of funds in interpleader (Doc. 50) and motion for default judgment against defendants Angel Bell, Bradley Bell, and S.S., a minor ("non-appearing defendants"), pursuant to FEDERAL RULE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 55 (Doc. 46). For the following reasons, both motions are GRANTED.

II. PROCEDURAL HISTORY AND FACTUAL FINDINGS

1. Jurisdiction and venue are proper in this Court.
2. On June 13, 2012, plaintiff Minnesota Life Insurance Company (MLIC) filed this interpleader action (Doc. 4). This action arises from beneficiary claims in connection with certificates of insurance MLIC issued to the now deceased Sharon Smith. Jerry Smith, deceased insured's spouse, was listed as beneficiary, with no contingent beneficiaries. The amended complaint alleges that on September 11, 2011, Jerry Smith killed Sharon Smith and then killed himself.
3. The appearing defendants, Bruce Hackman, the adoptive father of K.S., Brock J. Hackman, and C.S., are the surviving sons of Sharon Smith. K.S. is the surviving daughter of Sharon and Jerry Smith.
4. The non-appearing defendants, Angel Bell, Bradley Bell, and S.S. are Jerry Smith's surviving son and daughters.
5. MLIC received claims for benefits under Policy Nos. 33825 and 33826 from the appearing defendants, K.S., Brock J. Hackman, Bruce Hackman, and C.S. Thus, MLIC brought this action to protect itself from dual liability and receive an Order of this Court declaring and adjudging the proper beneficiary under the policy.
6. On June 30, 2012, MLIC sent Angel Bell a request for waiver of the service of summons (Doc. 29). Also on June 30, 2012, MLIC sent S.S., a minor, by and through her mother, Ginger D. Christian, a waiver request (Doc. 31). On July 20, 2012, MLIC sent Bradley Bell a waiver request (Doc. 30). All three waiver forms were returned executed (Docs. 29, 30, and 31).
7. As the initial complaint did not adequately allege diversity of citizenship, MLIC filed an amended complaint on July 20, 2012 (Doc. 8).
8. The appearing defendants timely answered the amended allegations (Docs. 11, 12).
9. To date, the non-appearing defendants have not answered or otherwise responded to this action.
10. On February 4, 2013, MLIC moved to deposit funds and for dismissal with prejudice (Doc. 27). Counsel for the appearing defendants and MLIC agreed that the amount at issue, including interest as of February 15, 2013, was $518, 835.23. The Court granted MLIC's motion and allowed it to deposit the amount of $518, ...

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