United States District Court, D. New Mexico
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO APPOINT GUARDIAN AD LITEM
FOR PLAINTIFFS AV, MV, WV, AND JV
GREGORY J. FOURATT, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
MATTER is before the Court on the parties' “Joint
Motion for Appointment of United States Magistrate Judge
Gregory J. Fouratt for Order Appointing Guardian Ad Litem and
for Review of and Order Approving Settlement”
(“Motion”) [ECF No. 74]. The Motion asks the
Court to appoint a Guardian ad Litem to represent the best
interests of the minor plaintiffs [AV, MV, WV, and JV] in the
context of reviewing the fairness of the settlement reached
between the parties. The presiding judge in this case has
referred the Motion to the undersigned to hear and determine
pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A)
and Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(a). See ECF No. 76. Having
considered the Motion, reviewed the record, and being
otherwise fully advised, the Court FINDS:
is within the discretion of the District Court to appoint a
Guardian ad Litem for a person who is or may not otherwise be
able to protect his or her own interests. Pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 17(c)(2), “[t]he Court must appoint a
guardian ad litem - or issue another appropriate order - to
protect a minor or incompetent person who is unrepresented in
the time the First Amended Complaint was filed, A.V., M.V.,
W.V., and J.V., were minors and therefore their claims were
brought by and through their mother and next friend, Tonia
Verret. All four are still minors.
a. A.V. is currently sixteen years old. Her date of birth is
February 1, 2002.
b. M.V. is currently thirteen years old. Her date of birth is
December 12, 2004.
c. W.V. is currently nine years old. His date of birth is
August 6, 2009.
d. J.V. is currently five years old. His date of birth is
October 28, 2013.
settlement agreement has been achieved between all Plaintiffs
and all Defendants which would resolve all of the claims in
Court approval of this confidential settlement is sought, and
a Guardian Ad Litem is requested to assist the Court in this
Guardian Ad Litem should be appointed to investigate on
behalf of the Court the fairness and reasonableness of this
confidential settlement and its effect upon the minor child.
Guardian Ad Litem shall serve as an “arm of the
Court.” Under this appointment, the Guardian Ad
Litem's duties are owed to the Court, and not to any
Guardian Ad Litem shall have access to all medical and other
records of the children which are relevant to the issues in
Feliz A. Rael, Esq. is qualified to perform as Guardian Ad
Litem, and has agreed to serve as ...