Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans v. Bloomquist

United States District Court, D. Nevada

July 3, 2018

THRIVENT FINANCIAL FOR LUTHERANS, Plaintiff(s),
v.
THUMPER BLOOMQUIST, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

         This is an interpleader action involving two life insurance contracts and two competing claimants. Presently before the court is interpleader defendant Thumper Bloomquist's (“Bloomquist”) motion for default judgment. (ECF No. 24). Interpleader defendant Mark Brown has not filed a response, and the time for doing so has passed.

         Also before the court is interpleader plaintiff Thrivent Financial for Lutherans' motion for discharge from liability. (ECF No. 31). No party has filed a response, and the time for doing so has since passed.

         I. Facts

         The instant case arises out of a dispute over life insurance benefits. Plaintiff is a not-for-profit financial services organization that issued two life insurance contracts to decedent Patricia Bloomquist (“decedent”). (ECF No. 1). At the time of the contracts' issuance (1985 and 1989), decedent was married to defendant Bloomquist, who was named as the primary beneficiary on both contracts. Id. On March 26, 2014, defendant Bloomquist and decedent divorced in California. Id. The divorce decree does not mention the life insurance contracts. Id.

         Defendant Brown is the executor of decedent's will. Id. This lawsuit arose because defendant Brown contested plaintiff's payments to Bloomquist. Id.

         On June 2, 2017, plaintiff filed its complaint for interpleader against Bloomquist and Brown pursuant to the Federal Interpleader Act. Id. Plaintiff seeks a judicial declaration of entitlement to the life insurance contract benefits and a discharge from liability. (ECF No. 31).

         As defendant Brown has failed to appear in this action, plaintiff filed a motion for clerk's entry of default, (ECF No. 19), which the clerk granted, (ECF No. 20). Thereafter, defendant Bloomquist filed a motion for default judgment. (ECF No. 24). Despite being properly served in this action, [1] defendant Brown has failed to appear. Through his counsel, defendant Brown informed plaintiff's counsel that he does not intend to appear in these proceedings. (ECF No. 16).

         On April 18, 2018, Magistrate Judge Koppe ordered plaintiff to deposit the proceeds from the subject life insurance policies with the court. (ECF No. 29); see also (ECF No. 27). On April 19, 2018, plaintiff deposited said funds (including accrued interest). (ECF No. 30).

         II. Legal Standard

         a. Default judgment

         Obtaining a default judgment is a two-step process. Eitel v. McCool, 782 F.2d 1470, 1471 (9th Cir. 1986). First, “[w]hen a party against whom a judgment for affirmative relief is sought has failed to plead or otherwise defend, and that failure is shown by affidavit or otherwise, the clerk must enter the party's default.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(a). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55(b)(2) provides that “a court may enter a default judgment after the party seeking default applies to the clerk of the court as required by subsection (a) of this rule.”

         The choice whether to enter a default judgment lies within the discretion of the court. Aldabe v. Aldabe, 616 F.3d 1089, 1092 (9th Cir. 1980). In the determination of whether to grant a default judgment, the court should consider the seven factors set forth in Eitel: (1) the possibility of prejudice to plaintiff if default judgment is not entered; (2) the merits of the claims; (3) the sufficiency of the complaint; (4) the amount of money at stake; (5) the possibility of a dispute concerning material facts; (6) whether default was due to excusable neglect; and (7) the policy favoring a decision on the merits. 782 F.2d at 1471-72. In applying the Eitel factors, “the factual allegations of the complaint, except those relating to the amount of damages, will be taken as true.” Geddes v. United Fin. Grp., 559 F.2d 557, 560 (9th Cir. 1977); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(d).

         b. Discharge from liability

         28 U.S.C. § 2361 provides that in “any civil action of interpleader” a district court may discharge the plaintiff in interpleader from further liability, enjoin the parties from instituting further actions related to the stake, and make all other appropriate orders. Accordingly, a stakeholder that “[deposits] the death benefit and past interest with the court, thereby discharging its obligations under the policy” should be ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.