United States District Court, D. Nevada
before the court is plaintiff Genworth Life and Annuity
Insurance Company's (“GLAIC”) motion to
dismiss. (ECF No. 18). Defendant Natalie M. Ruckman
(“Ruckman”) did not file a response and the time
to do so has passed.
before the court is GLAIC's motion for default judgment.
(ECF Nos. 34, 35).
before the court is Ruckman's motion for leave to file an
amended answer. (ECF No. 36). GLAIC has not filed a response
and the time to do so has passed.
instant case arises from competing claims to Eric J.
Ruckman's (“the decedent”) $200, 000 life
insurance policy (“the policy”). (ECF No. 10).
GLAIC filed the instant complaint in interpleader under the
Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974
(“ERISA”), 29 U.S.C. § 1132(e)(1).
Id. The complaint contains the following
issued a life insurance policy with a $200, 000 death benefit
to the decedent on April 19, 2000. Id. At the time
of issuance, the decedent designated his wife, Ruckman, as
the beneficiary. Id. On or about January 12, 2010,
the decedent and Ruckman separated. Id. The final
divorce decree did not address the disposition of the policy.
14, 2016, the decedent died in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Id. On August 21, 2016, Ruckman presented to GLAIC a
claim for the death benefit and an accompanying death
certificate. Id. Ruckman asserted that she was the
rightful beneficiary of the policy despite the Nevada divorce
revocation statute. Id.
August 8, 2018, GLAIC initiated the instant action in
interpleader pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1335 and Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 22. (ECF No. 1). In its complaint,
GLAIC named Ruckman and the estate of Eric J. Ruckman
(“the estate”) as defendants. (ECF No. 10).
October 1, 2018, Ruckman filed an answer and counterclaim to
GLAIC's complaint. (ECF No. 14). On October 22, 2018,
GLAIC filed a motion to dismiss Ruckman's counterclaims.
(ECF No. 18).
November 29, 2018, GLAIC moved for clerk's entry of
default against the estate. (ECF No. 30). The next day, the
clerk entered default. (ECF No. 31). On December 3, 2018, an
affidavit was filed with the court in which the
decedent's daughter states that the decedent intended to
give his death benefit to Ruckman. (ECF No. 32).
GLAIC moves for default judgment against the estate. (ECF
Nos. 34, 35). Further, Ruckman requests the court's leave
to file an amended complaint that excludes the counterclaims
that GLAIC contests in its motion to dismiss. (ECF No. 36).
Leave to amend
Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a) provides that “[t]he
court should freely give leave [to amend] when justice so
requires.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2). The United States
Supreme Court has interpreted Rule 15(a) and confirmed the
liberal standard district courts must ...