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Miletello v. R M R Mechanical, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division

July 10, 2017

PAM MILETELLO
v.
R M R MECHANICAL, INC., ET AL.

          KAREN L. HAYES MAG. JUDGE.

          RULING

          ROBERT G. JAMES UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Before the Court is a Rule 1');">1');">1');">12(c) Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings [Doc. No. 32] filed by Plaintiff Pam Miletello ("Pam"). For the following reasons, Pam's motion is DENIED.

         I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         Gerald Miletello ("Gerald") was a principal of Defendant RMR Mechanical, Inc. ("RMR") and participant in RMR's 4Ol(k) Plan ("Plan"). [Doc. No. 1');">1');">1');">1].

         Defendant Sandra Bellgard Miletello ("Sandra") was married to Gerald until their divorce on January 21');">1');">1');">1, 201');">1');">1');">14. Id. On May 23, 201');">1');">1');">14, Gerald and Pam married. [Doc. No. 38]. Gerald and Sandra entered into a community property settlement agreement, which Gerald signed on April 20, 201');">1');">1');">15, and Sandra signed on May 4, 201');">1');">1');">15. Sandra contends that the property settlement agreement contained a provision that contemplated Gerald would "rollover $500, 000.00 from his Fidelity 40 IK Plan, RMR Mechanical, Inc. into [Sandra]'s Merrill Lynch IRA."[Doc. No. 36-2, 1');">1');">1');">1');">p. 1');">1');">1');">1].

         On May 22, 201');">1');">1');">15, the community property settlement agreement was filed into the conveyance records of Ouachita Parish. [Doc. No. 36-2, 1');">1');">1');">1');">p. 1');">1');">1');">1]. On October 26, 201');">1');">1');">15, Gerald died in a plane crash. [Doc. No. 1');">1');">1');">14-2]. On October 27, 201');">1');">1');">15, a Judgment incorporating the community property settlement agreement was entered. [Doc. No. 36-1');">1');">1');">1, p. 2].

         On November 22, 201');">1');">1');">16, Pam Miletello filed the instant lawsuit pursuant to the Employment Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA"), 29 U.S.C. § 1');">1');">1');">1001');">1');">1');">1, et seq., claiming that she is the surviving spouse of Gerald and the beneficiary of the interest in his Plan. [Doc. No. 1');">1');">1');">1]. As Gerald's former employer, RMR is the plan administrator. Id. at 1');">1');">1');">1.

         On January 1');">1');">1');">18, 201');">1');">1');">17, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order ["QDRO"] was filed. [Doc. No. 1');">1');">1');">14-3]. Sandra claims that Gerald's attorney engaged in dilatory acts that prevented her from receiving the QDRO prior to Gerald's death. [Doc. No. 36-1');">1');">1');">1, p. 3].

         On April 27, 201');">1');">1');">17, Pam filed the instant Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings [Doc. No. 32] requesting that the Court, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 1');">1');">1');">12(c), recognize Pam's right to the funds in Gerald's Plan. Pam argues that she was vested with the rights to the Plan immediately upon the death of Gerald. Id. at 3.

         On May 1');">1');">1');">17, 201');">1');">1');">17, Sandra filed an Opposition [Doc. No. 36], and on May 31');">1');">1');">1, 201');">1');">1');">17, Pam filed a Reply [Doc. No. 37].

         On May 31');">1');">1');">1, 201');">1');">1');">17, Pam filed a Request for Judicial Notice [Doc. No. 38], which contained a marriage license between Pam and Gerald.

         II. Law and Analysis

         A. Standard of Review

         The standard for deciding a Rule 1');">1');">1');">12(c) motion is the same as a Rule 1');">1');">1');">12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. In re Katrina Canal Breaches Litig., 1');">1');">1');">191');">1');">1');">1');">495 F.3d 1');">1');">1');">191');">1');">1');">1, 205 (5th Cir. 2007). In determining whether dismissal is appropriate, the court must decide whether the facts alleged in the pleadings, if true, would entitle the plaintiff to a legal remedy. Ramming v. U.S., 281');">1');">1');">1 F .3d 1');">1');">1');">158, 1');">1');">1');">162 (5th Cir. 2001');">1');">1');">1); Cinel v. Connick, 1');">1');">1');">15 F.3d 1');">1');">1');">1338');">1');">1');">1');">15 F.3d 1');">1');">1');">1338, 1');">1');">1');">1341');">1');">1');">1 (5th Cir. 1');">1');">1');">1994). When considering a Rule l2(c)motion, the Court must construe the allegations in the complaint in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, but conclusory allegations and unwarranted deductions of fact are not accepted as true. Tuchman v. DSC Communications Corp., 1');">1');">1');">14 F.3d 1');">1');">1');">1061');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">14 F.3d 1');">1');">1');">1061');">1');">1');">1, 1');">1');">1');">1067 (5th Cir. 1');">1');">1');">1994). Judgment on the pleadings is appropriate only if there are no disputed issues of material fact and only questions of law remain. Voest-Alpine Trading USA Corp. v. Bank of China, 1');">1');">1');">142 F.3d 887');">1');">1');">1');">142 F.3d 887, 891');">1');">1');">1 (5th Cir. 1');">1');">1');">1998).

         B. Analysis

         Pam moves for judgment on the pleadings "recognizing her right to the funds in her late husband's 4Ol(k) account." [Doc. No. 32, 1');">1');">1');">1');">p. 1');">1');">1');">1]. Pam argues that she was vested with the rights to the Plan immediately upon the death of Gerald Miletello. Id. at 3. The pleadings do not contain a copy of the plan or the distribution of benefits. However, Pam contends that "an administrator must act in accordance with the documents and instruments governing the plan insofar as they accord with the statute, § 1');">1');">1');">11');">1');">1');">104(a)(1');">1');">1');">1)(D)."[1');">1');">1');">1" name="FN1');">1');">1');">1" id= "FN1');">1');">1');">1">1');">1');">1');">1]US Airways, Inc. v. McCutchen,1');">1');">1');">133 S.Ct. 1');">1');">1');">1537');">1');">1');">1');">133 S.Ct. 1');">1');">1');">1537, 1');">1');">1');">1548 (201');">1');">1');">13); id. Pam argues ...


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