United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
RICHARD L. BOURGEOIS, JR. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the Court is Metropolitan Life Insurance Company's
(“MetLife”) Ex Parte Motion for Order Directing
Service by Publication (R. Doc. 37) filed on October 16,
commenced this interpleader action on March 6, 2017. (R. Doc.
1). At issue in this interpleader action is the death benefit
of $5, 000.00 payable by MetLife in light of the death of
John Jackson on November 20, 2015. The
Interpleader-Defendants named in the Complaint are Willie Lee
Jackson, Sr., individually and as Administratrix of the
Succession of John Jackson (“Jackson”), and
Alexis Hill, Jonathan Hill, and Sebastian Hill (collectively,
the “Hills”). (R. Doc. 36 at 1). MetLife alleges
that the Hills are all domiciled in Chicago, Illinois. (R.
Doc. 1 at 1-2).
March 7, 2017, MetLife sent waiver of service forms to the
Hills. (R. Doc. 26-4).
April 5, 2017, the Court granted MetLife's motion to
deposit into the registry of the Court the sum of $5, 471.23,
which represents the principal sum payable in death benefits
plus accrued interest. (R. Doc. 5).
April 27, 2017, Jackson filed an Answer and Crossclaim. (R.
Doc. 8). The Hills have not filed an Answer or otherwise made
an appearance in this action.
sole address for the Hills available to MetLife is on the
Change of Beneficiary Designation form on file with MetLife,
which consists of a Post Office Box in Chicago, Illinois,
with the zip code 60613. (R. Doc. 26-2).
April 18, 2017, MetLife sent a letter to the Hills inquiring
about the waiver of service form. (R. Doc. 26-5).
MetLife's counsel represents that despite having
discussed the dispute with Alexis Hill by telephone, counsel
did not receive a signed waiver of service from any of the
Hills. (R. Doc. 36 at 2; R. Doc. 26-1 at 2).
8, 2017, MetLife attempted service of process on the Hills by
certified mail pursuant to the Louisiana Long Arm Statute.
(R. Doc. 9; R. Doc. 10; R. Doc. 11). MetLife's counsel
represents that on May 30, 2017, the envelopes addressed to
Jonathan Hill and Sebastian Hill were returned to her office
with the return receipts still attached. (R. Doc. 36 at 2).
13, 2017, the Court held a telephone conference. (R. Doc.
24). The Hills did not participate. The Court set a new
telephone conference to be held on August 21, 2017, and
ordered MetLife's counsel to “send a copy of this
order to any available addresses for any defendants that have
not appeared and provide call in information for the
telephone status conference so that they may participate by
phone.” (R. Doc. 24 at 1). MetLife's counsel
represents that she sent copies of that Order to the Hills,
as well as an additional letter reminding the Hills of the
status conference, but the envelopes were returned to Ms.
Roddy's office marked “Refused.” (R. Doc. 36
at 2-3; see R. Doc. 31-3; R. Doc. 31-4, R. Doc.
August 21, 2017, the Court held a telephone conference. (R.
Doc. 27). The Hills did not participate. The Court then set
an additional telephone conference for October 3, 2017. (R.
Doc. 30). Ms. Roddy represents that she sent a copy of the
notice setting this telephone conference to the Hills. (R.
Doc. 36 at 3; see R. Doc. 31-6).
October 3, 2017, the Court held a telephone conference. (R.
Doc. 33). The Hills did not participate.
October 16, 2017, MetLife filed the instant motion, which
seeks approval from the Court to order service of process on
Alexis Hill, Jonathan Hill, and Sebastian Hill by ...