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Transamerica Premier Life Insurance Co. v. Carroll

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Aiken Division

May 12, 2017

Transamerica Premier Life Insurance Company, Plaintiff,
v.
Mary Carroll, Hannah Sherlock, and Johnny Sherlock, Defendants.

          ORDER FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT AS TO ALL DEFENDANTS

          J. Michelle Childs United States District Court.

         This matter is before the court on the Plaintiff Transamerica Premier Life Insurance Company's (“Plaintiff”) motion for default judgment against Defendants Mary Carroll, Hannah Sherlock, and Johnny Sherlock. For the reasons set forth below, the court GRANTS Plaintiff's motion.

         I. Introduction

         Plaintiff filed this declaratory judgment action on July 13, 2016, seeking a declaration by the court that a life insurance policy on the life of Rose Ann Sherlock (“the Policy”) is null and void and of no force and effect. Plaintiff further requests that the court declare that Plaintiff has no obligation to pay the death benefit under the Policy and that it be allowed to retain the premiums paid on the Policy.

         A. Jurisdiction and Venue

         The court has subject matter jurisdiction over Plaintiff's claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332 based on diversity of citizenship of the parties. Additionally, this action is brought pursuant to the provisions of the Uniform Declaratory Judgment Act, as codified in 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201- 2202, and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 57.

         B. Process and Service on Defendants Mary Carroll, Hannah Sherlock, and Johnny Sherlock

         The Complaint was served on Defendant Mary Carroll by delivering a Summons and Complaint to her residence at 115 Ceferino Drive, North Augusta, South Carolina, 29860, on July 18, 2016. Defendant Mary Carroll accepted service. (ECF No. 9-1.)

         Process was also served on Defendant Hannah Sherlock by delivering the Summons and Complaint to her personally at her residence at 1352 Shannon Drive, North Augusta, South Carolina 29860, on July 18, 2016. (ECF No. 10-1.)

         Defendant Johnny Sherlock received service of process by delivery of a Summons and Complaint to his residence at 1115 Edgefield Road, North Augusta, South Carolina, 29860, on August 11, 2016. The wife of Defendant Johnny Sherlock, Ms. Catherine Sherlock, accepted service. (ECF No. 16-1.) Service on Defendant Johnny Sherlock was also attempted by certified mail, restricted delivery, return receipt requested on August 5, 2016 (ECF No. 16-2), and by FedEx on August 12, 2016. (ECF No. 16-3.) The Court finds that service on August 11, 2016 is sufficient and that, counting from that date, Defendant Johnny Sherlock is in default.

         C. Dismissal of Remaining Defendants

         On September 16, 2016, Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed Defendants The Estate of Rose Ann Sherlock, Tommy G. Riley, and Lisa Sherlock from this matter pursuant to Rule 41(a)(1)(A)(i) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. (ECF No. 21.) The Plaintiff determined that the presence of these Defendants is no longer necessary.

         D. Grounds for Entry of Default

         Defendants Mary Carroll, Hannah Sherlock, and Johnny Sherlock have not timely filed an answer or other pleading, as reflected in the Affidavits of Default filed on August 11, 2016, and September 7, 2016. (ECF Nos. 9, 10, 17.) The Clerk of Court properly entered default as to Defendants Mary Carroll and Hannah Sherlock on ...


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