United States District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Western Division
Attorney(s) for C.B., By:, Name: David L-Hecht
Bennett, as an individual and as the mother and general
guardian of C.B., By:, Name: Kari Bennett.
ORDER OF APPROVAL
Honorable Judge Louise W. Flanagan United States District
Epic Games, Inc. ("Plaintiff or "Epic") and
Defendant C.B., a minor ("Defendant" or
"C.B."), together with his mother and general
guardian, Kari Bennett ("Defendant's General
Guardian" or "Ms. Bennett") (all,
collectively, the "Parties") have reached an
agreement to settle the dispute between them, including
without limitation, the above-captioned action, and, as part
of the settlement between them and in accordance with Local
Civil Rule 17.1 (b), consent, stipulate, and agree to the
entry of this Order of Approval.
on the Parties' consent, stipulation, and agreement
hereto, the allegations in the complaint, and the declaration
of Ms. Bennett, it is hereby ORDERED,
ADJUDGED, and DECREED as follows:
Defendant's guardian and mother, Ms. Bennett, consented
to this district as the proper venue for this dispute and
also consents to jurisdiction of this Court. (Bennett Dec. at
¶ 9.) No. questions exist as to misjoinder or nonjoinder
of parties. (Bennett Dec. at ¶ 7.)
Plaintiff and Defendant are properly represented before the
Court. (Id. at ¶ 8.)
Plaintiff is represented by Catharine Biggs Arrowood,
Christopher M. Thomas, and Catherine R.L. Lawson of the law
firm Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP. (D.E. 10, 6, 17.)
Defendant C.B. is a minor. (Bennett Decl. ¶ 3). Under
Local Civil Rule 17.1(a), "[Representation of minor ...
parties in a civil action shall be in accordance with
Fed.R.Civ.P. 17(c). Federal Rule 17(c)(1) provides that a
general guardian may defend on behalf of a minor. See Id
. In most cases, a parent qualifies as a "general
guardian" who may act on behalf of a minor without
needing a formal court appointment under Federal Rule 17(c).
See, e.g., Communities for Equity v. Michigan High School
Athletic Ass'n, 26 F.Supp.2d 1001, 131 Ed. Law Rep.
186 (W.D. Mich. 1998) ("Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
17(c) ... provides that a general guardian may sue on behalf
of a minor. A parent is a guardian who may so sue");
accord 42 Am.Jur.2d Infants § 147 (same);
cf. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 35A-1201(a)(6) ("The
General Assembly of North Carolina recognizes that: ... (6)
Parents are the natural guardians of the person of their
minor children ... ."). Ms. Bennet seeks to act as
Defendant's general guardian in this litigation. (Bennett
Decl. ¶¶ 3-4). Accordingly, the Court recognizes
that Defendant is represented in this matter by his mother
and general guardian, Ms. Bennett, in accordance with Rule
17(c)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. See
Seibels, Bruce & Co. v. Nicke, 168 F.R.D. 542, 544
(M.D. N.C. 1996) ("Permitting the parent to act as a
guardian saves the expense of appointing a guardian which is
also an important policy consideration. Furthermore, a
federal court should, as a matter of sound policy, be
cautious in attempting to step between the parent and his or
her child. And, as a practical matter, the Court may have a
very limited ability to do so especially if the minors will
not be made available to the guardian and/or reside out of
Defendant's legal counsel in this case is Jonathan D.
Sasser of the law firm Ellis & Winters, LLP, and David L.
Hecht and Yi Wen Wu of the law firm Pierce Bainbridge Beck
Price & Hecht, LLP. (Bennett Dec. at ¶ 8.)
Defendant's legal counsel worked with Defendant and Ms.
Bennett on this matter on a pro bono basis and assisted them
in the defense and resolution of this litigation.
Parties entered into the terms of a Settlement Agreement that
is the subject of this Order of Approval voluntarily after
consulting with counsel. (Id. at ¶¶ 10-11)
Defendant does not wish to pursue any affirmative defenses to
Plaintiffs claims of copyright infringement, contributory
copyright infringement, circumvention of technological
measures, or trafficking in technology that is primarily
designed, produced, and marketed for the purpose of
circumventing a technological measure that effectively
controls access to a copyright protected work. (Id.
at ¶ 10)
to the copyright claims, Plaintiff is the author, creator and
owner of all rights, title and interest in several valid,
registered, and enforceable copyrights asserted against
Defendant. (Compl. [D.E. 1] at¶¶ 33-34; Compl. Exh.
Defendant's General Guardian and Defendant agree and are
satisfied that the Settlement Agreement that is the subject
of this Order is fair and reasonable. (Bennett Decl. ¶
11) In particular, Defendant's General Guardian and
Defendant believe that the terms of the. Settlement ...