United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
JOSHUA MILLIGAN, by his legal guardian and conservator, SUSAN THOMAS, Plaintiff,
IOWA DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES, Subrogated Defendant, and ROCK ON THE RIVER, INC., SCOTT SHECKLER, JILL SHECKLER, SHECKLER MANAGEMENT, INC., COUNTRY ON THE RIVER, INC., ABC CORP., DEF CORP., GHI CORP., JKL INSURANCE COMPANY, MNO INSURANCE COMPANY, and PQR INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendants.
D. PETERSON, District Judge.
21, 2016, the court issued a jurisdictional order directing
plaintiff Joshua Milligan to file an amended complaint that
contains allegations sufficient to determine: (1) each
party’s citizenship; (2) whether Milligan intends to
bring any claims against the Iowa Department of Human
Services (IDHS); and (3) whether the IDHS is a party in
interest or a nominal party. Dkt. 3. Milligan has filed an
amended complaint, Dkt. 4, and it properly establishes each
party’s citizenship. But Milligan has not adequately
justified the IDHS’s presence in this case, so the
court will dismiss the IDHS.
alleges that the IDHS has paid over $600, 000 for his medical
care following the underlying assault. Id. ¶ 4.
In the initial complaint, Milligan named the IDHS as a
“subrogated defendant.” Dkt. 1. Now, in the
amended complaint, Milligan names the IDHS as an
“involuntary plaintiff.” Dkt. 4, ¶ 4.
Milligan alleges that the IDHS is a party “solely
because it may be asserting a claim for benefits paid on
behalf of Joshua Milligan for medical care, treatment, and
services rendered as a result of the incident(s) that is/are
the subject of this case.” Id.
point, it is not clear why Milligan is attempting to join the
IDHS as a party to this case. He cites only the
possibility that the IDHS will bring a future claim
for benefits paid. But Milligan himself does not bring any
claims against the IDHS, nor does he contend that his claims
against defendants require the IDHS to be in this case.
Milligan appears to be under the impression that he must join
the IDHS in this case, but he does not seem to know where to
the IDHS is not an involuntary plaintiff. Under Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 19(a)(2), “[i]f a person has not
been joined as required, the court must order that the person
be made a party. A person who refuses to join as a plaintiff
may be made either a defendant or, in a proper case, an
involuntary plaintiff.” It is entirely possible that
the IDHS will have an interest in this case, or that it will
bring a claim for benefits paid. But at this point, it is not
clear that the IDHS is a required party, and it is
not clear that the IDHS has refused to join the case. Because
Milligan has not demonstrated that Rule 19 even applies, the
court need not determine whether to join the IDHS as a
defendant or as an involuntary plaintiff. In fact, it is
entirely possible that, once the IDHS has notice of this
case, it may voluntarily join as a plaintiff or seek to
intervene in a way that best represents its role in this
court will dismiss the IDHS at this time because Milligan
does not allege any claims against it, because it does not
allege any claims of its own, and because Milligan has not
demonstrated that it is a required party. Milligan may move
to rejoin the IDHS in the future, if he is able to show that
it is a required party who has refused to participate in the
the IDHS out of the picture for the time being, the court is
satisfied that the amended complaint contains allegations
sufficient to establish subject matter jurisdiction, in
compliance with the court’s July 21, 2016, order.
1. Subrogated defendant the Iowa Department of Human Services
is DISMISSED from the case. The clerk’s office will
update the caption accordingly.
2. Plaintiff Joshua Milligan’s amended complaint, Dkt.
4, is otherwise accepted.
 “The involuntary plaintiff
doctrine applies only when there is a relationship between
the plaintiff and the absentee such that the absentee must
allow the use of its name as plaintiff to enable the extant
plaintiff to secure relief. . . . [T]he doctrine is available
only if the involuntary plaintiff is beyond the personal
jurisdiction of the court.” 4 James Wm. Moore et al.,
Moore’s Federal Practice § 19.04[b]
(3d ed. 2015); see also Murray v. Miss. Farm Bureau Cas.
Ins. Co., 251 F.R.D. 361, 364 (W.D. Wis. 2008) (citing
cases and concluding that “[t]raditionally, a
‘proper case’ is one in which the ...