United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Eastern Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION 
A. BAKER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the court on Metropolitan Life Insurance
Company's (MetLife) Motion for Dismissal. (Doc. 27).
Defendants do not oppose dismissal of MetLife. (Docs. 28,
29). For the reasons that follow, the undersigned Magistrate
recommends MetLife be dismissed with prejudice from this
case was initiated by MetLife with the filing of a Complaint
in Interpleader brought pursuant to Rule 22 of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure and 28 U.S.C. § 1335. (Doc. 1).
The court has original jurisdiction over this action pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 because the action arises under the
Federal Employees Group Life Insurance Act (FEGLIA), 5 U.S.C.
§ 8701, et seq.
Complaint alleges it issued a policy of life insurance that
provided coverage under FEGLIA for the life of Ida Coleman,
deceased, who was a former employee of the United States
Postal Service. The action seeks to interplead funds of the
FEGLIA policy pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1335 because two
or more adverse claimants of diverse citizenship from
Plaintiff are claiming entitlement to the benefits of the
policy. (Doc. 1).
Coleman died March 15, 2016. (Doc. 1-3). Upon her death, the
life benefits from the coverage under her FEGLI policy which
total $43, 500.00 became payable to the proper beneficiaries.
MetLife alleges there is a controversy as to who is the
proper beneficiary or beneficiaries. A June 13, 2013
designation names Defendant Earline Williamson (Coleman's
God-Daughter) as the sole beneficiary. (Doc. 1, ¶¶
4, 10). A prior designation dated July 15, 2005, names Robin
O'Neal (Coleman's niece) and Oliver O'Neal
(Coleman's great nephew) as beneficiaries. Id.
¶¶ 2, 3, 11.
stakeholder, MetLife has no interest in the benefits and has
requested the court determine to whom the FEGLI benefits
should be paid. Section 1335 provides:
(a) The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of
any civil action of interpleader or in the nature of
interpleader filed by any person, firm, or corporation,
association, or society having in his or its custody or
possession money or property of the value of $500 or more, or
having issued a note, bond, certificate, policy of insurance,
or other instrument of value or amount of $500 or more, or
providing for the delivery or payment or the loan of money or
property of such amount or value, or being under any
obligation written or unwritten to the amount of $500 or
(1) Two or more adverse claimants, of diverse citizenship as
defined in subsection (a) or (d) of section 1332 of this
title, are claiming or may claim to be entitled to such money
or property, or to any one or more of the benefits arising by
virtue of any note, bond, certificate, policy or other
instrument, or arising by virtue of any such obligation; and
if (2) the plaintiff has deposited such money or property or
has paid the amount of or the loan or other value of such
instrument or the amount due under such obligation into the
registry of the court, there to abide the judgment of the
court, or has given bond payable to the clerk of the court in
such amount and with such surety as the court or judge may
deem proper, conditioned upon the compliance by the plaintiff
with the future order or judgment of the court with respect
to the subject matter of the controversy.
28 U.S.C. § 1335(a)(1).
does not dispute it owes the proceeds under the policy and
has deposited the insurance benefits into the court registry.
(Docs. 20, 22). MetLife satisfied its obligation under §
1335 by depositing the FEGLI benefits into the court registry
and now requests it be dismissed with prejudice from this
case. Defendants do not oppose this request. (Docs. 28, 29).
“As a general matter, a stakeholder who brings a [R]ule
 interpleader action is entitled to be discharged from
any and all liability to the claimants/defendants where there
is no longer any material controversy concerning its
obligations to those claimants.” Am. Gen. Life Ins.
Co. v. Jones, No. CIV A 08-0211-WS-B, 2008 WL 4949847,
at *1 (S.D. Ala. Nov. 13, 2008) (collecting cases). Thus, as
MetLife has no other obligation or interest in this
litigation, it may be properly dismissed from this action
pursuant to Rule 54(b). The court finds no just reason for
motion initially sought attorney's fees and costs for
bringing the action, but it has now agreed to waive this
request. See (Doc. 32). Section 1335 does not
contain a provision for attorney's fees, and courts have
acknowledged that whether to award fees and expenses in these
circumstances is within the discretion of the court. See
Prudential Prop. & Cas. Co. v. Baton Rouge Bank & Tr.
Co., 537 F.Supp. 1147, 1150 (M.D. Ga. 1982) (finding
“attorneys fees should not be awarded to an insurance
company in an interpleader action where the claims to the
fund are of the type that arise in the ordinary course of
business and are not difficult to resolve”);
Travelers Indem. Co. v. Israel, 354 F.2d 488, 490
(2d Cir. 1965) (noting that 28 U.S.C. § 1335 says
nothing about allowances for expenses, “leaving any
award to the sound discretion of the district court”).
for the reasons as stated, it is the
RECOMMENDATION of the Magistrate Judge that
MetLife's Motion for Dismissal (Doc. 27) be
granted in part and MetLife be dismissed
with prejudice from the case and that an appropriate judgment
for MetLife be entered pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(b). It is
further recommended that MetLife's request for
attorney's fees and costs be denied as
moot in light of the withdrawal of MetLife's
ORDERED that the parties shall file any
objections to the said Recommendation on or before December
19, 2017. Any objections filed must specifically identify the
findings in the Magistrate Judge's Recommendation to
which the party objects. Frivolous, conclusive or general
objections will not be considered by the District Court. The
parties are advised that this Recommendation is not a final
order of the court and, therefore, it is not appealable.
to file written objections to the proposed findings and
recommendations in the Magistrate Judge's report shall
bar the party from a de novo determination by the
District Court of issues covered in the report and shall bar
the party from attacking on appeal factual findings in the
report accepted or adopted by the District Court except upon
grounds of plain error or manifest injustice. Nettle ...