United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division
July 29, 2015
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
HAROLD ROLAND REED, III, et al., Defendants.
WILLIAM H. STEELE, Chief District Judge.
This matter comes before the Court on the plaintiff's Motion for Entry of Default Judgment against Defendant Regions Bank (doc. 42).
Plaintiff, United States of America, brought this action against Harold Roland Reed, III, and other defendants to obtain a money judgment for Reed's unpaid federal tax assessments and to foreclose federal tax liens against certain real property owned by Reed. Among the named defendants is Regions Bank, which the Government named as a defendant in this action "because it may claim a mortgage lien on the Baldwin County property" as to which foreclosure is sought. (Doc. 1, ¶ 9.)
The Government sought to obtain waiver of service from all defendants; however, its efforts to do so were unsuccessful as against Regions Bank. (Docs. 7, 18.) On that basis, the Government retained a private process server, who served the Summons and Complaint on Regions Bank, by and through its registered agent in Alabama, via personal service on June 3, 2015. (Doc. 31.) By operation of Rule 12(a)(1)(A)(i), Fed.R.Civ.P., Regions Bank was obligated to answer or otherwise respond to the Complaint on or before June 24, 2015. When that deadline passed without Regions Bank taking any steps to appear or defend, the Government applied to the Clerk of Court for entry of default on July 2, 2015. (Doc. 35.) On July 7, 2015, a Clerk's Entry of Default (doc. 38) was entered against Regions Bank pursuant to Rule 55(a), Fed.R.Civ.P., for failure to plead or otherwise defend. A copy of that Entry of Default was mailed to Regions Bank at its service address. The Government's Motion for Entry of Default Judgment against Regions Bank followed on July 21, 2015, with a copy of such Motion likewise being served on Regions Bank's registered agent. Despite entry of default against it and repeated notification of these default proceedings, Regions Bank has never appeared or defended in this action, much less sought to set aside the entry of default.
Given this course of conduct and the trivial outstanding balance ($11.90) on Regions Bank's mortgage interest in the subject real property in this case, it is readily apparent that Regions Bank has no intention of appearing in this action and is waiving whatever negligible interest it might have in the subject real property. On that basis, and given Regions Bank's unambiguous default, the Government's Motion for Entry of Default Judgment is granted pursuant to Rule 55(a), Fed.R.Civ.P. A separate default judgment will be entered in favor of the Government and against Regions Bank, declaring that (i) any mortgage lien and/or other claims that Regions Bank might have in and to the real property that is the subject of this foreclosure action (the "Baldwin County Property") do not attach to said real property, (ii) any sale or disposition of the Baldwin County Property in this action shall be made free and clear of any liens and/or claims that Regions Bank might have in and to such property, (iii) none of the proceeds received from the sale or disposition of the Baldwin County Property in this action shall be distributed to Regions Bank, and (iv) the Government is entitled to recover the sum of $65.00 from Regions Bank pursuant to Rule 4(d)(2)(A), representing the costs that the Government incurred to serve the Summons and Complaint on that defendant after Regions Bank, without good cause, refused to waive service.