Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Cain v. Consumers Solutions Group, LLC

United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Southern Division

May 8, 2018

ADRIAN CAIN, Plaintiff,
v.
CONSUMERS SOLUTIONS GROUP, LLC and JONATHAN C. FRANK & ASSOCIATES, LLC, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          VIRGINIA EMERSON HOPKINS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. Introduction

         The above-entitled civil action is before the Court on Plaintiff Adrian Cain's Motion for Default Judgment (the “Motion”). (Doc. 28). Cain seeks a judgment by default against Defendants Consumers Solutions Group, LLC (“CSG”) and Jonathan C. Frank & Associates, LLC (“Jonathan Frank”).

         Cain filed the Complaint in this action on December 19, 2016, and the Amended Complaint on August 18, 2017. (Docs. 1, 27). In her Amended Complaint, Cain alleges that the Defendants violated Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. (Id. at 2-6).

         CSG was served on December 21, 2016. (Doc. 6). On January 24, 2017, after CSG failed to appear, answer, or otherwise defend, Cain filed a Motion for Entry of Default. (Doc. 10). The Clerk filed the Entry of Default against CSG on January 25, 2017. (Doc. 12).

         Jonathan Frank was served on May 2, 2017. (Doc. 19). On May 24, 2017, after Jonathan Frank failed to appear, answer, or otherwise defend, Cain filed a Motion for Entry of Default. (Doc. 20). The Clerk filed the Entry of Default against Jonathan Frank on May 26, 2017. (Doc. 22).

         On August 4, 2017, Cain moved to dismiss his class claims against CSG. (Doc. 25). The Court then ordered Cain “to file an amended complaint that eliminates the class allegations in Count IV.” (Doc. 26 at 3). Cain was instructed to seek leave from the Court in order to make any other change. (See id.). Cain filed her Amended Complaint on August 18, 2017. (Doc. 27). She filed her Motion for Default Judgment that is the subject of this Memorandum Opinion and Order on February 15, 2018. (Doc. 28). As support for the Motion for Default Judgment, Cain submitted an affidavit. (Doc. 28-2).

         The Court ordered the Defendants to show cause by April 11, 2018, why the motion should not be granted. (Doc. 29). The Court received an untimely opposition to Cain's Motion on May 4, 2018. (Doc. 36). In the opposition, Defendants ask the Court to deny the motion for default judgment and allow them to file an answer. (See id.). Defendants give two reasons for such relief. (See Id. at 1-2). First, they argue that “service was improper” for both Defendants. (See Id. at 1). Second, they argue that “defaults are disfavored and cases should be judged on the merits.” (Id. at 2). The Court will treat the opposition as a motion to set aside the Clerk's entry of default.

         II. Standard

         “The court may set aside an entry of default for good cause.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(c). The Eleventh Circuit has explained that:

“ ‘Good cause' is a mutable standard, varying from situation to situation. It is also a liberal one-but not so elastic as to be devoid of substance.” Coon v. Grenier, 867 F.2d 73, 76 (1st Cir.1989). We recognize that “good cause” is not susceptible to a precise formula, but some general guidelines are commonly applied. Id. Courts have considered whether the default was culpable or willful, whether setting it aside would prejudice the adversary, and whether the defaulting party presents a meritorious defense. Rafidain Bank, 15 F.3d at 243; see also Robinson v. United States, 734 F.2d 735, 739 (11th Cir.1984). We note, however, that these factors are not “talismanic, ” and that courts have examined other factors including whether the public interest was implicated, whether there was significant financial loss to the defaulting party, and whether the defaulting party acted promptly to correct the default. E.g., Dierschke v. O'Cheskey, 975 F.2d 181, 184 (5th Cir.1992). “Whatever factors are employed, the imperative is that they be regarded simply as a means of identifying circumstances which warrant the finding of ‘good cause' to set aside a default.” Id. However, if a party willfully defaults by displaying either an intentional or reckless disregard for the judicial proceedings, the court need make no other findings in denying relief. Shepard Claims Service, Inc. v. William Darrah & Associates, 796 F.2d 190, 194-95 (6th Cir.1986).

Compania Interamericana Export-Import, S.A. v. Compania Dominicana de Aviacion, 88 F.3d 948, 951-52 (11th Cir. 1996). “Where a plaintiff's service of process is insufficient, a court may have good cause to set aside an entry of default because the court lacked personal jurisdiction over the defendant and, as a result, had no power to render judgment against it.” Thomas v. Bank of America, N.A., 557 Fed.Appx. 873, 875 (11th Cir. 2014) (citing sources).

         “[D]efaults are seen with disfavor because of the strong policy of determining cases on their merits.” Florida Physician's Ins. Co., Inc. v. Ehlers, 8 F.3d 780, 783 (11th Cir. 1993) (citing sources). “The defendant bears the burden of establishing good cause to set aside an entry of default.” Insituform Technologies, Inc. v. Amerik Supplies, Inc., 588 F.Supp.2d 1349, 1352 (N.D.Ga. 2008) (citing sources).

         The Eleventh Circuit “review[s] for abuse of discretion a district court's denial of a motion to set aside an entry of default.” Annon Consulting, Inc. v. BioNitrogen Holdings, Corp., 650 Fed.Appx. 729, 732 (11th Cir. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.