United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
C. MARKS CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court are motions by Plaintiff Greymorr Real
Estate, LLC (“Greymorr”) for default judgment
against Defendant Stanley D. Foster. (Doc. 13 & 21).
30, 2019, the Plaintiff filed suit against Stanley D. Foster
(“Foster”), the United States of America, and the
State of Alabama Department of Revenue in the Circuit Court
of Montgomery County, Alabama (collectively
“Defendants”). (Doc. 1-1). The case was removed
to federal court by the United States on the basis of 28
U.S.C. § 1441, 1444, and 1446, because the United States
is a party to this quiet title action. (Doc. 1).
alleges in its complaint that the Defendants have an interest
in, or have an interest that clouds title to, the real
property located at 2212 Semahat Drive, Montgomery, Alabama,
36106. Greymorr alleges that on April 9, 2013, the Probate
Court of Montgomery County decreed that the property be sold
for unpaid taxes and alleges that the property was sold on
June 5, 2013 to Nebraska Alliance. (Doc. 1-1). Greymorr
attaches to the complaint the tax deed. (Doc. 1-1). A
quitclaim deed subsequently was issued to Greymorr. (Doc. 1-1
at 2). Greymorr alleges that all proceedings regarding the
initial sale on June 5, 2013, the issuance of the tax deed,
and the issuance of the quitclaim deed were completed in
conformity with Alabama law. (Doc. 1-1 at 3).
failed to file an answer or otherwise appear in this lawsuit
within the time limits set forth in the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure. Accordingly, on September 6, 2019, the Clerk
entered a default against Foster. (Doc. 26). On August 29,
2019, Greymorr filed a Motion for Default Judgment (doc. 21),
requesting that judgment be entered in its favor against
Foster. Foster did not file a response to the Greymorr's
default judgment motion within the time given by the Court in
its order to show cause why the motion ought not be granted.
(Doc. 28). For reasons to be discussed, the motion for
default judgment is due to be GRANTED.
JURISDICTION and VENUE
Court possesses subject-matter jurisdiction over this case
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and 1444, because the
United States is a party to this action to quiet title. 28
U.S.C. § 2410. Personal jurisdiction and venue are
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55(a), the Clerk of Court
must enter default when “a party against whom a
judgment for affirmative relief is sought has failed to plead
or otherwise defend, and that failure is shown by affidavit
or otherwise . . ..” Further, “[i]f the
plaintiff's claim is for a sum certain . . . the clerk -
on the plaintiff's request, with an affidavit showing the
amount due - must enter judgment for that amount and costs
against a defendant who has been defaulted for not appearing
. . ..” FED.R.CIV.P. 55(b)(1).
default has been entered, “[t]he defendant, by his
default, admits the plaintiff's well-pleaded allegations
of fact, is concluded on those facts by the judgment, and is
barred from contesting on appeal the facts thus
established.” Nishimatsu v. Const. Co., Ltd. V.
Houston Nat. Bank, 515 F.2d 1200, 1206 (5th Cir. 1975).
A district court need not hold a hearing to determine damages
when “all essential evidence is already of
record.” S.E.C. v. Smyth, 420 F.3d 1225,
1231-32 & n.13 (11th Cir. 2005).
support of its motion for default judgment, in addition to
the allegations of the complaint, Greymorr submits an
affidavit of Theresa Laughlin (“Laughlin”), Vice
President of Greymorr. (Doc. 21-3). In this affidavit,
Laughlin attests that the Montgomery County Tax Collector
sold to Nebraska Alliance Realty Company property with a
Parcel Identification Number of 03-10-08-27-01-003-024.054.
(Doc. 21-3 at 2-3). She further attests that Nebraska
Alliance Realty Company transferred its interest by quitclaim
deed to Greymorr. (Doc. 21-3 at 3). She further states that
no one has redeemed the property from the June 5, 2013 tax
sale. (Doc. 21-3 at 3).
allegations in the complaint and the supporting evidence
concerning the sale of the property provide a sufficient
basis for the Court to enter default judgment against Foster.
See McGuire v. Rogers, 794 So.2d 1131, 1138 (Ala.
Civ. App. 2000) (stating that “[o]ne claiming under a
tax title bears the burden of proving compliance with each
and every requirement as to assessment, failure to pay taxes,
giving of notice, ...