UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
May 1, 2012
MARIVEL VALDEZ, PLAINTIFF,
CENTENNIAL LEASING LLC, DEFENDANT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Otis D. Wright, II United States District Judge
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO SET ASIDE DEFAULT  AND DENYING MOTION FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT AS MOOT 
Before the Court are Counter-Claimant Centennial Leasing LLC's April 2, 2012 Motion for Default Judgment against Counter-Defendant Marivel Valdez (ECF No. 24) and Valdez's April 23, 2012 Motion to Set Aside Default (ECF No. 28). For the following reasons, the Court GRANTS Valdez's Motion and DENIES Centennial's Motion as moot.
As a threshold matter, Central District of California Local Rule 7-9 requires an opposing party to file an opposition to any motion at least 21 days prior to the date designated for hearing the motion. C.D. Cal. L.R. 7-9. Additionally, Local Rule 7-12 provides that "[t]he failure to file any required paper, or the failure to file it within the deadline, may be deemed consent to the granting or denial of the motion." C.D. Cal. L.R. 7-12. The hearing on Valdez's Motion was set for May 21, 2012. Counter-claimant Centennial Leasing LLC's opposition was therefore due by April 30, 2012.
As of the date of this Order, Centennial has not filed an opposition, nor any other filing that could be construed as a request for a continuance. Centennial's failure to oppose may therefore be deemed consent to the granting of Valdez's Motion.
Nevertheless, the Court has carefully considered Valdez's arguments in support and finds her Motion to Set Aside Default supported by good cause, as required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55(c). "The 'good cause' standard that governs vacating an entry of default under Rule 55(c) is the same standard that governs vacating a default judgment under Rule 60(b)." Franchise Holding II, LLC v. Huntington Rest. Group, Inc., 375 F.3d 922, 925 (9th Cir. 2004) (citation omitted). The district court's discretion, however, is "especially broad" with respect to setting aside an entry of default, rather than a default judgment. See Mendoza v. Wight Vineyard Mgmt., 783 F.2d 941, 945 (9th Cir. 1986); Brady v. United States, 211 F.3d 499, 504 (9th Cir. 2000).
The "good cause" analysis considers the following three, disjunctive factors: (1) whether Valdez engaged in culpable conduct that led to the default; (2) whether Valdez had a meritorious defense; or (3) whether setting aside the default would prejudice Centennial. See TCI Group Life Ins. Plan v. Knoebber, 244 F.3d 691, 696 (9th Cir. 2001). The Court finds that Valdez has successfully established that her default was the result of excusable neglect, that she may have a meritorious defense to Centennial's counterclaim, and that setting aside default would not prejudice Centennial. Valdez's Motion to Set Aside Default is therefore GRANTED,and default is hereby set aside. Valdez shall have 21 days from the date of this Order to file an Answer or otherwise respond to Centennial's counter-claim.
Because the Court grants Valdez's Motion, Centennial's pending Motion for Default Judgment (ECF No. 24) is DENIED AS MOOT. The May 21, 2012 hearing on both Motions is VACATED, and no appearances are necessary.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
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