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Trustees of the Hod Carriers Local 166 South Bay Pension Fund v. La Paz Stucco & Plastering

October 9, 2012

TRUSTEES OF THE HOD CARRIERS LOCAL 166 SOUTH BAY PENSION FUND, MONEY PENSION PLAN, VACATION FUND, UNION DUES, TRAINING FUND, AND PROMOTION FUND; AND HOD CARRIERS LOCAL 166 WEST BAY CONSOLIDATED PENSION FUND, VACATION FUND, UNION DUES, TRAINING FUND, AND PROMOTION FUND; AND HOD CARRIERS LOCAL UNION #166, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
LA PAZ STUCCO & PLASTERING, INC., A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION
DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Edward J. Davila United States District Judge

ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT [Re: Docket No. 13]

In this ERISA enforcement action, Plaintiffs Trustees of the Hod Carriers Local 166 South Bay Pension Fund, Money Pension Plan, Vacation Fund, Union Dues, Training Fund, and 23 Promotion Fund ("South Bay Fund"), and Hod Carriers Local 166 West Bay Consolidated Pension 24 Fund, Vacation Fund, Union Dues, Training Fund, and Promotion Fund ("West Bay Fund"); and 25 Hod Carriers Local Union #166 ("Local Union #166") (collectively "Plaintiffs") move for an entry 26 of default judgment against Defendant La Paz Stucco & Plastering, Inc. ("Defendant"). Having reviewed Plaintiffs' submissions, the Court finds this matter appropriate for decision without oral 2 argument. See Civil L.R. 7--1(b). For the following reasons, the motion is GRANTED. 3 4

6 defined in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA"). See 29 U.S.C. 7

I. BACKGROUND

The South Bay Fund and the West Bay Fund are multi-employer employee benefit plans as § 1002(3), (37); 29 U.S.C. § 1132(d)(1); Compl. ¶ 3, Docket Item No. 1. Under the terms of the 8 collective bargaining agreement Local Union #166 enters into with its employers, the employers 9 must make contributions to the Funds. Id. ¶ 8. The Trustees to the Funds have the authority and 10 duty to administer the Funds, which includes the collection of unpaid employer contributions and related losses. Id. Court 12

Defendant to make specific payment contributions into the Trust Funds. Id. The agreement also 15 provides that employers who fail to make timely contributions into the Trust Funds are liable for 16 unpaid contributions, interest, liquidated damages, and attorneys' fees and costs. Id. ¶ 10. Plaintiffs 17 allege that Defendant failed to make certain payments during a between January 1, 2008 and March 18

Plaintiffs filed this action on February 24, 2012. See id. Proper service was made and proof 20 of service was filed. See Docket Item No. 4. Pursuant to Plaintiffs' request, the Clerk entered 21

Defendant's default on April 3, 2012. See Docket Item No. 6. On August 14, 2012, Plaintiffs filed 22 this Motion for Default Judgment. See Docket Item No. 13. Defendant has not submitted written 23 opposition to the motion, and the time for such opposition has expired. See Civ. L.R. 7--3(a).

ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT

Plaintiffs have alleged that Defendant agreed to be bound to the terms and conditions of the collective bargaining agreement. Id. ¶ 7; Id. Ex. A. The agreement requires employers like

II. DISCUSSION

A. Legal Standard

Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55(b), the Court may enter default judgment against a defendant who has failed to plead or otherwise defend an action. "The district court's 5 decision whether to enter default judgment is a discretionary one." Aldabe v. Aldabe, 616 F.2d 6 1089, 1092 (9th Cir. 1980). The Ninth Circuit has provided seven factors for consideration by the 7 district court in exercising its discretion to enter default judgment: (1) the possibility of prejudice to 8 the plaintiff; (2) the merits of plaintiff's substantive claim; (3) the sufficiency of the complaint; (4) 9 the sum of money at stake in the action; (5) the possibility of dispute concerning material facts; (6) 10 whether default was due to excusable neglect; and (7) the strong policy underlying the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure favoring decisions on the merits. Eitel v. McCool, 782 F.2d 1470, 1471-- Court 12 72 (9th Cir. 1986). When assessing these factors, all factual allegations in the complaint are taken as true, except those with regard to damages. Televideo Sys., Inc. v. Heidenthal, 826 F.2d 915, 14 917--18 (9th Cir. 1987). 15 16

B. Jurisdiction

Courts have an affirmative duty to examine their own jurisdiction-both subject matter and 18 personal jurisdiction-when entry of judgment is sought against a party in default. In re Tuli, 172 19 F.3d 707, 712 (9th Cir. 1999). Here, the Court has subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 29 U.S.C. 20 ยง 1132(e), which bestows jurisdiction to United States district courts over civil enforcement of 21 ERISA violations. Personal jurisdiction arises from ...


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