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Roberts v. California Department of Corrections

United States District Court, C.D. California

March 5, 2014

ANTWAREN ROBERTS, Plaintiffs,
v.
CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, T. RODIN (#56159), E. NIXON (#79734), S. HOLDER (#77625), E. PEREZ (#71336), E. RAMOS (#57029), G. CALDERON (#75622), B. CAMACK (#74448), D. SOTO (#59309), M. BLANKENSHIP (#71326), A. RODRIGUEZ (#76993), RON HUGHES (#44815), K. SMITH (#44815), TODD LANSFORD (#70462), ARBI MASHI KAMALI; DANNY LEVA, and DOES 1-50 Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING APPLICATION FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT AGAINST DEFENDANTS ARBI MASHI KAMALI AND DANNY LEYVA [58], [59]

OTIS D. WRIGHT, II, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff Antwaren Roberts was a prisoner at the California Mens' Colony in San Luis Obispo on September 30, 2012, when Defendants Arbi Mashi Kamali and Danny Leyva stabbed him in his cell. Roberts filed suit against, among others, Kamali and Leyva on October 8, 2013, for assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Kamali and Leyva have not answered or otherwise responded to the Complaint, and the Clerk of Court accordingly entered default. Roberts then moved for entry of default judgment against Kamali and Leyva. For the reasons discussed below, the Court GRANTS Plaintiff's Motion for Default Judgment.

II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Roberts, Leyva, and Kamali were prisoners at the California Mens' Colony in San Luis Obispo. (ECF No. 1.) Leyva and Kamali were housed on the second floor in cell 5345, and Roberts was housed on the third floor in cell 5337. (Compl. ¶¶ 41, 48.) During a routine pill count on September 30, 2012, an officer observed Roberts fall out of his cell, bleeding from multiple lacerations, cuts and puncture wounds to his head, neck, torso, shoulders, back and thighs. ( Id. at ¶¶ 42, 46, 52.) It was later determined that Roberts had been stabbed by Defendants, both of whom were observed leaving Roberts' cell with blood on their hands, arms, back, and stomach. ( Id. at ¶¶ 48, 55.) After the stabbing, Roberts suffered emotional distress, including nightmares. ( Id. at ¶ 53) Defendants were subsequently convicted of attempted murder as a result of the incident. (Mot. 5.)

On October 8, 2013, Roberts filed suit against multiple defendants, including Leyva and Kamali. (ECF No. 1.) Roberts alleges claims against Leyva and Kamali for assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress. ( Id. ) Roberts served Leyva and Kamali on November 5, 2013. (ECF Nos. 13, 36.) Since Defendants never answered or otherwise responded to the Complaint, the Clerk of Court entered default against Leyva and Kamali. (ECF No. 52.) Roberts then moved for entry of default judgment against both Defendants. (ECF No. 55.) That Motion is now before the Court for decision.

III. LEGAL STANDARD

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55(b) authorizes a district court to grant default judgment after the default is entered under Rule 55(a). Local Rule 55-1 requires that the movant submit a declaration establishing (1) when and against which party default was entered; (2) identification of the pleading to which default was entered; (3) whether the defaulting party is a minor, incompetent person, or active servicemember; and (4) that the defaulting party was properly served with notice if required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55(b)(2).

A district court has discretion whether to enter default judgment. Aldabe v. Aldabe, 616 F.2d 1089, 1092 (9th Cir. 1980). Upon default, the defendant's liability generally is conclusively established and the well-pleaded factual allegations in the complaint are accepted as true. Televideo Sys., Inc. v. Heidenthal, 826 F.2d 915, 917-19 (9th Cir. 1987) (per curiam) (citing Geddes v. United Fin. Grp., 559 F.2d 557, 560 (9th Cir. 1977)).

In exercising its discretion, a court must consider several factors: (1) the possibility of prejudice to plaintiff; (2) the merits of plaintiff's substantive claim; (3) the sufficiency of the complaint; (4) the sum of money at stake; (5) the possibility of dispute concerning material facts; (6) whether the defendants 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, 1471-72 (9th Cir. 1986).

IV. DISCUSSION

A. Notice

The Court finds that Roberts has complied with all the service requirements set forth in Local Rule 55-1. Roberts served notice on Defendants through Henry Cervantes, Litigation Coordinator at California Mens' Colony, on November 5, ...


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