United States District Court, S.D. California
ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT AGAINST GTAC, INC. AND DENYING MOTION FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT AGAINST DEFENDANT CUEVA
BARRY TED MOSKOWITZ, Chief District Judge.
Plaintiff Chris Langer has filed a motion for default judgment against Defendants Alejandro Cueva and GTAC, Inc. ("GTAC"), dba Fuel Systems Parts. Plaintiff's motion is DENIED as to Defendant Alejandro Cueva because the Court has vacated the entry of default against Cueva. However, Plaintiff's motion is GRANTED as to Defendant GTAC.
On April 29, 2014, Plaintiff filed this action. Plaintiff uses a wheelchair for mobility and alleges that he was denied equal access to FSP Auto Service and Parts Distributor ("FSP"), located at or about 7005 Alamitos Avenue, San Diego, California, because there were no accessible parking spaces. In Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint ("SAC"), Plaintiff alleges violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Unruh Civil Rights Act, and the California Disabled Persons Act, in addition to a negligence claim.
On September 24, 2014, Plaintiff requested entry of default against GTAC. On September 25, 2014, the Clerk granted Plaintiff's request and entered default against GTAC.
Entry of default judgment is governed by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55(b) and is left to the trial court's sound discretion. Aldabe v. Aldabe, 616 F.2d 1089, 1092 (9th Cir. 1980). After default has been entered, the well-pleaded factual allegations of the complaint, except those relating to the amount of damages, shall be taken as true. Geddes v. United Fin. Group, 559 F.2d 557, 560 (9th Cir. 1977). In determining damages, the court can rely on evidence submitted by the plaintiff or may conduct a full evidentiary hearing. Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(b)(2). A judgment by default shall not award damages that are different from or exceed the amount requested in the plaintiff's complaint. Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(c).
Factors which may be considered by courts in exercising their discretion as to whether to enter default judgment include: (1) the possibility of prejudice to plaintiff; (2) the merits of plaintiff's substantive claims; (3) the sufficiency of the complaint; (4) the sum of money at stake in the action; (5) the possibility of a dispute concerning material facts; (6) whether the 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, 1472 (9th Cir. 1986).
Plaintiff seeks default judgment against GTAC. Plaintiff requests that the Court issue injunctive relief, in addition to statutory damages, attorney's fees, and costs totaling $10, 050.00. The Court grants Plaintiff's motion.
A. Eitel Factors
The Eitel factors weigh in favor of granting default judgment. The defaulting defendant was properly served [Doc. 12] and given ample opportunity to respond to the complaint but has failed to do so. There is no indication that the default was due to excusable neglect. As discussed below, Plaintiff has meritorious claims against GTAC, and will be left without an adequate remedy if default judgment is not entered. The sum of money at stake in this litigation is only $10, 050.00 and is not unreasonable in relation to the seriousness of the defendant's conduct. Therefore, default judgment is appropriate.
B. Merits of Claims
1. Title III, ...