Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Accordia Life And Annuity Company, v. Nguyen

United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division

June 27, 2019

ACCORDIA LIFE AND ANNUITY COMPANY, Plaintiff,
v.
BE THI NGUYEN, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER DENYING WITHOUT PREJUDICE MOTION FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT [RE: ECF 74]

          BETH LABSON FREEMAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is Defendants Be Thi Nguyen, H.P., and J.P.'s Motion for Default Judgment (“Motion”). Motion, ECF 74. The Court heard oral argument on the Motion on June 20, 2019. For the reasons below and as stated on the record at the Hearing, the Motion is DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Accordia Life and Annuity Company (“Accordia”) filed this interpleader action to resolve potential competing claims between Defendants Be Thi Nguyen, H.P., J.P., and Vo Thi Be Nam regarding proceeds from decedent Thanh Van Pham's (“Pham”) life insurance policy. Compl. ¶¶ 1-6, ECF 1. Defendant Nguyen was Pham's domestic partner, and Defendants J.P. and H.P. are their minor children, born in 2010 and 2012, respectively. See Id. ¶¶ 11-12. Nguyen, J.P., and H.P. reside in California. Id. ¶¶ 3-5.

         An investigation uncovered that Pham had a wife, Defendant Vo Thi Be Nam, in Vietnam. Compl. ¶¶ 14, 16. Pham married Defendant Nam on December 21, 2008, in Vietnam. Id. ¶ 14. Pham and Nam have two minor children: V.M.T. born in 2009 and V.T.A.T. born in 2016. Id. Nam is a citizen of Vietnam. Id. ¶ 6.

         On November 13, 2010, Aviva Financial Life and Annity Company (“Aviva”) issued a life insurance policy (“the Policy”) with a face value of $200, 000 to Pham. Compl. ¶ 9. Accordia is the successor in interest to Aviva with respect to the Policy. Id. ¶ 10. At the time Pham applied for the Policy, Pham designated his domestic partner Nguyen as the beneficiary of the Policy. Id. ¶ 11. On November 17, 2015, Pham executed a change of beneficiary form dividing the policy between Nguyen and their two children. Id. ¶ 13. The adjusted beneficiaries were Nguyen for 60% of the policy benefit, J.P. for 20% of the policy benefit, and H.P. for 20% of the policy benefit. Id.

         On a trip to Vietnam to visit Nam, Pham fell ill, and died on February 27, 2017. Compl. ¶ 15. Less Pham's outstanding loan balance under the Policy of $1, 416.28, the proceeds due to proper beneficiaries in this matter are $198, 583.72. See Id. ¶ 22. On November 28, 2018, Accordia deposited the proceeds plus applicable interest, a total of $207, 712.80, with the Clerk of Court. See Interpleader Deposit Receipt, ECF 63. On December 7, 2018, the Court dismissed Accordia with prejudice. See Order Granting Dismissal of Interpleader Plaintiff with Prejudice, ECF 68.

         Meanwhile, on May 30, 2018, Defendants J.P. and H.P. crossclaimed against Defendant Nam for declaratory judgment that J.P. and H.P. are entitled to some or all of the 40% policy benefit designated by Pham to J.P. and H.P. See J.P. & H.P. Answer and Crossclaim, ECF 25. Also on May 30, 2018, Defendant Nguyen crossclaimed against Defendant Nam for declaratory judgment that Nguyen is entitled to the 60% policy benefit designated by Pham to Nguyen. See Nguyen Answer and Crossclaim, ECF 26.

         On January 2, 2019, the Clerk entered Default as to Vo Thi Be Nam. See Entry of Default, ECF 73. On March 12, 2019, Nguyen, H.P., and J.P. filed the instant motion for default judgment against Nam in regard to decedent Pham's $200, 000 life insurance policy. See Motion, ECF 74.

         On March 15, 2019, the Court received a letter from Defendant Nam. See Letter No. 1, ECF 75. This letter provides Nam's email address and mailing address and appears to request access to the docket. See Id. On March 18, 2019, the Court ordered Nguyen, J.P., and H.P. to serve Nam by email with the instant Motion and notice of the associated hearing, see ECF 76, which were so served on March 20, 2019, see ECF 77. On April 8, 2018, the Court received a second letter from Defendant Nam. See Letter No. 2, ECF 78. This letter states that Nam and Pham married on December 21, 2008, that they had two children together, and that Pham had a stroke at a birthday party for one of their children and died on February 27, 2017. See Id. The Court subsequently granted Nam permission to appear telephonically at the upcoming hearing on the Motion. ECF 79.

         The Court heard oral argument on the Motion on June 20, 2019 (“the Hearing”). Nguyen, J.P., and H.P. appeared at the Hearing through counsel; however, Nam failed to appear in person or telephonically.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         Default may be entered against a party who fails to plead or otherwise defend an action, who is neither a minor nor an incompetent person, and against whom a judgment for affirmative relief is sought. Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(a).

         After entry of default, a court may, in its discretion, enter default judgment. Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(b)(2); Aldabe v. Aldabe, 616 F.2d 1089, 1092 (9th Cir. 1980). In deciding whether to enter default judgment, a court may consider the following factors: (1) the possibility of prejudice to the plaintiff; (2) the merits of the plaintiff's substantive claim; (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, 1471-72 (9th Cir. 1986). In considering these factors, all factual allegations in the plaintiff's complaint are taken as true, except those relating to damages. TeleVideo Sys., Inc. v. Heidenthal, 826 F.2d 915, 917-18 (9th Cir. 1987). When the damages claimed are not ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.