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Day v. Boyer

United States District Court, C.D. California

July 9, 2019

PAMELA DAY, Plaintiff,
v.
DUSTIN BOYER, Defendant.

          ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S APPLICATION FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT [15]

          OTIS D. WGHT, II UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Pamela Day seeks entry of default judgment against Defendant Dustin Boyer. (Appl. for Default J. (“Appl.”), ECF No. 15.) For the reasons discussed below, the Court DENIES Plaintiff's Application.[1]

         II. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Pamela Day initiated this action against Defendant Dustin Boyer on March 7, 2019. (Compl., ECF No. 1.) Day asserts a dozen claims against Boyer for violations of federal securities law and state law related to a cryptocurrency investment she made with Boyer in December 2017.[2] (See Compl. ¶¶ 3-10.) On May 13, 2019, on Day's request, the Clerk entered default against Boyer. (Req. for Clerk to Enter Default, ECF No. 12; Default by Clerk, ECF No. 13.) Following the Court's Order to Show Cause, Day filed the instant Application for Default Judgment against Boyer. (See Appl.)

         III. LEGAL STANDARD

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (“Rule”) 55(b) authorizes a district court to grant a default judgment after the Clerk enters default under Rule 55(a). Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(b). Before a court can enter a default judgment against a defendant, the plaintiff must satisfy the procedural requirements set forth in Rules 54(c) and 55, as well as Local Rules 55-1 and 55-2. Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(c), 55; C.D. Cal. L.R. 55-1, 55-2. 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 service member; (4) that the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, 50 U.S.C. § 3931, does not apply; and that (5) the defaulting party was properly served with notice, if required under Rule 55(b)(2). C.D. Cal. L.R. 55-1.

         If these procedural requirements are satisfied, a district court has discretion to enter default judgment. Aldabe v. Aldabe, 616 F.2d 1089, 1092 (9th Cir. 1980). “[A] defendant's default does not automatically entitle the plaintiff to a court-ordered judgment.” PepsiCo, Inc., v. Cal. Sec. Cans, 238 F.Supp.2d 1172, 1174 (C.D. Cal 2002). In exercising discretion, a court must consider several factors (the “Eitel Factors”):

(1) the possibility of prejudice to the plaintiff, (2) the merits of 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) (emphasis added). Generally, after the Clerk enters default, the defendant's liability is conclusively established, and the well-pleaded factual allegations in the complaint are accepted as true, except those pertaining to damages. TeleVideo Sys., Inc. v. Heidenthal, 826 F.2d 915, 917-18 (9th Cir. 1987) (per curiam) (quoting Geddes v. United Fin. Grp., 559 F.2d 557, 560 (9th Cir. 1977)).

         IV. DISCUSSION

         Day does not comply entirely with the relevant procedural requirements and does not address the Eitel factors at all. Day thus fails to establish that entry of default judgment is appropriate.

         A. Procedural Requirements

         Day complies with most of the procedural requirements for entry of default judgment. With her Application, she submits the Declaration of Jim Bauch (“Bauch Declaration”) which states that the Clerk entered Default against Boyer on May 13, 2019, as to the Complaint. (Bauch Decl. ¶¶ 2, 4, ECF No. 15-1.) Day also submits her own declaration (“Day Declaration”), which states that “Boyer is not a minor or incompetent person, and to the best of [Day's] knowledge, is not in military service or otherwise exempted under the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act of 1940.”[3] (Day Decl. ΒΆ 3, ECF No. 15-2.) However, although the record in this action does not reflect Boyer's appearance, neither declaration indicates whether Day ...


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