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Methe v. Amazon.com.Dedc, LLC

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division

July 15, 2019

BRIAN METHE, Plaintiff,
v.
AMAZON.COM.DEDC, LLC, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF BRIAN METHE'S MOTION FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT AGAINST DEFENDANTS WEBINTELLICS, INC. AND RIPT APPAREL, LLC WITHOUT PREJUDICE (Doc. 36)

          Timothy S. Black United States District Judge

         This case is before the Court on Plaintiff Brian Methe's (“Plaintiff”) motion for default judgment against Defendants Webintellics, Inc. and RIPT Apparel, LLC (collectively the “Defaulting Defendants”). (Doc. 36).

         I. BACKGROUND

         On November 7, 2017, Plaintiff filed suit against the Defaulting Defendants, as well as other defendants, for copyright infringement. (Doc. 1). Subsequently, Plaintiff served the Defaulting Defendants with a copy of the Complaint. (Docs. 30, 35, 36-1). Neither of the Defaulting Defendants timely answered. (See Doc. 36-1 at ¶¶ 2-4). On September 5, 2018, Plaintiff filed a motion for default judgment against the Defaulting Defendants. (Doc. 36). One day later, Plaintiff filed an application for entry of default. (Doc. 37). On September 10, 2018, the Clerk issued an entry of default, confirming that the Defaulting Defendants were “in default.” (Doc. 38).

         Plaintiff's motion for default judgment consists of a single paragraph:

Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 55, [Plaintiff] moves the Court to enter the attached Default Judgments against [the Defaulting Defendants] for failure to plead or otherwise defend this case. The claims asserted in this matter do not involve a sum certain, therefore Plaintiff further requests a hearing to determine the amount of damages owed by the defaulting parties. In support of this Motion, Plaintiff tenders the Affidavit of Counsel attached as Exhibit A.

(Doc. 36). The Affidavit of Counsel contains: (1) information about the Defaulting Defendants' service, and (2) a request for an evidentiary hearing. (Doc. 36-1).

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         Rule 55 governs Plaintiff's motion for default judgment. Where, as here, a case does not involve a sum certain, Rule 55 sets out a two-step process. First, the Clerk must issue an entry of default under Rule 55(a). Second, the plaintiff must file a motion for a default judgment under Rule 55(b)(2). After the Clerk's entry of default and the plaintiff's motion for default judgment, the Court considers whether a default judgment is proper. When doing so, the Court takes all of the factual allegations in the complaint as true.[1] Ohio Nat'l Life, Assurance Corp. v. Crescent Fin. & Ins. Agency, Inc., No. 1:15-CV-727, 2016 WL 8199123, at *1 (S.D. Ohio June 20, 2016).

         An entry of default does not automatically entitle the plaintiff to a default judgment. See F.C. Franchising Sys., Inc. v. Schweizer, No. 1:11-CV-740, 2012 WL 1945068, at *3 (S.D. Ohio May 30, 2012). The plaintiff must still show that, when all of the factual allegations in the complaint are taken as true, the defendant is liable for the claim(s) asserted. Said v. SBS Elecs., Inc., No. 1:08-CV-3067, 2010 WL 1265186, at *2 (E.D.N.Y. Feb. 24, 2010) (It “remains the plaintiff's burden to demonstrate that” the complaint's factual allegations, taken as true, “establish the defendant's liability.”), adopted as modified, No. 1:08-CV-3067, 2010 WL 1287080 (E.D.N.Y. Mar. 31, 2010).[2]

         When considering whether a default judgment is proper, courts:

[T]ake into account: (1) possible prejudice to the plaintiff; (2) the merits of the claims; (3) the sufficiency of the complaint; (4) the amount of money at stake; (5) possible disputed material facts; (6) whether the default was due to excusable neglect; and (7) the preference for decisions on the merits.

Russell v. City of Farmington Hills, 34 Fed.Appx. 196, 198 (6th Cir. 2002).

         III. ...


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