United States District Court, D. Arizona
Douglas L. Rayes, United States District Judge.
Sales Force Won! Limited moves for entry of default judgment
against Defendants Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (“Wells
Fargo”), and Teixidor Enterprises, Inc., dba La
Patisserie Bakery, Capital Core Investments, LLC, Eduardo
Teixidor, and Marta Teixidor (“Texidor
Defendants”) pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 55(b). (Doc. 20.) For reasons stated below,
Plaintiff's motion is granted.
November 13, 2017, Plaintiff filed a complaint against
Defendants in Maricopa County Superior Court, seeking to
quiet title against Defendants and the Small Business
Administration (the “SBA”) to property Plaintiff
acquired at a judicial sale conducted by the Maricopa County
Sheriff's Office in 2016. (Doc. 1-1.) Defendant SBA
removed the case to federal court on December 21, 2017. (Doc.
1.) Subsequently, all defendants were properly served.
February 20, 2018, Plaintiff resolved its claim against the
SBA and stipulated to its dismissal from this action. (Doc.
12.) The remaining defendants, however, failed to answer or
otherwise defend within the time prescribed by the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure. Plaintiff applied for entry of
default on March 6, 2018, and the Clerk entered default
against Defendants the following day. (Docs. 15, 18.) On
March 13, 2018, Plaintiff filed the instant motion for entry
of default judgment against Defendants. (Doc. 20.)
March 13, 2018, the Texidor Defendants moved to set aside the
entry of default. (Doc. 23.) On April 31, 2018, the Court
denied the Texidor Defendants' motion. (Doc. 31.)
Default Judgment Standard
default is entered by the clerk, the district court may enter
default judgment pursuant to Rule 55(b). The court's
“decision whether to enter a default judgment is a
discretionary one.” Aldabe v. Aldabe, 616 F.2d
1089, 1092 (9th Cir. 1980). Although the court should
consider and weigh relevant factors as part of the
decision-making process, it “is not required to make
detailed findings of fact.” Fair Housing of Marin
v. Combs, 285 F.3d 899, 906 (9th Cir. 2002).
following factors may be considered in deciding whether
default judgment is appropriate: (1) the possibility of
prejudice to the plaintiff, (2) the merits of the claims, (3)
the sufficiency of the complaint, (4) the amount of money at
stake, (5) the possibility of factual disputes, (6) whether
default is due to excusable neglect, and (7) the policy
favoring decisions on the merits. See Eitel v.
McCool, 782 F.2d 1470, 1471-72 (9th Cir. 1986). In
considering the merits and sufficiency of the complaint, the
court accepts as true the complaint's well-pled factual
allegations, but the plaintiff must establish all damages
sought in the complaint. See Geddes v. United Fin.
Group, 559 F.2d 557, 560 (9th Cir. 1977).
Possible Prejudice to Plaintiff
first Eitel factor weighs in favor of default
judgment. Wells Fargo failed to respond to the complaint or
otherwise appear in this action despite being served with the
complaint, the application for default, and the motion for
default judgment. Similarly, the Texidor Defendants failed to
answer the complaint or respond to the motion for default
judgment. Although the Texidor Defendants moved to set aside
the entry of default, the motion was not well-taken. If
default judgment is not granted, Plaintiff “will likely
be without other recourse for recovery.” PepsiCo,
Inc. v. Cal. Sec. Cans, 238 F.Supp.2d 1172, 1177 (C.D.
Cal. 2002). Given that Plaintiff's efforts to sell the
property have been frustrated by the clouded title, the
prejudice to Plaintiff is readily apparent and supports the
entry of default judgment.
Merits of the Claims and Sufficiency of the
second and third Eitel factors favor default
judgment where, as in this case, the complaint sufficiently
states plausible claims to relief under the pleading
standards of Rule 8. See Id. at 1175; Danning v.
Lavine, 572 F.2d 1386, 1388-89 (9th Cir. 1978). A review
of the complaint's well-pled allegations shows that
Plaintiff has stated a plausible claim to relief against
Defendants. Moreover, in denying the Texidor Defendants'
motion to set aside the entry of default, the Court
determined that they had offered no meritorious defenses.
Amount of ...