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Sales Force Won! Ltd. v. Teixidor Enterprises Inc.

United States District Court, D. Arizona

May 10, 2018

Sales Force Won! Limited, Plaintiff,
v.
Teixidor Enterprises Incorporated, Capital Core Investments LLC, Eduardo Teixidor, Marta Teixidor, and Wells Fargo Bank National Association, Defendants.

          ORDER

          Douglas L. Rayes, United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff 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.

         I. Background

         On 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.

         On 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.)

         Also on 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.)

         II. Default Judgment Standard

         After 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).

         The 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).

         A. Possible Prejudice to Plaintiff

         The 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.

         B. Merits of the Claims and Sufficiency of the Complaint

         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.

         C. Amount of ...


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