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.

Armendariz v. Northeast Collection Bureau Incorporated

United States District Court, D. Arizona

January 31, 2019

Elizabeth Jurado Armendariz, Plaintiff,
v.
Northeast Collection Bureau Incorporated, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          Douglas L. Rayes, United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Elizabeth Jurado Armendariz moves for default judgment against Defendant Northeast Collection Bureau Incorporated (“NCBI”) pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55(b). (Doc. 23.) No. response has been filed and the time for filing one has passed. For reasons stated below, Plaintiff's motion is granted.

         I. Background

         On May 29, 2018, Plaintiff filed a civil action against NCBI for violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq. (“FDCPA”). (Doc. 1.) After several unsuccessful attempts to serve NCBI's statutory agent, Plaintiff requested permission to effect service by posting a copy of the Summons and Complaint on the door of the statutory agent and by mailing a copy thereof to the public addresses listed for the statutory agent. (Doc. 9.) Finding good cause, the Court granted this request. (Doc. 11.) Subsequently, NCBI was properly served but failed to answer or otherwise defend within the time prescribed by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. (Docs. 13, 15.) Upon application by Plaintiff, the Clerk entered default against NCBI. (Doc. 19.) Plaintiff now seeks entry of a default judgment. (Doc. 23.)

         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. Grp., 559 F.2d 557, 560 (9th Cir. 1977).

         III. Discussion

         A. Possible Prejudice to Plaintiff

         The first Eitel factor weighs in favor of default judgment. NCBI failed to respond to the complaint or otherwise appear in this action despite being served with the complaint and the application for default. 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). The prejudice to Plaintiff in this regard supports the entry of default judgment.

         B. Merits of the Claims and Sufficiency of the Complaint

         The second and third Eitel factors favor a default judgment where the complaint states a claim for relief under the notice pleading standards of Rule 8. See Id. at 1175; Danning v. Lavine, 572 F.2d 1386, 1388-89 (9th Cir. 1978). Here, Plaintiff alleges violations of the FDCPA, specifically, NCBI's attempt to collect the debt by threatening legal action when none was intended and failing to provide Plaintiff notice concerning electronic bank withdrawals it was taking from Plaintiff's account. A review of the well-pled allegations shows that Plaintiff has stated a plausible claim to relief against NCBI. The second and third Eitel factors, therefore, favor a default judgment.

         C. Amount of Money at Stake

         Under the fourth Eitel factor, the Court considers the amount of money at stake in relation to the seriousness of Defendant's conduct. See PepsiCo, 238 F.Supp.2d at 1176. Plaintiff seeks $1, 000.00 in statutory damages, plus attorney's fees of $2, 082.50[1] and court costs of $530.00. (Doc. 23 at 1.) Section 1692k(a) of the FDCPA provides that a consumer may recover statutory damages of up to $1, 000.00 for violations of the Act. Given the severity of ...


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.