United States District Court, D. Arizona
DOUGLAS L. RAYES UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Jennifer Rose moves for entry of default judgment against
Defendant Medical Professional Management Group LLC
(“MPMG”) pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 55(b). (Doc. 29.) For reasons stated below,
Plaintiff's motion is granted.
5, 2018, Plaintiff filed this action, alleging violations of
the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and the
Arizona Wage Act (“AWA”), as well as common law
claims for unjust enrichment and breach of the covenant of
good faith and fair dealing. (Doc. 1.) Plaintiff amended her
complaint, adding claims of sexual harassment and retaliation
under the Arizona Civil Rights Act (“ACRA”).
(Doc. 7.) MPMG was properly served but failed to answer or
otherwise defend within the time prescribed by the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure. (Doc. 21.) Upon application by
Plaintiff, the Clerk entered default against MPMG. (Docs. 24,
27.) Plaintiff now seeks entry of a default judgment. (Doc.
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. MPMG failed to respond to the complaint or
otherwise appear in this action despite being served with the
complaint. 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
MPMG in this regard 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
Amount of Money at Stake
the fourth Eitel factor, the Court considers the
amount of money at stake in relation to the seriousness of
the MPMG's conduct. See PepsiCo, 238 F.Supp.2d
at 1176. Plaintiff seeks $8, 760 in trebled damages for back
wages, $5, 840 in liquidated damages for violations of the
FLSA and AWA, and $20, 000 for lost wages arising out of
Plaintiff's sexual harassment and retaliation claims
under the ACRA. (Doc. 29-1 at 2.) Plaintiff also seeks $16,
283 in attorneys' fees and costs. (Id.) MPMG
violated the FLSA and AWA when it knowingly failed to pay
minimum wages due to Plaintiff, and it violated the ACRA when
it retaliated against Plaintiff for engaging in protected
activity related to her allegations of sexual harassment.
This factor weighs in favor of a default judgment.
Possible Dispute ...