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.

Movement Mortgage, LLC v. Franklin First Financial, Ltd.

United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division

September 27, 2019

MOVEMENT MORTGAGE, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
FRANKLIN FIRST FINANCIAL, LTD., Defendant.

          ORDER

          ROBERT J. CONRAD, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         THIS MATTER comes before the Court on Plaintiff’s Motion for Default Judgment. (Doc. No. 74.)

         I. BACKGROUND

         On November 14, 2017, Plaintiff Movement Mortgage, LLC (“Plaintiff”) filed a Complaint and Motion for Temporary Restraining Order against Defendants Mark McDonald (“McDonald”) and Franklin First Financial, Ltd. (“Franklin”) in the Superior Court of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. (Doc. No. 1-1.) On December 5, 2017, a TRO was entered against McDonald. (Doc. No. 1-1.) On December 12, 2017, Franklin removed the action to the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina on the basis of diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(2). (Doc. No. 1.)

         With leave of Court and Defendants’ consent, Plaintiff filed its Second Amended Complaint on July 6, 2018. (Doc. No. 38.) Defendants filed their Answer to the Second Amended Complaint on August 15, 2018. (Doc. No. 45.) On August 29, 2018, Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s Second Amended Complaint, which was denied on February 5, 2019. (Doc. No. 67.)

         On November 13, 2018, the Court granted Defendants’ counsel’s Motion to Withdraw. (Doc. No. 65.) The Court ordered Franklin to secure replacement counsel within thirty days, expressly noting that a corporation may appear in federal court only through licensed counsel. (Doc. No. 65.)

         On March 29, 2019, the Court Granted Plaintiff and McDonald’s joint motion for dismissal with prejudice of Plaintiff’s claims against McDonald. (Doc. No. 72.) That same day, the Court entered default against Franklin based on its failure to secure counsel in direct contravention of the Court’s order. (Doc. No. 73.)

         On April 29, 2019, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion for Default Judgment. (Doc. No. 74.) The motion is ripe for resolution.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Rule 55 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governs Plaintiff’s Motion for Default Judgment. “Rule 55 sets forth a two-step process for obtaining a default judgment.” Brown v. Prime Star Grp., Inc., No. 3:12-cv-165, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141495, at *5 (W.D. N.C. Sept. 30, 2012). A plaintiff must first seek an entry of default under Rule 55(a). L & M Cos. v. Biggers III Produce, Inc., No. 3:08-cv-309, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 46907, at *14 (W.D. N.C. Apr. 9, 2010). Rule 55(a) states that “[w]hen a party against whom a judgment for affirmative relief is sought has failed to plead or otherwise defend, and that failure is shown by affidavit or otherwise, the clerk must enter the party’s default.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(a). “Upon the entry of default, the defaulted party is deemed to have admitted all well-pleaded allegations of fact contained in the complaint.” Brown, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141495, at *4.

         “After the clerk has entered a default, the plaintiff may seek a default judgment.” Silvers v. Iredell Cty. Dep’t of Soc. Servs., No. 5:15-cv-00083, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13865, at *9 (W.D. N.C. Feb. 3, 2016). Default judgment is proper “only if the well-pleaded factual allegations in a complaint both establish a valid cause of action and entitle the plaintiff to an award of damages or other relief.” i play. Inc. v. D. Catton Enter., LLC, No. 1:12-cv-22, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29870, at *6 (W.D. N.C. Mar. 10, 2015). In so deciding, courts in this district apply the standard used to evaluate a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. Silvers, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13865, at *18–19. “If the Court determines that liability is established, it must then determine the appropriate amount of damages.” Bogopa Serv. Corp. v. Shulga, No. 3:08-cv-365, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17408, at *4 (W.D. N.C. Feb. 8, 2011). “The court must make an independent determination regarding damages, and cannot accept as true factual allegations of damages.” EEOC v. Carter Behavior Health Servs., No. 4:09-cv-122, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129493, at *9–10 (E.D. N.C. Oct. 7, 2011). “[A] court may enter a default judgment as to damages with or without a hearing. As long as there is an adequate evidentiary basis in the record for an award of damages, the Court may make such a determination without a hearing.” Bogopa Serv. Corp., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17408, at *5 (citation omitted).

         III. DISCUSSION

         The Court has entered default against Franklin. (Doc. No. 73.) The Court thus proceeds to analyzing the propriety of default judgment.

         A. The well-pleaded allegations of the Second Amended Complaint aresufficient ...


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.