United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division
J. Conrad, Jr., United States District Judge.
MATTER comes before the Court on Plaintiff's
Motions for Default Judgment, (Doc. Nos. 10, 14),
Defendant's Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative,
Motion for Summary Judgment, (Doc. No. 15), the Magistrate
Judge's Memorandum and Recommendation
(“M&R”), (Doc. No. 24), Plaintiff's
Objections, (Doc. No. 27), and Plaintiff's Motion for
Recusal and Disqualification of Magistrate Judge, (Doc. No.
filed her pro se Complaint against Defendant on November 19,
2018 alleging unequal terms and conditions of employment,
retaliation, and hostile work environment based on race and
gender in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of
1964. (Doc. No. 1.) On March 12, 2019, Plaintiff filed a
Motion for Default Judgment. (Doc. No. 10.) Plaintiff filed a
second Motion for Default Judgment on March 28, 2019. (Doc.
No. 14.) On April 3, 2019, Defendant filed a Motion to
Dismiss or, in the Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment.
(Doc. No. 15.) In the M&R, the Magistrate Judge
recommended that the Court grant Defendant's motion and
dismiss this case. (Doc. No. 24, at 7.) After the Magistrate
Judge issued the M&R, Plaintiff filed a Motion for
Recusal and Disqualification of Magistrate Judge. (Doc. No.
Motions for Default Judgment
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governs
Plaintiff's Motions 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.
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).
has not obtained an entry of default; however, entry of
default is not appropriate in this case. The Court granted
Defendant an extension of time to answer or otherwise respond
to Plaintiff's Complaint, and Plaintiff filed the Motions
for Default Judgment prior to this extended deadline. On
April 3, 2019, Defendant timely responded to Plaintiff's
Complaint by filing a Motion to Dismiss or, in the
Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment. As Defendant has
not failed to plead or otherwise defend, entry of default is
not appropriate. Accordingly, Plaintiff's Motions for
Default Judgment are denied.
Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, Motion for Summary
district court may assign dispositive pretrial matters to a
magistrate judge for “proposed findings of fact and
recommendations.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B). The
Federal Magistrate Act provides that a district court
“shall make a de novo determination of those portions
of the report or specific proposed findings or
recommendations to which objection is made.”
Id. at § 636(b)(1); Camby v. Davis,
718 F.2d 198, 199 (4th Cir. 1983).
de novo review of the record, the M&R, and
Plaintiff's Objections thereto, the Court concludes that
the recommendation to grant Defendant's motion is fully
consistent with and supported by current law. Therefore, the
Court adopts the M&R.
Motion for Recusal and Disqualification of Magistrate
concluded that Defendant's Motion to Dismiss or, in the
Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment should be granted,
the Court denies as moot Plaintiffs Motion ...