United States of America v. Bracy
ORDER granting 6 Motion for Default Judgment. Signed by Judge Kristi K. DuBose on 9/28/2011. (cmj)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
MECHEALL H. BRACY,
CIVIL ACTION NO. 11-00157-KD-C
This matter is before the Court on the Plaintiff United States of America (“the
Government”)’s motion for entry of default judgment. (Doc. 6). The Government seeks entry
of a default judgment against Defendant Mecheall H. Bracy (“Bracy”) on the grounds that he has
failed to plead, answer or otherwise defend in this case.
The Government initiated this litigation on April 1, 2011 by filing a Federal Debt
Collection Procedures Act of 1990, Title 28, United States Code, Section 3001(a) (“FDCPA”)
Complaint against Bracy for his indebtedness pursuant to a Promissory Note in the principal
amount of $60,947.37 plus $16,988.62 in interest.1 (Doc. 1).
On July 12, 2011, the Government filed an application to the clerk of court for entry of a
default against Bracy. (Doc. 4). The record indicates that the Government served Bracy with a
copy of the application for entry of default. (Doc. 4 at 2).
As grounds for the application for entry of default, the Government asserted that even
1 On May 17, 1999, Bracy executed a Promissory Note to secure a Direct Consolidation loan from the
U.S. Department of Education. (Doc. 1-1 “Certificate of Indebtedness”).
though service of process was obtained upon Bracy on April 17, 2011 (Doc. 3),2 Bracy failed to
answer or otherwise defend against the complaint. The Government attached a Declaration of
counsel, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1746 in support of the application. (Doc. 4 at 1; Doc. 4-1
On July 15, 2011, the Clerk entered a default against Bracy for failure to plead or
otherwise defend. (Doc. 5). The docket sheet indicates that a copy of the entry of default order
was mailed to Bracy. (Id.)
Also on July 15, 2011, the Government simultaneously filed the present motion for entry
of default judgment (Doc. 6) requesting judgment against Bracy. The record indicates that the
Government served Bracy with a copy of its motion.
The motion for default judgment states that it is filed pursuant to Rule 55(b)(2) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The motion contains information about the Government
having obtained a default against Bracy, and attaches a Declaration in support of same (the
Government’s counsel’s Declaration pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1746 of Amount Due). (Doc. 6 at
1; Doc. 6-1 (Decltn. G.Moore)).
Rule 55(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides, in relevant part, as
follows with regard to entering a default judgment:
(b) Entering a Default Judgment.
(2) By the Court. In all other cases, the party must apply to the court for a default
judgment. A default judgment may be entered against a minor or incompetent
person only if represented by a general guardian, conservator, or other like
2 Bracy executed a Wavier of Service of Summons on April 17, 2011. Plaintiff actually incorrectly
references April 19, 2011 (Doc. 4-1 at 1 at ¶3), the date that proof of service was filed in this Court.
fiduciary who has appeared. If the party against whom a default judgment is
sought has appeared personally or by a representative, that party or its
representative must be served with written notice of the application at least 7 days
before the hearing. The court may conduct hearings or make referrals--preserving
any federal statutory right to a jury trial--when, to enter or effectuate judgment, it
(A) conduct an accounting;
(B) determine the amount of damages;
(C) establish the truth of any allegation by evidence; or
(D) investigate any other matter.
The Eleventh Circuit has held that although “a default is not treated as an absolute
confession by the defendant of his liability and of the plaintiff's right to recover, a defaulted
defendant is deemed to admit the plaintiff's well-pleaded allegations of fact. The defendant,
however, is not held to admit facts that are not well-pleaded or to admit conclusions of law.”
Tyco Fire & Sec., LLC v. Alcocer, 218 Fed. Appx. 860, 863 (11th Cir. 2007) (per curiam)
(citations and internal quotations omitted). And “before entering a default judgment for damages,
the district court must ensure that the well-pleaded allegations of the complaint . . . actually state
a cause of action and that there is a substantive, sufficient basis in the pleadings for the particular
relief sought.” Id. (emphasis omitted). When assessing damages in connection with a default
judgment, the Court has “an obligation to assure that there is a legitimate basis for any damage
award it enters.” Anheuser Busch, Inc. v. Philpot, 317 F.3d 1264, 1266 (11th Cir. 2007).
The Court is satisfied that the well-pleaded allegations of the complaint state a cause of
action against Bracy and that there is a substantive, sufficient basis in the pleadings for the relief
the Government seeks. Notably, a review of the record reveals that a default was entered
against Bracy on July 15, 2011 (Doc. 5) in accordance with Rule 55 for failure to plead, answer
or otherwise defend this case. Additionally, the record confirms that Bracy has been provided
with notice of the default proceedings against him. Moreover, counsel for the Government has
filed a Declaration in support of same. Further, the record confirms that Bracy owes the debt
asserted by the Government. (Doc. 1-1 (Certificate of Indebtedness); Doc. 1-2 (Federal Direct
Consolidation Loan Promissory Note and related documents)).
As such, upon consideration, the Government’s Motion for Default Judgment (Doc. 6) is
GRANTED such that judgment is rendered in favor of Plaintiff, United States of America, and
against Defendant Mecheall H. Bracy, in the amount of $77,935.99 (principal of $60,947.37 plus
prejudgment interest at 2.47% per annum (daily rate of $4.12) in the amount of $16,988.62 as of
February 8, 2011), plus prejudgment interest (from February 8, 2011 through the date of
judgment), post judgment interest at the applicable legal rate (pursuant to the provisions of Title
28, United States Code, Section 1961) until paid in full and court costs.
A Final Default Judgment consistent with the terms of this Order shall issue
DONE and ORDERED this the 28th day of September 2011.
/s/ Kristi K. DuBose
KRISTI K. DuBOSE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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