Vann v. Olson et al
ORDER denying 24 Plaintiff's Motion for Default Judgment. Signed by Magistrate Judge J. Thomas Ray on 07/30/2014. (kcs)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
PINE BLUFF DIVISION
CLAYTON LAMONT VANN,
ADC # 108062
MICHELINE OLSON, APN,
Varner Unit, ADC, et al.
Plaintiff, Clayton Lamont Vann, is an inmate of the Varner Unit of the Arkansas
Department of Correction (“ADC”). Pending before the Court is his Motion for
Default Judgment against all Defendants. Doc. 24. Defendants have responded and
Plaintiff has replied. Docs. 25 & 27.
Pursuant to his Motion, Plaintiff argues that default judgment should be entered
against all Defendants due to their failure to answer his Complaint within the time
afforded by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Doc. 24 at 1. All Defendants were
served on May 13, 2014. Docs. 14-17. An Answer was filed on behalf of all
Defendants on May 29, 2014. Doc. 19. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure permit
a defendant twenty-one (21) days to serve an answer after being served with the
summons and complaint. FED. R. CIV. P. 12(a)(1)(A)(i). Accordingly, Defendants
have filed a timely answer with the Court.
Defendants admit, however, that a clerical error - namely a failure to include
Plaintiff’s correct ADC Number in either the Answer’s caption or certificate of service
- likely contributed to his failure to receive a timely copy of that Answer. Doc. 25 ¶
3. Defendants note that they have since mailed Plaintiff a corrected copy. Id. at ¶ 5.
For his part, Plaintiff rejects this contention and argues that, if
explanation were true, he would have received a “return mail notice” from the prison
mail room supervisor. Doc. 27 at 1-2.
The Court finds it appropriate to deny Plaintiff’s Motion at this time.
Defendants’ Answer was timely filed with the Court and, it appears, mailed in a timely
fashion to Plaintiff. A clerical error may have prevented timely receipt of the filing,
but such an error is not grounds to invoke default judgment against the offender.
Moreover, Plaintiff has provided no indication that the delay in receiving Defendants’
Answer has in any way prejudiced him.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED THAT:
Plaintiff’s Motion for Default Judgment (Doc. 24) is DENIED.
Dated this 30th day of July, 2014.
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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