Crosthwaite et al v. Ross Island Sand & Gravel Co.

Filing 27

ORDER by Judge Charles R. Breyer denying 22 Motion for Default Judgment. (crblc2, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 8/24/2012)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 11 12 13 14 15 No. C 12-01464 CRB F.G. CROSTHWAITE ET AL., ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT Plaintiffs, v. ROSS ISLAND SAND & GRAVEL CO., Defendant. / 16 17 Plaintiffs move for default judgment against Defendant, which has not responded to 18 Plaintiffs’ motion or even appeared in this case at all. See Mot. for Default (dkt. 22). Entry 19 of default judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55(b) is discretionary, e.g., 20 Aldabe v. Aldabe, 616 F.2d 1089, 1092 (9th Cir. 1980), and turns on various factors 21 including the sufficiency of the complaint and the sum of money at stake, see Eitel v. 22 McCool, 782 F.2d 1470, 1471-71 (9th Cir. 1986). The Court’s review of Plaintiffs’ 23 Complaint and motion revealed both a pleading insufficiency and uncertainty regarding the 24 documentation of the requested monetary relief. 25 As for pleading, Plaintiffs’ motion seeks liquidated damages and interest on 26 “previously late-paid contributions” by Defendant between January 2010 and November 27 2011, see Mot. for Default at 1; Hayner Decl. ¶3(a), but the Complaint contains no 28 allegations of such late payments nor does the prayer for relief request those sums. See Complaint (dkt. 1). 1 On damages, Plaintiffs’ papers set out its calculations, including a figure of 2 $18,214.62 in liquidated damages on an unpaid contribution balance of $13,513.15 for 3 August 2011. Mot. for Default at 1; Hayner Decl. ¶3(b). According to Plaintiffs’ motion and 4 supporting declarations, liquidated damages are equal to 20% “of the amount due for 5 contributions.” Mot. for Default at 1; Williams Decl. ¶6. Twenty percent of $13,513.15 is 6 $2704.63–over fifteen thousand dollars lower than the figure Plaintiffs use for liquidated 7 damages on unpaid August 2011 contributions. Absent further explanation, the Court cannot 8 accept Plaintiffs’ calculations. 9 Pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7-1(b), the Court finds this matter suitable for disposition United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 without oral argument, VACATES the hearing currently scheduled for Tuesday, August 28, 11 2012, and DENIES Plaintiffs’ motion. Plaintiffs remain free to amend the complaint to 12 address the pleading insufficiency just described, and to move for default judgment on the 13 amended pleading, so long as any such motion explains the apparent discrepancy in the 14 liquidated damages calculation. 15 IT IS SO ORDERED. 16 17 18 CHARLES R. BREYER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE Dated: August 24, 2012 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 G:\CRBALL\2012\1464\Order Denying Default.wpd 2

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