Wood v. County of Contra Costa et al

Filing 51


Download PDF
1 2 3 4 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 ANDREA WOOD, Plaintiff, 8 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 Case No. 19-cv-04266-MMC v. COUNTY OF CONTRA COSTA, et al., ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S REQUEST FOR ENTRY OF DEFAULT JUDGMENT AGAINST DEFENDANT ERICA BAINS Defendants. 12 13 The Court is in receipt of a document titled "Default Judgment – By the Court," 14 filed September 17, 2019, by plaintiff Andrea Wood ("Wood"). In said filing, Wood seeks 15 entry of default judgment against defendant Erica Bains ("Bains"). Having read and 16 considered Wood's request, the Court rules as follows. 17 Bains was served with a copy of the summons and complaint on August 17, 2019 18 (see Doc. No. 12), and, consequently, her response to the complaint was due no later 19 than Monday, September 9, 2019. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(a); Fed. R. Civ. P. 6(a)(1). On 20 September 17, 2019, at 3:41 p.m., Bains electronically filed a motion to dismiss (see Doc. 21 No. 34); that same date, Wood manually filed her request for default judgment, by 22 delivering it to the Clerk of Court; the time at which she did so is not specified on the 23 docket (see Doc. No. 36). As set forth below, irrespective of the chronological order in 24 which the above two documents were filed, the Court finds entry of default judgment is 25 not appropriate. 26 First, if Wood manually filed her request after 3:41 p.m., i.e., after Bain's motion to 27 dismiss was filed, Bains would have already "cured [her] default," a factor weighing 28 strongly against entry of default judgment. See Hudson v. North Carolina, 158 F.R.D. 78, 1 80 (E.D. N.C. 1994) (denying motion for default judgment, where motion to dismiss, albeit 2 untimely, was filed by defendant prior to plaintiff's filing motion for default judgment). 3 Second, even if Wood manually filed her request prior to 3:41 p.m., the circumstances presented here do not warrant entry of default judgment. "[J]udgment by 5 default is a drastic step appropriate only in extreme circumstances." Falk v. Allen, 739 6 F.2d 461, 463 (9th Cir. 1984). Bains filed her motion to dismiss only eight days after the 7 deadline to respond, and Wood has not identified any prejudice she incurred by reason of 8 such limited delay. See Mitchell v. Williamson Tobacco Corp., 294 F.3d 1309, 1316-17 9 (11th Cir. 2002) (affirming denial of motion for default judgment; finding no "exceptional 10 circumstances" to warrant default judgment existed where defendant had filed motion to 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 4 dismiss "a short time after the deadline" and plaintiff failed to show any prejudice 12 thereby). 13 Accordingly, Wood's request for entry of default judgment is hereby DENIED. 14 IT IS SO ORDERED. 15 16 Dated: October 4, 2019 MAXINE M. CHESNEY United States District Judge 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?