Gingras v. Sacramento County Department of Child Support Services et al

Filing 36

ORDER by Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers granting 29 Defendant's Motion to Set Aside Clerk's Default. Defendant Metro View Consulting to file response to the Complaint by 4/12/2013. The Court VACATES the hearing set for March 19, 2013. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate/Proof of Service) (fs, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 3/13/2013)

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1 2 3 UNITED STATES DI D ISTRICT COU URT 4 NORTHER DISTRICT OF CALIFO RN T ORNIA 5 6 JOH P GINGRA , HN AS 7 Plaintiff, 8 9 10 O RDER GRAN NTING DEFE ENDANT’S MOTION T O SET ASIDE CLERK’S DEFAULT E vs. COU UNTY OF SAC CRAMENTO, CALIFORNI IA STA TEACHE RETIREM ATE ERS MENT SYSTE , and EM MET VIEW CONSULTING, TRO G 11 United States District Court Northern District of California C Case No.: 12 2-CV-05509 YGR Defe endants. 12 Plaintiff alleges that Defendant County of Sa f C acramento o over-garnishe $48,000.0 in pasted 00 13 14 due child support obligation from an ac ns ccount Plain ntiff has with Defendant California S h State 15 Teac chers Retirem System (“CalSTRS and that the County of Sacrame ment m S”), t y ento hired a p private 16 inve estigation fir Defendan MetroVie Consultin to conduc surveillan on Plaint rm, nt ew ng, ct nce tiff. 17 Plaintiff’s Comp plaint alleges two claims against Me s etroView Co onsulting: (1 Intentiona and 1) al 18 Neg gligent Emot tional Distress and (2) In nvasion of Pr rivacy. Met troView Con nsulting has filed a 19 mot tion to set aside a clerk’s default ente s ered against it. Having considered th papers su c he ubmitted, the Court finds that MetroV e s View Consu ulting has 20 21 satis sfied the goo cause stan od ndard require to set asid the Clerk Default.1 Therefore, and for the ed de k’s 22 reas sons set forth below, the Court GRAN the Moti and SET ASIDE the Clerk’s Def h NTS ion TS fault. 23 I. BACKG GROUND 24 Defenda MetroVie Consultin was serve with the s ant ew ng ed summons and complaint by certified d 25 mail delivered on October 29, 2012. (D No. 5.) On January 25, 2013, a l, o 2 Dkt. y after the time for filing a e 26 resp ponse to the Complaint had elapsed, Plaintiff file a Motion for Entry of Default as t Defendant C h ed f to 27 28 1 Pur rsuant to Fede Rule of Civil Procedu 78(b) and Civil Local R 7-1(b), th Court finds this motion eral C ure Rule he appr ropriate for de ecision withou oral argum ut ment. Accordi ingly, the Cou VACATES the hearing s for March urt S set h 19, 2013. 2 1 Met troView Con nsulting. (Dk No. 26.) A Clerk’s D kt. Default was entered on F February 4, 2 2013. (Dkt. 2 No. 28.) MetroV View Consu ulting has now moved to set aside the Clerk’s De e efault entered against it. 3 M f ion y which the Co ourt On March 5, 2013, Plaintiff filed a Moti for Entry of Default Judgment, w 4 cons strues as an opposition to the request to set aside the Clerk’s Default. o e s 5 II. L RD LEGAL STANDAR ed. Under Rule 55(c), a “court may set aside an entry of def R fault for good cause.” Fe R. Civ. 6 Pro. 55(c). To determine “g . d good cause,” a court mus “consider[ ] three fact ” st [ tors: (1) whe ether [the 8 part seeking to set aside the default] en ty o ngaged in cu ulpable condu that led t the defaul (2) uct to lt; 9 whe ether [it] had [no] merito d orious defens or (3) wh se; hether reopen ning the defa judgmen would ault nt 10 prejudice” the other party. United State v. Signed P o es Personal Ch heck No. 730 of Yubran S Mesle, 0 S. 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 7 teration in o original) (quo oting Franch Holding II v. hise g 615 F.3d 1085, 1091 (9th Cir. 2010) (alt 12 ntington Rest Group, In 375 F.3d 922, 925-2 (9th Cir. 2 ts. nc., d 26 2004)). Due to the stron policy in e ng Hun 13 favo of decidin cases on th merits, a court’s refus to relieve a party of a default is c or ng he sal e considered a 14 hars sanction and appropriate only in extreme circu sh a e umstances. Id. 15 III. 16 17 ANALY YSIS 1. 1 Culpa Conduc able ct “[A] def fendant’s con nduct is culp pable if he ha received a as actual or con nstructive no otice of the 18 filin of the acti and inten ng ion ntionally fail to answe led er.” TCI Gro Life Ins. Plan v. Kno oup oebber, 244 19 F.3d 691, 697 (9 Cir. 2001 In this co d 9th 1). ontext the te “intentio erm onally” requi that the Defendant ires 20 mus have acted with bad fa st d aith, such as an “intention to take adv n vantage of th opposing party, he 21 inter rfere with ju udicial decisi ionmaking, or otherwise manipulate the legal pr o e e rocess.” Id. 22 Here, MetroView Co onsulting’s conduct in n respondin to the sum c not ng mmons and c complaint is 23 not the result of culpable co t f onduct within the meanin of Rule 55 n ng 5(c). Its prin ncipal, Mr. D Dillon has 24 subm mitted an aff fidavit that in ndicates that the compan was unsu how to pr t ny ure roceed and w not was 25 awa of the leg implicatio of failing to answer. are gal on g 26 27 28 2. 2 Merit torious defen nse “A defe endant seekin to vacate a default jud ng dgment mus present spe st ecific facts th would hat cons stitute a defe ense. But th burden on a party seek he king to vacat a default j te judgment is not 2 1 extr raordinarily heavy.” See TCI Group, supra, 244 F.3d at 700 (citations omitted). All that is h e 0 l 2 rement is to “allege suff nece essary to sati the “me isfy eritorious def fense” requir ficient facts t that, if true, 3 wou constitute a defense.” Id. uld e ” Defenda MetroVie proffers an affidavit i support of two defens ant ew a in f ses: (1) lack of personal k 4 5 juris sdiction and (2) a genera denial of th allegation against it. Both woul constitute a defense. al he ns . ld 3. 3 6 Preju udice laims will be hindered. The stan ndard here is whether the Plaintiff’s a e ability to pro osecute its cl e 7 Falk v. Allen, 73 F.2d 461, 463 (9th Ci 1984). Th requires more harm t k 39 , ir. his than simply delaying 9 reso olution of the case or forc e cing plaintif to litigate o the merit See TCI G ff on ts. Group, supra 244 F.3d a, 10 at 70 To be pr 01. rejudicial, th delay mus result in so tangible harm, such as the loss of evidence, he st ome e h 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 8 incr reased difficu ulties of disc covery, or gr reater opport tunity for fra or collus aud sion. Id. Here, Plaintiff would not suffer prejudice if Clerk’s Def d p fault were se aside. Plai et intiff alleges s 12 13 that MetroView Consulting began its su w urveillance o him in Sep of ptember or O October of 20 012. There 14 is no indication that any evidence has be lost or th there ma be increas difficulties on o een hat ay sed 15 obta aining discov very. 16 IV. 17 18 19 20 CONCL LUSION Based on the foregoi analysis, the Court f n ing , finds that Me etroView Co onsulting has set forth s facts to satisfy all three facto for settin aside a de a ors ng efault under Rule 55(c). Therefor Defendan MetroView Consultin re, nt w ng’s Motion t Set Aside Entry of De to e efault is ANTED. GRA 21 The Cler Default (Dkt. No. 28) is VACAT and SET ASIDE. rk’s TED T 22 Defenda MetroVie Consultin shall file a response t the Compl ant ew ng to laint by no later than 23 Apr 12, 2013. ril 24 This Ord Terminat Dkt. No. 29. der tes 25 IT IS SO ORDERED. 26 27 28 Date: March 13 2013 3, __ __________ ___________ __________ _________ YVON GONZAL ROGERS NNE LEZ UNITED ST TATES DISTR RICT COURT JUDGE T 3

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