Bush v. Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety

Filing 206

ORDER by Judge Lucy H. Koh denying 201 Motion for Default Judgment (lhklc2, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 12/3/2012) (Additional attachment(s) added on 12/3/2012: # 1 Certificate/Proof of Service) (mpb, COURT STAFF).

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 8 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 9 SAN JOSE DIVISION United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 11 JAMES ALAN BUSH, Plaintiff, 12 13 14 v. SUNNYVALE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY, et. al., 15 Defendants. 16 17 ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) Case No.: 5:08-CV-01354-LHK ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT Pending before the Court is Plaintiff James Alan Bush’s Motion for Default Judgment 18 (“Motion”). ECF No. 201. Plaintiff’s Motion is supported by a declaration from Plaintiff. ECF 19 No. 202. A separate memorandum of points and authorities was not provided. The Court 20 previously found this matter appropriate for disposition without oral argument pursuant to Civil 21 Local Rule 7-1(b), and vacated the hearing scheduled for November 29, 2012. ECF No. 205. 22 Having considered Plaintiff’s submissions and the relevant law, the Court DENIES Plaintiff’s 23 Motion. 24 In the Motion, Plaintiff requests entry of default judgment against Defendant Long Thang 25 Cao. Id. Specifically, Plaintiff requests that he be granted a “declaration of fact based on the 26 allegations made against [Mr. Cao] as set forth in the amended complaint.” Id. 27 28 The Ninth Circuit has articulated the following factors for courts to consider in determining whether default judgment is appropriate: 1 Case No.: 5:08-CV-01354-LHK ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT 1 2 3 4 5 (1) the possibility of prejudice to the plaintiff; (2) the merits of plaintiff's substantive claim; (3) the sufficiency of the complaint; (4) the sum of money at stake in the action; (5) the possibility of a dispute concerning material facts; (6) whether the default was due to excusable neglect; and (7) the strong policy underlying the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure favoring decisions on the merits. Eitel v. McCool, 782 F.2d 1470, 1471-72 (9th Cir. 1986). In this case, the Court finds the second, third, and fifth factors particularly persuasive. The 6 factual allegations in the Complaint that pertain to Mr. Cao are relatively sparse. Specifically, 7 Plaintiff states that “Defendant, Long Cao, took a number of actions that contributed to the major 8 human rights abuses that took place, which began on February 23rd, 2006, and continue until this 9 day. He was present at the time; and, apparently, his purpose was to prevent and interfere with United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 discovery of the acts of torture, and to prevent efforts by the Plaintiff to seek and find remedy and 11 relief.” See Complaint, ECF No. 1, at 14. No further specific information about Mr. Cao or his 12 alleged offenses is provided. 13 Furthermore, in the Motion, Plaintiff does not refer to any evidence concerning Mr. Cao’s 14 activities or purported wrongdoing. Rather than provide factual support for his position regarding 15 Mr. Cao, Plaintiff simply states that “[b]y virtue of default, [Mr. Cao] may not challenge the factual 16 allegations supporting the claim.” Id. Plaintiff also does not provide any legal authority 17 supporting Plaintiff’s assertions that Mr. Cao is liable for violating Plaintiff’s human rights. 18 Given the sparsity of the allegations and the evidence, the Court finds that Plaintiff’s claims 19 do not have legal merit, that the complaint is not sufficient to establish entitlement to relief, and 20 that there is likely to be a dispute about the factual underpinnings of the claims. For these reasons, 21 the Court DENIES Plaintiff’s Motion for Default Judgment. 22 IT IS SO ORDERED. 23 Dated: December 3, 2012 _____________________________________ LUCY H. KOH United States District Judge 24 25 26 27 28 2 Case No.: 5:08-CV-01354-LHK ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT

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