Beltran v. First US Capital, LLC
ORDER: Plaintiff's Motion for Final Default Judgment (Doc. # 19 ) is GRANTED. The Clerk is directed to enter Default Judgment in favor of the Plaintiff Juan Beltran and against the Defendant First US Capital, LLC in the amount of $6,305.50. After entry of Judgment, the Clerk is directed to CLOSE THIS CASE. Signed by Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington on 11/29/2017. (KAK)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
Case No. 8:17-cv-1722-T-33AAS
FIRST US CAPITAL, LLC,
This cause is before the Court pursuant to Plaintiff Juan
Beltran’s Motion for Final Default Judgment (Doc. # 19), which
was filed on November 21, 2017.
In the Motion, Beltran
requests a default final judgment against Defendant First US
$2,000.00 in statutory damages, $3,780.00 in attorney’s fees,
and $804.90 in costs.
For the reasons that follow, the Court
grants the Motion to the extent it directs the Clerk to enter
Judgment in the amount of $6,305.50.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55(a) sets forth the
following regarding an entry of default:
(a) Entering a Default. When a party against
whom a judgment for affirmative relief is
sought has failed to plead or otherwise defend,
and that failure is shown by affidavit or
otherwise, the clerk must enter the party’s
A district court may enter a default judgment against a
properly served defendant who fails to defend or otherwise
appear pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55(b)(2).
DirecTV, Inc. v. Griffin, 290 F. Supp. 2d 1340, 1343 (M.D.
The mere entry of a default by the Clerk does not, in
itself, warrant the Court entering a default judgment.
Tyco Fire & Sec. LLC v. Alcocer, 218 F. App’x 860, 863 (11th
Cir. 2007) (citing Nishimatsu Constr. Co. v. Hous. Nat’l Bank,
515 F.2d 1200, 1206 (5th Cir. 1975)).
Rather, a court must
ensure that there is a sufficient basis in the pleadings for
the judgment to be entered. Id.
A default judgment has the
effect of establishing as fact the plaintiff’s well-pled
allegations of fact and bars the defendant from contesting
those facts on appeal.
Beltran initiated this action on July 19, 2017, by filing
a two count Complaint against First US Capital, LLC. (Doc. #
In Count One, Beltran alleges that First US Capital, LLC
violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and in Count
Two, Beltran alleges that First US Capital, LLC violated the
detailed allegations, Beltran claims that First US Capital,
never provided any information to Mr. Beltran about
the Alleged Debt, including but not limited to,
when the Alleged Debt was incurred, what the
Alleged Debt was for, and who the original creditor
was . . . call[ed] Mr. Beltran repeatedly on
numerous occasions . . . plac[ed] multiple
harassing phone calls to both Mr. Beltran and his
employer . . . [and mislead] Mr. Beltran into
thinking Defendant was an attorney or law firm.
(Doc. # 1 at ¶¶ 21-24).
First US Capital, LLC did not respond to the Complaint,
and on November 1, 2017, Beltran sought entry of a Clerk’s
Default against First US Capital, LLC. (Doc. # 14).
November 2, 2017, the Clerk entered a Default against First US
Capital, LLC. (Doc. # 15). As explained below, and based upon
the Clerk’s Default and the well-pled factual allegations
contained in the Complaint, the Beltran has established that
First US Capital, LLC violated the FDCPA and the FCCPA.
To state a claim under the FDCPA, a plaintiff must
establish that (1) he has been the object of collection
activity arising from consumer debt, (2) the defendant is a
debt collector, and (3) the defendant engaged in an act or
Poliakoff, P.A., 192 F. Supp. 2d 1361, 1366 (M.D. Fla. 2002).
The Complaint alleges that the debt is consumer debt and
concerns a transaction “primarily for personal, family or
household purposes.” (Doc. # 1 at ¶¶ 14-15).
alleges that First US Capital, LLC is a debt collector. (Id.
at ¶¶ 6, 14, 17, 18).
The Complaint’s allegations also
provisions of the FDCPA, including 15 U.S.C. § 1692e(2)(a),
15 U.S.C. § 1692e(3), 15 U.S.C. § 1692e(5), 15 U.S.C. §
1692e(10), 15 U.S.C. § 1692e(11), 15 U.S.C. § 1692e(13), 15
U.S.C. § 1692b(1), 15 U.S.C. § 1692b(2), and 15 U.S.C. §
Beltran is entitled to $1,000.00 in statutory damages
for violation of the FDCPA.
Beltran likewise demonstrates that First US Capital, LLC
violated five provisions of the FCCPA: § 559.72(4), (5), (9),
(10), and (12), which make it unlawful to:
(4) Communicate or threaten to communicate with a
debtor’s employer before obtaining a final judgment
against the debtor . . . .
(5) Disclose to a person other than the debtor or
her or his family information affecting the
debtor’s reputation, whether or not for credit
worthiness, with knowledge or reason to know that
the other person does not have a legitimate
business need for the information or that the
information is false.
(9) Claim, attempt or threaten to enforce a debt
when such person knows that the debt is not
legitimate, or assert the existence of some other
legal right when such person knows that the right
does not exist.
(10) Use a communication that simulates in any
manner legal or judicial process or other gives the
appearance of being authorized, issued, or approved
by a government, governmental agency, or attorney
at law, when it is not.
(12) Orally communicate with a debtor in a manner
that gives the false impression or appearance that
such person is or is associated with an attorney.
Beltran is entitled to $1,000.00 in statutory damages for
First US Capital, LLC’s conduct in violation of the FCCPA.
Attorney’s Fees and Costs
attorney’s fees under 15 U.S.C. § 1692k and Florida Statute §
559.77(2). Beltran was represented by Sami Thalji, Esq., an
arriving at the fee of $3,745.00.
The Court notes that
counsel requests $3,780.00, however, the records supplied by
counsel contain a slight mathematical error.
Counsel requests costs in the amount of $804.90. However,
some costs, such as miscellaneous “client expenses” are not
determines that it is appropriate to award the $400.00 filing
fee and the $160.00 fee for service of process.
accordingly awards $560.50 in costs.
The Court is afforded
broad discretion in addressing attorney’s fees and costs
issues. Villano v. City of Boynton Beach, 254 F.3d 1302, 1305
(11th Cir. 2001).
Here, the Court finds that $3,745.00 in
attorney’s fees and $560.50 in costs are reasonable and the
Court approves the same.
The Court further determines that a
hearing on this matter is not needed because the amounts due
are capable of accurate and ready mathematical computation or
Accordingly, it is
ORDERED, ADJUDGED, and DECREED:
Plaintiff’s Motion for Final Default Judgment (Doc. # 19)
The Clerk is directed to enter Default Judgment in favor
of the Plaintiff Juan Beltran and against the Defendant
(consisting of $2,000.00 in statutory damages, $3,745.00
in attorney’s fees, and $560.50 in costs).
After entry of Judgment, the Clerk is directed to CLOSE
DONE and ORDERED in Chambers in Tampa, Florida, this 29th
day of November, 2017.
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