BUSTILLO v. SAMUELS, JR. et al
ENTRY - denying 53 Motion for Default Judgment. The drastic sanction of default is not warranted in these circumstances. (See Entry.) Signed by Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson on 4/9/2014. (RSF)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
TERRE HAUTE DIVISION
Dr. PAUL HARVEY M.D.,
WILLIAM F. WILSON M.D.,
Case No. 2:13-cv-00120-JMS-WGH
Alleging that the defendants have submitted false testimony in filings in this case,
plaintiff Bustillo seeks the sanction of default judgment. Federal courts have inherent powers to
sanction litigants for bad-faith and fraudulent conduct related to federal cases. REP MCR Realty,
L.L.C. v. Lynch, 363 F. Supp. 2d 984, 998 (N.D. Ill. 2005) These powers “‘are governed not by
rule or statute but by the control necessarily vested in courts to manage their own affairs so as to
achieve the orderly and expeditious disposition of cases.’” Id. (quoting Chambers v. NASCO,
Inc., 501 U.S. 32, 43 (1991)).
In support of his motion, Bustillo first asserts that a witness who testified in support of
the defendants’ opposition to his motion for a preliminary injunction testified falsely regarding
Bustillo’s receipt of indigent postage and forged his signature. Bustillo has not shown bad faith
sufficient to warrant the imposition of a default judgment. There is no indication that the
defendants or their counsel were aware of any alleged forgery. Moreover, Bustillo surely appears
to be in receipt of enough postage to litigate this matter and the Court has already ruled that the
defendants showed that Bustillo is not entitled to a preliminary injunction. Bustillo also seeks
default based on his allegation that Counselor Gehrke testified falsely in her affidavit in support
of the defendants’ motion for summary judgment. The Court has denied the defendants’ motion
for summary judgment and set the matter for an evidentiary hearing at which the Court will have
the opportunity to weigh the credibility of this testimony.
The drastic sanction of default is not warranted in these circumstances. Accordingly,
Bustillo’s motion for default judgment [dkt. 53] is denied.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Reg. No. 02530-051
TERRE HAUTE - USP
TERRE HAUTE U.S. PENITENTIARY
P.O. BOX 33
TERRE HAUTE, IN 47808
All Electronically Registered Counsel
Hon. Jane Magnus-Stinson, Judge
United States District Court
Southern District of Indiana
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