Myers v. Lamar County, MS et al
ORDER denying 10 Motion for Default Judgment; finding as moot 12 Motion for Hearing; granting 14 Motion to Set Aside Default Signed by District Judge Keith Starrett on 1/31/2017 (dtj)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI
STEPHANIE L. MYERS
CIVIL ACTION NO. 2:16-CV-198-KS-MTP
LAMAR COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI, et al.
On December 19, 2016, the Clerk entered Defendant QCHC, Inc.’s default .
The next day, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Default Judgment  and Motion for a
Hearing  on damages. On December 28, 2016, Defendant QCHC, Inc. appeared and
filed a Motion to Set Aside  the default. Two weeks later, it filed a Memorandum
 in support of the motion. The Court ordered  Plaintiff to respond to the Motion
to Set Aside  on or before January 26, 2017. Plaintiff did not respond.
“The Federal Rules are diametrically opposed to a tyranny of technicality and
endeavor to decide a case on the merits. Strict enforcement of defaults has no place in
the Federal Rules . . . .” Amberg v. FDIC, 934 F.2d 681, 686 (5th Cir. 1991).
Accordingly, “[t]he court may set aside an entry of default for good cause . . . .” FED. R.
CIV. P. 55(c). “The language of the rule is discretionary, and the decision to set aside
a default is committed to the sound discretion of the trial court . . . . [D]istrict courts
generally should grant motions to set aside a default unless the default was willful, the
plaintiff will be prejudiced, or the defendant has no meritorious defense.” Moreno v. Lg
Elecs., USA Inc., 800 F.3d 692, 698 (5th Cir. 2015); see also Lacy v. Sitel Corp., 227
F.3d 290, 291 (5th Cir. 2000). “Other factors may also be considered, including whether
the defendant acted expeditiously to correct the default.” Lacy, 227 F.3d at 291.
After considering these factors, the Court concludes that Defendant QCHC, Inc.
has satisfied Rule 55's “good cause” requirement. The record contains no evidence of
willfulness. Plaintiff did not respond to the Motion to Set Aside  and has not
articulated any way in which setting aside the default would prejudice her. Granting
Defendant’s motion will merely require Plaintiff to prove her allegations. Id. at 293.
Finally, Defendant acted expeditiously to correct the default, filing their motion less
than two weeks after its entry. Id. at 291.
For these reasons, the Court grants Defendant QCHC, Inc.’s Motion to Set
Aside  its default. The Court also denies Plaintiff’s Motion for Default Judgment
 and Motion for a Hearing  as moot.
SO ORDERED AND ADJUDGED this
day of January, 2017.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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?