Pathak v. Yahoo, Inc et al

Filing 22

ORDER Denying without prejudice Plaintiff's 21 Motion for Default Judgment. Signed by Magistrate Judge Nancy J. Koppe on 2/2/2017. (Copies have been distributed pursuant to the NEF - SLD)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 10 DISTRICT OF NEVADA 11 ANSHU PATHAK, 12 13 14 15 16 ) ) Plaintiff(s), ) ) vs. ) ) SPECIALTY MEATS AND GOURMET LLC, ) ) Defendant(s). ) __________________________________________) Case No. 2:16-cv-02124-GMN-NJK ORDER (Docket No. 21) 17 Pending before the Court is Plaintiff’s motion for entry of default judgment against 18 Defendant Specialty Meats and Gourmet LLC. Docket No. 21. On January 9, 2017, a Clerk’s entry 19 of default was entered as to Defendant. Docket No. 20. Once default has been entered, a plaintiff 20 may apply to the Court for entry of default judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 21 55(b)(2). Whether to enter default judgment is at the sole discretion of the district court. See Aldabe 22 v. Aldabe, 616 F.2d 1089, 1092 (9th Cir. 1980). 23 As a preliminary matter, default judgment is void if a court lacks personal jurisdiction over 24 the defendant. Pac. Atl. Trading Co. v. M/V Main Express, 758 F.2d 1325, 1331 (9th Cir. 1985). 25 The Court has a duty to examine its jurisdiction over the subject matter and the parties when default 26 judgment is sought for failure to plead or otherwise defend. Tuli v. Republic of Iraq, 172 F.3d 707, 27 712 (9th Cir. 1998). The Court may therefore raise the issue of personal jurisdiction sua sponte. Id. 28 1 The Court is not persuaded, based on the facts before it, that it has personal jurisdiction over 2 Defendant. See Docket No. 1. See also J. McIntyre Mach., Ltd. v. Nicastro, 564 U.S. 873, 881 3 (2011) (consent to personal jurisdiction requires circumstances or conduct evincing “an intention to 4 benefit from and thus an intention to submit to the laws of the forum State”); Evanston Ins. Co. v. 5 W. Cmty. Ins. Co., 13 F. Supp. 3d 1064, 1068-69 (D. Nev. 2014) (discussing personal jurisdiction 6 standards at length). Plaintiff must first demonstrate that the Court has personal jurisdiction over 7 Defendant, in order for the Court to grant a motion for default judgment. See Tuli, 172 F.3d at 712- 8 13. 9 Even if Plaintiff is able to demonstrate that the Court has personal jurisdiction over 10 Defendant, however, a defendant’s default alone does not entitle a plaintiff to a court-ordered 11 judgment. See Aldabe, 616 F.2d at 1092. Rather, a court should look at seven discretionary factors 12 before rendering a decision on default judgment. See Eitel v. McCool, 782 F.2d 1470, 1471-72 (9th 13 Cir. 1986). These factors are: (1) the possibility of prejudice to the plaintiff; (2) the merits of 14 plaintiff’s substantive claim; (3) the sufficiency of the complaint; (4) the sum of money at stake in 15 the action; (5) the possibility of a dispute concerning material facts; (6) whether the default was due 16 to excusable neglect; and (7) the strong policy underlying the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 17 favoring decisions on the merits. Id. In applying these Eitel factors, “the factual allegations of the 18 complaint, except those relating to the amount of damages, will be taken as true.” Geddes v. United 19 Fin. Grp., 559 F.2d 557, 560 (9th Cir. 1977); Televideo Sys., Inc. v. Heidenthal, 826 F.2d 915, 917- 20 18 (9th Cir. 1987). Plaintiff’s pending motion fails to address the Eitel factors, much less 21 demonstrate that they have been met. See Docket No. 21. 22 A plaintiff seeking default judgment also has the burden of providing sufficient proof of his 23 damages. See NewGen, LLC v. Safe Cig, 840 F.3d 606, 617 (9th Cir. 2016) (finding that district 24 court’s calculation of damages was proper where it relied upon extensive evidence provided by the 25 plaintiff); Geddes, 559 F.2d at 560; Holiday Sys. Int’l of Nev. v. Vivarelli, Schwarz & Assocs., No. 26 2:10-cv-00471-MMD-GWF, 2014 WL 204340, at *2 (D. Nev. Jan. 17, 2014 (finding damages 27 28 2 1 requested appropriate based on evidence presented); AT&T Corp. v. Innocom Telecom LLC, No. C- 2 06-05400 EDL, 2007 WL 163193, at *2 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 17, 2007) (“Rule 55(b)(2) allows, but does 3 not require, the court to conduct a hearing on damages, as long as it ensures that there is an 4 evidentiary basis for the damages awarded in the default judgment”). Plaintiff’s pending motion 5 seeks over 2 million dollars in damages, but provides no more than conclusory assertions to support 6 an award in that amount. See Docket No. 21. Similarly, Plaintiff fails to identify the nature of the 7 damages sought or the precise injury that Plaintiff asserts was incurred as a result of Defendant’s 8 alleged conduct. See id. 9 Accordingly, Plaintiff’s motion for entry of default judgment against Defendant Specialty 10 Meats and Gourmet LLC, Docket No. 21, is hereby DENIED without prejudice. Any renewed 11 motion for entry of default judgment shall address whether the Court has personal jurisdiction over 12 Defendant, address the Eitel factors, include appropriate evidentiary support for the damages sought, 13 and clearly identify the nature of the damages sought and the injury incurred. 14 IT IS SO ORDERED. 15 Dated: February 2, 2017 ___________________________________ NANCY J. KOPPE United States Magistrate Judge 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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