HERNANDEZ et al v. LUCKY LODI BUFFET INC. et al
ORDER denying 43 Motion for Default Judgment against Defaulting Defendantsis DENIED without prejudice, pending resolution of the action on the merits against non-defaulting Defendants Dynasty Buffet Inc. and Sue Ye; that Plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment against Ye is DENIED without prejudice with leave to refile in accordance with this Court's March 23, 2016 Order (D.E. No. 42). Signed by Judge Esther Salas on 11/7/2016. (ld, )
NOT FOR PUBLICATION
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
ANGEL LUIS HERNANDEZ, EDUARDO
SANTIAGO, ORLANDO LUIS, EMILIO
Civil Action No. 13-2483 (ES)(JAD)
MELCHOR and PLUTARCO MELCHOR
individually and on behalf of others similarly
LUCKY LODI BUFFET INC., (d/b/a LODI
BUFFET), LODI INTERNATIONAL BUFFET :
INC., (d/b/a LODI BUFFET), DYNASTY
BUFFET INC., (d/b/a DYNASTY BUFFET),
LI SONG ZHOU, YI CHOW, ROBERT
SPENGLER, SUE YE, RONG JIAN LI, and
SALAS, DISTRICT JUDGE
This matter comes before the Court on the motion of Angel Luis Hernandez, Eduardo
Santiago, Orlando Luis, Emilio Melchor, and Plutarco Melchor (“Plaintiffs”) for (i) default
judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55(b)(2) against Lucky Lodi Buffet Inc.
(d/b/a Lodi Buffet), Lodi International Buffet Inc., (d/b/a Lodi Buffet), Li Song Zhou, Yi Chow,
Robert Spengler, and Rong Jian Li (collectively, “Defaulting Defendants”); and (ii) summary
judgment against Defendant Sue Yi (“Ye”). (D.E. No. 43). The Court, having considered
Plaintiffs’ submission, and it appearing that:
On July 30, 2015, Plaintiffs moved for a default judgment against Defaulting
Defendants and summary judgment against Ye. (D.E. No. 40).
Ye did not oppose the motion.
On March 23, 2016, this Court held that “Plaintiffs’ brief fails to sufficiently set forth
their cause of action against Ye or establish that its elements have been met.” (D.E.
No. 42 at 2). The Court noted that unopposed summary judgment motions require a
more searching inquiry because “[s]ummary judgment cannot be granted by default
even if there is a complete failure to respond to the motion.” Fleck v. Trustees of
Univ. of Pa., 995 F. Supp. 2d 390, 399 (E.D. Pa. 2014). Thus, “it is not enough for
facts to be undisputed; the court must determine the legal consequences of these facts
and permissible inferences from them.” Id. (internal quotation marks omitted).
The Court ordered Plaintiffs to file a new brief that, among other things, “set[s] forth
the elements of the claim against Sue Ye, specifically applying the relevant
undisputed facts to each element of the claim.” (D.E. No. 42 at 2).
On April 25, 2016, Plaintiffs renewed their motion for summary judgment against
Ye, providing a one-page argument in support of their motion. (D.E. No. 43-1 at 12).
The renewed motion for summary judgment fails to set forth the elements of the claim
against Ye and fails to specifically apply the relevant undisputed facts to each element
of the claim.
Plaintiffs also renewed their motion for a default judgment against Defaulting
Defendants. (Id. at 1-11). The Court notes that “if default is entered against some
defendants in a multi-defendant case, the preferred practice is for the court to
withhold granting default judgment until the action is resolved on its merits against
non-defaulting defendants: if plaintiff loses on merits, the complaint should then be
dismissed against both defaulting and non-defaulting defendants.” Animal Sci.
Prods., Inc. v. China Nat’l Metals & Minerals Imp. & Exp. Corp., 596 F. Supp. 2d
842, 849 (D.N.J. 2008).
Accordingly, IT IS on this 7th day of November 2016,
ORDERED that Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment against Ye is DENIED without
prejudice with leave to refile in accordance with this Court’s March 23, 2016 Order (D.E. No. 42);
and it is further
ORDERED that Plaintiffs’ motion for a default judgment against Defaulting Defendants
is DENIED without prejudice, pending resolution of the action on the merits against nondefaulting Defendants Dynasty Buffet Inc. and Sue Ye; and it is further
ORDERED that the Clerk of the Court shall terminate docket entry 43.
/s/ Esther Salas
Esther Salas, U.S.D.J.
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?