D'ANTONIO v. BOROUGH OF ALLENDALE et al
ORDER Denying without prejudice 131 MOTION for Default Judgment as to THOMAS MONAHAN & LOUIS CAPAZZI by MICHAEL A. D'ANTONIO.. Signed by Judge Claire C. Cecchi on 7/19/2017. (JB, )
NOT FOR PUBLICATION
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
MICHAEL A. D’ANTONIO,
Civil Action No.: 16-cv-816
BOROUGH OF ALLENDALE, etal.,
CECCHI, District Judge.
This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiffs motion for default judgment against
Defendants Thomas Monahan and Louis Capazzi. (ECF No. 131). Plaintiff is proceeding p se.
Plaintiffs original complaint was filed on February 10, 2016. (ECF No. 1). On August 2,
2016, at Plaintiffs request, the Clerk of Court entered default as to Monahan and Capazzi. (ECF
No. 61). Plaintiff moved for default judgment as to these two defendants on August 3, 2016. (ECF
No. 63). On February 21, 2017, the Court denied Plaintiffs motion because the Court lacked
jurisdiction over Plaintiffs claims against Capazzi, and the complaint apparently contained no
claims against Monahan. (ECF No. 80 at 23; ECF No. 81).
Plaintiff filed an amended complaint on March 8, 2017. (ECF No. 84). Summons was
issued as to these Defendants on March 9, 2017. (ECF No. 85). Summons was returned executed
as to Monahan (ECF No. 88), but Plaintiff has not filed proof of service as to Capazzi.
On April 11, 2017, Plaintiff filed a “Request for Leave of the Court to File Motion for
Default Judgment” against Monahan and Capazzi. (ECF No. 101). On May 15, 2017, Magistrate
Judge Clark ruled on this motion by endorsing Plaintiffs submission: “Plaintiff is granted leave
to file his request for an entry of default.” (ECF No. 125). Plaintiff did not comply with this
order—that is, he did not file a request for an entry of default. Instead, Plaintiff filed a new motion
for default judgment as to Monahan and Capazzi. (ECF No. 131). The Clerk has not entered
default as to Monahan or Capazzi for failure to respond to the amended complaint.
No default judgment may be entered “unless a default has previously been entered by the
clerk under [Rule] 55(a). Thus, the entry of default is an essential predicate to any default
judgment.” DeTore v. Local No. 245 of the Jersey City Pub. Emps. Union, 511 F. Supp. 171, 176
(D.N.J. 1921); accord Basara v. CBRL Grp., Inc., No. 10-cv-1411, 2013 WL 3513873, at *2
(D.N.J. July 11, 2013). Here, Plaintiff cannot move for default judgment against Monahan and
Capazzi unless and until Plaintiff requests entry of default as to these Defendants and the Clerk
has granted the request. Plaintiff has not filed such a request with the Clerk since the amended
complaint was filed. Therefore, the present motion for default judgment is improper at this time.
Accordingly, IT IS, on this Vt day of July, 2017,
ORDERED that Plaintiff’s motion for default judgment (ECF No. 131) is DENIED
CLAIRE C. CECCHI, U.S.D.J.
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