TAMA TROPICAL INC. v. BEST POINT TROPICALS CORP. et al
ORDER denying without prejudice Plaintiff's 8 Motion for Default Judgment as to Best Point Tropicals Corp. Signed by Judge John Michael Vazquez on 4/11/17. (cm, )
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
TAMA TROPICAL INC.,
Civil Action No. 16-4968
BEST POINT TROPICALS CORP. & JAVIER
LUQUE, Individually and in his corporate
John Michael VazQuez, U.S.D.J.
THIS MATTER comes before the Court by way of Plaintiff Tama Tropical Inc.’s (“Tama
Tropical”) unopposed Motion for Default Judgment as to Defendant Best Point Tropicals Corp.
(“Best Point”).’ D.E. 8. This matter concerns Best Point and Javier Luque’s alleged non-payment
for produce delivered by Tama Tropical; and it
APPEARING that even when a party is actually in default “the other side is not entitled
to the entry of default judgment as of right, and the entry of such a judgment is left primarily to
the discretion of the district court.” Sanchez v. franzzano, No. 15-2316, 2016 WL 2892551, at *1
(D.N.J. May 12, 2016); and it further
APPEARING that in evaluating whether to enter default judgment pursuant to Fed. R.
Civ. P. 55(b), the court must determine whether (1) it has subject matter jurisdiction over the matter
‘The motion for default judgment was initially filed against Defendant Javier Luque as well. Since
the filing of the motion, the parties agreed to extend Luque’s time to answer. D.E. 10. On January
13, 2017, Luque timely filed an answer. D.E. 11.
and personal jurisdiction over the parties, (2) the parties have properly been served, (3) the
complaint sufficiently pleads a cause of action, and (4) the plaintiff has proven damages. Days
Inn Worldwide, Inc. v. Tttlsipooja Hospitality, LLC, No. 15-5576. 2016 WL 2605989, at *2 (D.N.J.
May 6, 2016). The Court must also consider “(1) whether the party subject to default has a
meritorious defense, (2) the prejudice suffered by the party seeking default, and (3) the culpability
of the party subject to default.” Animal Sci. Prods., Inc. v. China Nat’! Metals & Minerals Import
& Export Corp., 596 F. Supp. 2d 842, 849 (D.N.J. 2008); and it further
APPEARING that the Court must accept all well-pleaded facts in the pleadings as true,
except as to damages. Clianel, Inc. v. Gordashevskv, 558 F. Supp. 2d 532, 535-36 (D.N.J. 2008);
see also Int’l Union of Operating Eng ‘rs ofE. Pa. & Del. Benefit Pension fund. v. N. Abbonizio
Contractors, Inc., 134 F. Supp. 3d 862, 865 (E.D. Pa. 2015). If damages are not mathematically
computable or liquidated, a plaintiff must prove the damages sought. A court has discretion to
hold a hearing to establish the plaintiffs damages or to rely on documentary evidence. See Rainey
v. Diamond State Port Corp., 354 F. App’x 722, 724 (3d Cir. 2009); Comdyne I, Inc. v. Corbin,
908 F.2d 1142, 1149 (3d Cir. 1990); Matik v. Hannah, 661 F. Supp. 2d 485, 490 (D.N.J. 2009);
and it further
APPEARING that “[i]f a default is entered against some defendants in a multi-party case,
the preferred practice is for the court to withhold granting default judgment until the action is
resolved on its merits against the non-defaulting defendants.” Animal Sci. Prods., Inc., 596 F.
Supp. 2d at 849; see also 1OA Charles A. Wright et al, Fed. Prac. & Proc.
§ 2690 (3d ed. 2015)
(when several defendants have closely related defenses “entry of judgment also should await an
adjudication of the liability of nondefaulting defendants”). This is because courts do not want to
“create the risk of potentially inconsistent judgments.” Eteam, Inc. v. Hilton Worldwide Holdings,
Inc., No. 15-5057, 2016 WL 54676, at *3 (D.N.J. Jan. 5, 2016) (denying motion for default
judgment where allegations against defaulting and nondefaulting defendants were identical); and
APPEARING that this matter involves two defendants. Best Point has not answered
Complaint, while Luque appears to be actively litigating the case. Moreover, it appears that the
total damages sought from each Defendant are the same and the causes of action arise from the
same set of common facts. Consequently, entering a default judgment at this time would not be
prudent due to the risk of potentially inconsistent judgments. Default judgment at this time is
therefore not appropriate and Plaintiff may reffle its motion at the conclusion of the case if it so
For the foregoing reasons, and for good cause shown
IT IS on this 11th day of April, 2017, hereby
ORDERED that Plaintiffs Motion for Default Judgment as to Best Point Tropicals Corp.,
D.E. 8, is DENIED without prejudice.
John Michael Vazque Ut3D.J.
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