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United States of v. Keeya L. Simmons A/K/A Keeya Lashay Simmons

March 2, 2012

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
KEEYA L. SIMMONS A/K/A KEEYA LASHAY SIMMONS, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Glenn T. Suddaby, United States District Judge

DECISION and ORDER

Currently before the Court, in this student-loan-collection action filed by the United States of America ("Plaintiff") against Keeya L. Simmons ("Defendant") is Plaintiff's motion for default judgment pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 55(b)(2). (Dkt. No. 11.) For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's motion is granted except insofar as it requests an award that includes $150 in court filing fees.

I. RELEVANT BACKGROUND

A. Plaintiff's Complaint

Generally, Plaintiff's Complaint asserts the following two claims against Defendant: (1) Defendant has failed to make full payment on a student loan in the original sum of $1,500.00; and (2) Defendant has failed to make full payment on a student loan in the original sum of $3,500.00. (Dkt. No. 1 & Attach. 2-3.) More specifically, in support of the claims, Plaintiff's Complaint alleges as follows: (1) Defendant executed promissory notes to secure student loans for $1,500 and $3,500 on or about June 29, 1993, and September 7, 1994; (2) Defendant defaulted on her obligations on December 26, 1996; (3) because the guarantor of the loans attempted but was unable to collect this debt, the loans were transferred to the United States Department of Education on August 9, 2001; (4) as a result of her default, Defendant owed, as of October 14, 2008, $4,861.91 in principal, and $1,085.69 in interest; and (5) by February 5, 2010, the interest owed increased to $1,352.43 (while the amount of principal remained the same). (Id.)

B. Plaintiff's Service of its Complaint and Defendant's Failure to Answer

On November 8, 2010, Plaintiff served its Complaint on Defendant. (Dkt. No. 3.) As of the date of this Decision and Order, Defendant has filed no Answer to that Complaint. (See generally Docket Sheet.)

C. Clerk's Office's Entry of Default and Defendant's Non- Appearance

On March 2, 2011, Plaintiff filed a request for entry of default. (Dkt. No. 5.) On March 2, 2011, the Clerk of the Court entered default against Defendant, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 55(a). (Dkt. No. 6.) As of the date of this Decision and Order, Defendant has not appeared and attempted to cure that entry of default. (See generally Docket Sheet.)

D. Plaintiff's Motion for Default Judgment and Defendant's Non-Response

On April 22, 2011, Plaintiff filed a motion for default judgment pursuant. (Dkt. No. 11.) While the motion does not specify whether it is being made under Fed. R. Civ. P. 55(b)(1) or 55(b)(2), the Court construes the motion as being made under to Fed. R. Civ. P. 55(b)(2). As of the date of this Decision and Order, Defendant has filed no response to Plaintiff's motion. (See generally Docket Sheet.)

Generally, in support of its motion for default judgment, Plaintiff argues that it has satisfied the two-step process for granting default judgments. (Dkt. No. 11.) As a result, Plaintiff argues, it is entitled to a judgment awarding it the following damages: (1) $4,861.91 in principal; (2) $1,699.50 in accrued interest as of April 22, 2011; (3) $38.00 for service of process; and (4) $150.00 for "Court Filing Fees." (Dkt. No. 11, Attach. 2, at 1.)*fn1 Familiarity with the remaining grounds of Plaintiff's motion for default judgment is assumed in this Decision and Order, which is intended primarily for review of the parties.

II. RELEVANT LEGAL STANDARD

Generally, "Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55 provides a two-step process that the Court must follow before it may enter a default judgment against a defendant." Robertson v. Doe, 05-CV-7046, 2008 WL 2519894, at *3 (S.D.N.Y. June 19, 2008). "First, under Rule 55(a), when a party fails to 'plead or otherwise defend . . . the clerk must enter the party's default.'" Robertson, 2008 WL 2519894, at *3 (quoting Fed. R. Civ. P. 55[a]). "Second, pursuant to Rule 55(b)(2), the party seeking default judgment is required to present its application for entry of judgment to the court." Id. "Notice of the application must be sent ...


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