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Cent. New York Laborers' Health and Welfare Fund, By Janet M. Moro, As v. Steven M. Taylor

August 3, 2012

CENT. NEW YORK LABORERS' HEALTH AND WELFARE FUND, BY JANET M. MORO, AS FUND ADM'R; CENT. NEW YORK LABORERS' PENSION FUND, BY JANET M. MORO AS FUND ADM'R; CENT. NEW YORK LABORERS' ANNUITY FUND, BY JANET M. MORO AS FUND ADM'R; CENT. NEW YORK LABORERS' TRAINING FUND, BY JANET M. MORO AS FUND ADM'R; AND CONSTR. AND GEN. LABORERS' LOCAL UNION NO. 633, BY GABRIEL M. ROSETTI III AS BUS. MANAGER, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
STEVEN M. TAYLOR, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS AN OFFICER OF CONSOL. MASONRY CONTRACTORS, INC., DEFENDANT.



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

MEMORANDUM-DECISION and ORDER

Currently before the Court, in this action pursuant to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA") and Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947 (LMRA) filed by the five above-captioned entities ("Plaintiffs") against Steven M. Taylor ("Defendant"), is Plaintiffs' motion for default judgment pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 55(b). (Dkt. No. 11.) For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiffs' motion is granted in part and denied in part.

I. RELEVANT BACKGROUND

A. Plaintiffs' Complaint

Generally, Plaintiffs' Complaint seeks to collect from Defendant allegedly delinquent fringe benefit contributions and deductions due and owning to four multi-employer benefit plans and a labor organization for the period July 2005 through November 2010, as well as interest, liquidated damages, costs and disbursements, and attorneys' fees. (Dkt. No. 1.) Familiarity with the five causes of action asserted in the Complaint, and the factual allegations giving rise to those causes of action, is assumed in this Decision and Order, which is intended primarily for the review of the parties.

B. Plaintiffs' Service of Their Complaint and Defendant's Failure to Answer

On July 30, 2011, Plaintiffs served their Complaint on Defendant. (Dkt. No. 5.) 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 September 30, 2011, Plaintiffs filed a request for the Clerk of the Court to enter default against Defendant pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 55(a). (Dkt. No. 6.) On November 13, 2011, the Clerk of the Court did so. (Dkt. No. 9.) 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. Plaintiffs' Motion for Default Judgment and Defendant's Non-Response

On January 13, 2012, Plaintiffs filed a motion for default judgment pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 55(b). (Dkt. No. 11.) As of the date of this Decision and Order, Defendant has filed no response to that motion. (See generally Docket Sheet.) Generally, in support of their motion for default judgment, Plaintiffs argue that they have satisfied the two-step default judgment process required by Fed. R. Civ. P. 55. (Dkt. No. 11. Attach. 13.) Familiarity with the particular grounds of Plaintiffs' motion for default judgment is assumed in this Decision and Order, which again is intended primarily for review of the parties.

II. RELEVANT LEGAL STANDARD

"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 to the defaulting party so that it has an opportunity to show cause why the court should not enter a default judgment." Id. (citing Fed. R. Civ. P. 55[b][2]).

When a court considers a motion for the entry of a default judgment, it must "accept[ ] as true all of the factual allegations of the complaint . . . ." Au Bon Pain Corp. v. Artect, Inc., 653 F.2d 61, 65 (2d Cir. 1981) (citations omitted). "However, the court cannot construe the damages alleged in the complaint as true." Eng'rs Joint Welfare, Pension, Supplemental Unemployment Benefit and Training Funds v. Catone Constr. Co., Inc., 08-CV-1048, 2009 WL 4730700, at *2 (N.D.N.Y. Dec. 4, 2009) (Scullin, J.) (citing Credit Lyonnais Sec. (USA), Inc. v. Alcantara, 183 F.3d 151, 155 [2d Cir. 1999] [citations omitted]). "Rather, the court must 'conduct an inquiry in order to ascertain the amount of damages with reasonable certainty.'" Eng'rs Joint Welfare, Pension, Supplemental Unemployment Benefit and Training Funds, 2009 WL 4730700, at *2 (quoting Alcantara, 183 F.3d at 155 [citation omitted]). This inquiry "involves two tasks: [1] determining the proper rule for calculating damages on such a claim, and [2] assessing plaintiff's ...


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