United States District Court, N.D. New York
DECISION AND ORDER
Lawrence E. Kahn U.S. District Judge
20, 2016, plaintiff United States of America commenced this
action alleging that defendant Joseph Gulyas defaulted on
three promissory notes. Dkt. No. 1 (“Complaint”).
Presently before the Court is the Government's motion for
default judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
55(b). Dkt. No. 7 (“Motion”). For the following
reasons, the Motion is granted.
January 10, 1985, Gulyas executed a promissory note to secure
a loan in the amount of $10, 004 from BayBank Norfolk County
Trust Company, located in Dedham, Massachusetts. Dkt. No. 7-5
(“Exhibit A”) at 2; Dkt. No. 7-6 (“Certificate
of Indebtedness”) at 1. On November 11, 1985, Gulyas
executed a second promissory note to secure a loan in the
amount of $10, 033 from the same trust company. Ex. A at 7;
Certificate of Indebtedness at 1. On June 10, 1986, Gulyas
executed a final promissory note in the amount of $10, 417
from BayBank. Ex. A, at 12; Certificate of Indebtedness at 1.
The loans were Health Education Assistance Loans
(“HEALs”). Certificate of Indebtedness at 1.
Eventually, the HEAL notes were assigned to the Government.
Id. at 2. Gulyas defaulted on the loans, and the
Government commenced the present action. Compl. Gulyas did
not file a responsive pleading, and on August 4, 2016, the
Clerk of the Court filed an entry of default against Gulyas
at the Government's request. Dkt. No. 6 (“Entry of
Default”). On August 12, 2016, the Government filed the
pending Motion, seeking an award of $41, 101.25 in unpaid
principal and $629.30 in accrued interest as of December 16,
2015. Certificate of Indebtedness at 2.
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.” Elec. Creations Corp. v.
Gigahertz, Inc., No. 12-CV-1423, 2013 WL 3229125, at *3
(N.D.N.Y. June 25, 2013) (quoting Robertson v. Doe,
No. 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.” Id. Second, under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55(b)(2), “the party
seeking default judgment is required to present its
application for entry of judgment to the court.”
a default is entered, the defendant is deemed to have
admitted all of the well-pleaded factual allegations in the
complaint pertaining to liability.” Bravado
Int'l Grp. Merch. Servs., Inc. v. Ninna, Inc., 655
F.Supp.2d 177, 188 (E.D.N.Y. 2009) (citing Greyhound
Exhibitgroup, Inc. v. E.L. U.L. Realty Corp., 973 F.2d
155, 158 (2d Cir. 1992)). “While a default judgment
constitutes an admission of liability, the quantum of damages
remains to be established by proof unless the amount is
liquidated or susceptible of mathematical computation.”
Flaks v. Koegel, 504 F.2d 702, 707 (2d Cir. 1974);
accord Bravado Int'l, 655 F.Supp.2d at 189.
“[E]ven upon default, a court may not rubber-stamp the
non-defaulting party's damages calculation, but rather
must ensure that there is a basis for the damages that are
sought.” Robertson, 2008 WL 2519894, at *3.
“The burden is on the plaintiff to establish its
entitlement to recovery.” Bravado Int'l,
655 F.Supp.2d at 189. “While ‘the court must
ensure that there is a basis for the damages specified in a
default judgment, it may, but need not, make the
determination through a hearing.'” Id. at
Local Rule 55.2(b), the moving party must submit with its
motion for default judgment: (1) “a clerk's
certificate of entry of default, ” (2) “a
proposed form of default judgment, ” (3) “a copy
of the pleading to which no response has been made, ”
and (4) an affidavit. L.R. 55.2(b). The affidavit must set
forth that: (1) the party against whom judgment is sought is
not an infant, incompetent, or in military service; (2) the
party against whom judgment is sought has defaulted in
appearance in the action; (3) service was properly effected
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4; (4) the amount
sought is justly due and owing, and no part has been paid;
and (5) “the disbursements sought to be taxed have been
made in the action or will necessarily be made or
incurred.” L.R. 55.2(a).
present case, the Government has met its burden of showing
that it is entitled to a default judgment. The Complaint and
the exhibits attached to the Motion demonstrate that Gulyas
executed three promissory notes to obtain student loans.
Compl; Ex. A at 2-16. The Government has demanded payment in
accordance with the terms of the notes, and to date, Gulyas
has failed to pay the debt. Compl. ¶ 4. These
allegations, which are deemed admitted by Gulyas's
failure to respond, are sufficient to establish his
liability. Cotton v. Slone, 4 F.3d 176, 181 (2d Cir.
1993). Further, the Government has complied with Local Rule
55.2(b). Finally, the materials the Government has provided
"are sufficient to establish damages on the promissory
notes because the principal owed on the notes and the
interest are susceptible to mathematical computation."
United States v. Williams, No. 12-CV-124, 2012 WL
1977969, at *1 (N.D.N.Y. June 1, 2012).
it is hereby:
that the Government's Motion for Default Judgment (Dkt.