United States District Court, N.D. New York
INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF ELECTRICAL WORKERS LOCAL UNION NO. 1249 PENSION AND INSURANCE FUNDS, by Daniel R. Dafor, as Administrator,, Plaintiffs,
SOUTH BUFFALO ELECTRIC, INC., ARNOLD J. PAOLINI, ARNOLD A. PAOLINI, Defendants.
BLITMAN, KING LAW FIRM Attorneys for Plaintiffs
JENNIFER A. CLARK, ESQ.
LAW CENTRE, P.C. Attorney for Defendant Arnold J. Paolini
J. KEENAN, ESQ.
MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER
D'Agostino, U.S. District Judge
4, 2015, Plaintiffs International Brotherhood of Electrical
Workers Local Union No. 1249 Insurance Fund ("Insurance
Fund"), International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
Local Union No. 1249 Pension Fund ("Pension Fund"),
National Electrical Benefit Fund, New York State
Lineman's Safety Training Fund ("Safety Training
Fund"), Northeastern Joint Apprenticeship and Training
Fund (collectively, the "Funds"), and International
Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union No. 1249 (the
"Union") commenced this action against Defendants
South Buffalo Electric, Inc. ("South Buffalo"),
Arnold J. Paolini, and Arnold A. Paolini for failing to
timely remit benefit contributions and deductions under the
Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974
("ERISA"), 29 U.S.C. § 1001 et seq.,
and the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947
("LMRA"), 29 U.S.C. § 1985. Presently before
the Court are Plaintiffs' motions for default judgment as
to Defendants South Buffalo and Arnold A. Paolini.
See Dkt. Nos. 32, 51. As set forth below, the motion
against Arnold A. Paolini is granted, and the motion against
South Buffalo is denied.
South Buffalo is a New York corporation and Defendants Arnold
A. Paolini and Arnold J. Paolini are managers of South
Buffalo. See Dkt. No. 36 at ¶¶ 13-15.
Plaintiffs-who are fiduciaries of the Funds and the business
manager of the Union-allege that South Buffalo is party to
certain agreements and trusts requiring it to remit
contributions and deductions to Plaintiffs, and that South
Buffalo has failed to do so. See Id. at ¶¶
21-26. Plaintiffs further allege that Arnold A. Paolini and
Arnold J. Paolini are liable for South Buffalo's failure
to pay contributions and deductions to the Funds and the
Union. See Id. at ¶¶ 52, 82.
original complaint in this action named only South Buffalo
and Arnold J. Paolini as defendants. See Dkt. No. 1.
After filing the original complaint, Plaintiffs requested an
entry of default as to South Buffalo and Arnold J. Paolini,
Dkt. No. 7, and that request was granted by the Clerk of the
Court, Dkt. No. 9. On September 9, 2016, Plaintiffs filed a
motion for default judgment against Arnold J. Paolini.
See Dkt. No. 25. But on October 10, 2016, Arnold J.
Paolini filed an answer, see Dkt. No. 30, and after
a telephone conference the Court vacated the entry of default
as to Arnold J. Paolini and terminated the default judgment
filed against him, see Dkt. No. 31.
November 1, 2016, Plaintiffs filed a motion for default
judgment against South Buffalo. See Dkt. No. 32. Two
weeks later, Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint naming
South Buffalo, Arnold J. Paolini, and Arnold A. Paolini as
Defendants, but Plaintiffs did not withdraw their prior
motion for default judgment against South Buffalo.
See Dkt. No. 36. Arnold J. Paolini answered the
amended complaint, see Dkt. No. 39, and the Clerk of
the Court granted entries of default as to Arnold A. Paolini
and South Buffalo, see Dkt. No. 48. On February 3,
2017, Plaintiffs filed a motion for default judgment against
Arnold A. Paolini but not South Buffalo. See Dkt.
Standard of Review
'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.'" United
States v. Simmons, No. 5:10-CV-1272, 2012 WL 685498, *2
(N.D.N.Y. Mar. 2, 2012) (quoting Robertson v. Doe,
No. 05-CV-7046, 2008 WL 2519894, *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.;
see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 55(a). "'Second,
pursuant to Rule 55(b)(2), the party seeking default is
required to present its application for entry of judgment to
the court.'" Id. "'Notice of the
application must be sent to the ...