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Maldonado v. Stoneworks of Manatee, LLC

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division

August 21, 2017

JOSE MALDONADO, Plaintiff,
v.
STONEWORKS OF MANATEE, LLC. Defendant

          ORDER

          Charlene Edwards Honeywell United States District Judge

         This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion for Default Judgment Against Stoneworks of Manatee, LLC (Doc. 10). The defaulted Defendant has not responded in the time allowed. Because the affidavit before the Court lacks the requisite detail necessary to calculate damages, the Court will grant the Plaintiff's Motion for Default Judgment, in part.

         I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On January 9, 2017, Jose Maldonado (“Maldonado”) filed a complaint to recover unpaid overtime compensation against Stoneworks of Manatee, LLC (“Stoneworks”) under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 216(b), (“FLSA”). Doc. 1. A summons was issued to Defendant Stoneworks of Manatee, LLC through its registered agent Justino Rodriguez. Doc. 2. On January 16, 2017, the affidavit of service was filed with the court showing service was executed on Aileen Rodriguez. Doc. 7. Stoneworks failed to plead or otherwise defend, and following a motion by Jose Maldonado, a Clerk's Default was issued against it on February 9, 2017. Doc. 9.

         II. FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

         On or about August 1, 2015, until about September 30, 2016, Jose Maldonado worked at Stoneworks as a stone fabricator and installer. Doc. 10-1[1] at ¶ 4. During this time, Plaintiff regularly worked over forty hours a week. Id. at ¶ 10, Doc. 1 at ¶ 9. Defendant never paid Maldonado overtime compensation for those hours worked over forty hours in willful violation of the FLSA. Doc. 10-1 at ¶ 6, Doc. 1 at ¶ 25. Defendant meets the standards for enterprise coverage under the FLSA because it has gross revenues of over $500, 000 and works on or with goods that have been moved in or produced for commerce. Doc. 1 at ¶ 5-6. This Court has subject matter jurisdiction of this claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1337. Id. at ¶ 4.

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. Standard of Review

         The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allow for a default judgment to be entered when “the party against whom a judgment… is sought has failed to plead or otherwise defend, and that failure is shown by affidavit or otherwise.” Thomas v. Bank of Am., N.A., 557 Fed.Appx. 873, 875 (11th Cir. 2014) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 55 (a)). Allegations in a well-pleaded complaint are established as fact on entry of a default judgment, as long as there is a stated claim that allows for relief and jurisdiction is established. See GMAC Commercial Mortg. Corp. v. Maitland Hotel Assocs. 218 F.Supp.2d 1355, 1359 (M.D. Fla. 2002). A well-pleaded complaint contains more than an “unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). There must be sufficient factual matter, accepted as true to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face. Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570).

         B. Clerk's Default

         The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provide that a corporation is to be served pursuant to: 1) the laws of the state where the district court is located or where service is made; or 2) the methods of service provided in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Sanchez v. Grundy Pizza, Inc., No. 616CV596ORL31GJK, 2017 WL 693348, at *2 (M.D. Fla. Feb. 2, 2017), report and recommendation adopted, No. 616CV596ORL31GJK, 2017 WL 680066 (M.D. Fla. Feb. 21, 2017) (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(h)(1)). Both the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Florida Statutes allow for a corporation to be served by serving the corporation's registered agent. Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(h)(1)(B); Fla Stat. §48.081(3)(a) (2016).

         Here, the verified return of service indicates that on January 12, 2017, at 3:44 p.m. the process server served Aileen Rodriguez who is fifteen (15) years of age or older as daughter/coresident of Justino Rodriguez at the address of 1427 23rd Ave E, Bradenton, FL 34208 within his usual place of abode. Doc. 7. It appears that the address for the registered agent is a private residence, and therefore, service on his daughter as a co-resident was proper. See Fla. Stat. §§ 48.081(3)(a); §48.031(1)(a).

         On February 8, 2017, more than twenty-one days after service, Plaintiff moved for a Clerk's Default. The Defendant neither responded nor appeared in this action, thus the Clerk correctly entered the default on February 9, 2017. Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(a).

         C. ...


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