United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division
VIRGINIA M. HERNANDEZ COVINGTON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT
cause is before the Court pursuant to Plaintiff Juan
Beltran's Motion for Final Default Judgment (Doc. # 19),
which was filed on November 21, 2017. In the Motion, Beltran
requests a default final judgment against Defendant First
U.S. Capital, LLC in the amount of $6, 584.90, comprised of
$2, 000.00 in statutory damages, $3, 780.00 in attorney's
fees, and $804.90 in costs. For the reasons that follow, the
Court grants the Motion to the extent it directs the Clerk to
enter Judgment in the amount of $6, 305.50.
Rule of Civil Procedure 55(a) sets forth the following
regarding an entry of default:
(a) Entering a Default. When a party against whom a judgment
for affirmative relief is sought has failed to plead or
otherwise defend, and that failure is shown by affidavit or
otherwise, the clerk must enter the party's default.
district court may enter a default judgment against a
properly served defendant who fails to defend or otherwise
appear pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55(b)(2).
DirecTV, Inc. v. Griffin, 290 F.Supp.2d 1340, 1343
(M.D. Fla. 2003).
mere entry of a default by the Clerk does not, in itself,
warrant the Court entering a default judgment. See Tyco
Fire & Sec. LLC v. Alcocer, 218 F. App'x 860,
863 (11th Cir. 2007) (citing Nishimatsu Constr. Co. v.
Hous. Nat'l Bank, 515 F.2d 1200, 1206 (5th Cir.
1975)). Rather, a court must ensure that there is a
sufficient basis in the pleadings for the judgment to be
entered. Id. A default judgment has the effect of
establishing as fact the plaintiff's well-pled
allegations of fact and bars the defendant from contesting
those facts on appeal. Id.
initiated this action on July 19, 2017, by filing a two count
Complaint against First U.S. Capital, LLC. (Doc. # 1). In
Count One, Beltran alleges that First U.S. Capital, LLC
violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and in Count
Two, Beltran alleges that First U.S. Capital, LLC violated
the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act. Among other
detailed allegations, Beltran claims that First U.S. Capital,
never provided any information to Mr. Beltran about the
Alleged Debt, including but not limited to, when the Alleged
Debt was incurred, what the Alleged Debt was for, and who the
original creditor was . . . call[ed] Mr. Beltran repeatedly
on numerous occasions . . . plac[ed] multiple harassing phone
calls to both Mr. Beltran and his employer . . . [and
mislead] Mr. Beltran into thinking Defendant was an attorney
or law firm.
(Doc. # 1 at ¶¶ 21-24).
U.S. Capital, LLC did not respond to the Complaint, and on
November 1, 2017, Beltran sought entry of a Clerk's
Default against First U.S. Capital, LLC. (Doc. # 14). On
November 2, 2017, the Clerk entered a Default against First
U.S. Capital, LLC. (Doc. # 15). As explained below, and based
upon the Clerk's Default and the well-pled factual
allegations contained in the Complaint, the Beltran has
established that First U.S. Capital, LLC violated the FDCPA
and the FCCPA.
state a claim under the FDCPA, a plaintiff must establish
that (1) he has been the object of collection activity
arising from consumer debt, (2) the defendant is a debt
collector, and (3) the defendant engaged in an act or
omission prohibited by the FDCPA. Fuller v. Becker &
Poliakoff, P.A., 192 F.Supp.2d 1361, 1366 (M.D. Fla.
2002). The Complaint alleges that the debt is consumer debt
and concerns a transaction “primarily for personal,
family or household purposes.” (Doc. # 1 at
¶¶ 14-15). Beltran also alleges that First U.S.
Capital, LLC is a debt collector. (Id. at
¶¶ 6, 14, 17, 18). The Complaint's allegations
also demonstrate that First U.S. Capital, LLC violated
several provisions of the FDCPA, including 15 U.S.C. §
1692e(2)(a), 15 U.S.C. § 1692e(3), 15 U.S.C. §
1692e(5), 15 U.S.C. § ...