Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Moore v. K&G Transport, Inc.

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

December 12, 2017

MELISSA MOORE, Plaintiff,
v.
K&G TRANSPORT, INC., Defendant. Period Start Period End Gross Pay Total Hrs/Week OT Hrs. Due @ 1/2 Rate OT Due @ $7.00 Half Rate Unpaid Drive Hrs. Due @ 1.5 Rate ($21) OT Due @ 1.5 Rate ($21) Total OT Due

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          DANIEL C. IRICK UNITES STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This cause comes before the Court for consideration without oral argument on the following motion:

         MOTION: MOTION FOR ENTRY OF DEFAULT FINAL JUDGMENT (Doc. 10)

         FILED: September 1, 2017

         THEREON it is RECOMMENDED that the motion be GRANTED in part and DENIED in part.

         I. BACKGROUND.

         On June 22, 2017, Melissa Moore (Plaintiff) filed a complaint against K&G Transport, Inc. (Defendant), an intrastate transport company. Doc. 1. The gravamen of the Complaint is that Plaintiff, who was employed by Defendant as a truck driver, was not paid overtime wages for work she performed in excess of forty (40) hours per week. Id. Plaintiff asserts a single claim for unpaid overtime wages in violation the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. § 207. Id.

         Plaintiff filed a return of service, in which the process server averred that she served Defendant by serving Defendant's vice president on July 6, 2017. Doc. 8. Thus, Defendant had 21 days from the date of service - July 27, 2017 - to respond to the Complaint. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(a)(1)(A)(i). Defendant, however, did not respond to the Complaint by July 27, 2017. Thus, Plaintiff moved for default against Defendant, Doc. 7, and, on August 11, 2017, the Clerk entered default against Defendant. Doc. 9.

         On September 1, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Entry of Default Final Judgment (Motion), along with an affidavit from herself and evidence pertaining to costs. Docs. 10; 10-1; 10-2. Plaintiff argues that the allegations in the Complaint and the evidence presented in support of the Motion demonstrate that she is entitled to default judgment against Defendant. Doc. 10 at 3-8. Thus, Plaintiff requests the following relief: 1) a total of $5, 661.50 for unpaid overtime wages and liquidated damages; and 2) a total of $515.00 in costs. Id. at 8-9.[1]

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW.

         The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure establish a two-step process for obtaining default judgment. First, when a party against whom a judgment for affirmative relief is sought fails to plead or otherwise defend as provided by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and that fact is made to appear by affidavit or otherwise, the Clerk enters default. Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(a). Second, after obtaining clerk's default, the plaintiff must move for default judgment. Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(b). Before entering default judgment, the court must ensure that it has jurisdiction over the claims and parties, and that the well-pled factual allegations of the complaint, which are assumed to be true, adequately state a claim for which relief may be granted. See Nishimatsu Constr. Co. v. Houston Nat'l Bank, 515 F.2d 1200, 1206 (5th Cir. 1975).[2]

         A complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). This standard does not require detailed factual allegations, but does demand “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)). Thus, the “complaint must contain 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). To state a plausible claim for relief, a plaintiff must go beyond merely pleading the “sheer possibility” of unlawful activity by a defendant and offer “factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). If a plaintiff fails to meet this pleading standard, then the plaintiff will not be entitled to default judgment.

         If the plaintiff is entitled to default judgment, then the court must consider whether the plaintiff is entitled to the relief requested in their motion for default judgment. If the plaintiff seeks damages, the plaintiff bears the burden of demonstrating entitlement to recover the amount of damages sought in the motion for default judgment. Wallace v. The Kiwi Grp., Inc., 247 F.R.D. 679, 681 (M.D. Fla. 2008). Unlike well-pled allegations of fact, allegations relating to the amount of damages are not admitted by virtue of default; rather, the court must determine both the amount and character of damages. Id. (citing Miller v. Paradise of Port Richey, Inc., 75 F.Supp.2d 1342, 1346 (M.D. Fla. 1999)). Therefore, even in the default judgment context, “[a] court has an obligation to assure that there is a legitimate basis for any damage award it enters[.]” Anheuser Busch, Inc. v. Philpot, 317 F.3d 1264, 1266 (11th Cir. 2003); see Adolph Coors Co. v. Movement Against Racism and the Klan, 777 F.2d 1538, 1544 (11th Cir. 1985) (explaining that damages may be awarded on default judgment only if the record adequately reflects a basis for an award of damages). Ordinarily, unless a plaintiff's claim against a defaulting defendant is for a liquidated sum or one capable of mathematical calculation, the law requires the district court to hold an evidentiary hearing to fix the amount of damages. See Adolph Coors, 777 F.2d at 1543-44. However, no hearing is needed “when the district court already has a wealth of evidence from the party requesting the hearing, such that any additional evidence would be truly unnecessary to a fully informed determination of damages.” See S.E.C. v. Smyth, 420 F.3d 1225, 1232 n.13 (11th Cir. 2005); see also Wallace, 247 F.R.D. at 681 (“a hearing is not necessary if sufficient evidence is submitted to support the request for damages”).

         III. ANALYSIS.

         A. Jurisdiction.

         The Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this case based on federal question jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Further, the Court has personal jurisdiction over Defendant since it is a Florida corporation conducting business in Florida. Doc. 1 at ¶¶ 4-5.

         B. Clerk's Default.

         Plaintiff filed a return of service, in which the process server averred that she served Defendant by serving Defendant's vice president on July 6, 2017. Doc. 8. This was proper service on a corporation under Florida law. Fla. Stat. § 48.081(1)(a). Thus, Defendant had 21 days from the date of service - July 27, 2017 - to respond to the Complaint. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(a)(1)(A)(i). Defendant, however, did not respond to the Complaint by July 27, 2017, and, as a result, is in default. Therefore, the undersigned finds that the Clerk properly entered default against Defendant.

         C. Liability.

         An employee engaged in interstate commerce must be paid an overtime wage of one and one-half times his or her regular rate for all hours he or she works in excess of forty (40) hours per week. 29 U.S.C. § 207(a)(1). If an employee is not paid the statutory wage, the FLSA creates a private cause of action for that employee against his or her employer for the recovery of unpaid overtime wages and an equal amount of liquidated damages if the failure to pay overtime wages is found to be willful. Id. at ยงยง 216(b), 260. To establish a prima facie case of liability for unpaid overtime compensation under the FLSA, the plaintiff must demonstrate the following: 1) defendant employed him or her; 2) either (a) he or she was engaged in interstate commerce, or (b) defendant is an enterprise engaged in ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.