United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division
KANE PREE, an individual and BLAKE PREE, an individual, Plaintiffs,
PICKLE PRO, LLC, a Florida limited liability corporation and TODD PREE, an individual, Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
E. STEELE, SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on plaintiffs' Motion for
Final Default Judgment Against Defendant Pickle Pro, LLC
(Doc. #33) filed on October 2, 2017. No response has been
filed, and the time to respond has expired.
January 24, 2017, plaintiffs Kane Pree and Blake Pree
(plaintiffs) initiated a Complaint (Doc. #1) against Pickle
Pro, LLC (defendant or Pickle Pro) and Todd Pree. In Count I,
plaintiffs seek unpaid overtime compensation, liquidated
damages, interest, and attorney fees from Pickle Pro under
the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In Count II, plaintiff
Kane Pree seeks damages and attorney fees under Fla. Stat.
§ 448.08 from defendants for the breach of a contract
between the parties for compensation at an hourly basis. No
contract is attached. In Count III, pled in the alternative,
Kane Pree alleges that he detrimentally relied upon the
representations of defendants that he would be paid on an
hourly basis, and now seeks to enforce the promise, with
costs and attorney's fees under Fla. Stat. § 448.08.
Both defendants initially appeared through counsel and filed
an Answer and Affirmative Defenses (Doc. #16). Thereafter,
counsel sought to withdraw as counsel of record for
defendants. (Doc. #27.) The motion was granted, and Pick Pro
was granted until August 23, 2017 to retain new counsel.
(Doc. #28.) Finding no appearance, the Magistrate Judge
issued an Order (Doc. #29) for Pickle Pro to show cause why
it should not be sanctioned for failure to retain new
counsel. Finding no response, the Magistrate Judge
recommended that a default be entered against Pickle Pro.
September 26, 2017, the Court adopted the Magistrate
Judge's Report and Recommendation (Doc. #30), deemed
stricken defendant Pickle Pro, LLC's Answer and
Affirmative Defenses (Doc. #16) for the failure to comply
with orders to retain counsel, and directed the entry of a
default against this defendant. (Doc. #31.) On September 27,
2017, a Clerk's Entry of Default (Doc. #32) was entered.
Kane Pree and Blake Pree are individuals who “at all
times had enterprise and individual coverage under the FLSA
during his employment” with Pickle Pro. (Doc. #1,
¶¶ 2-3.) Plaintiff Kane Pree was a production
manager who was paid on an hourly basis, and plaintiff Blake
Pree was an hourly employee. (Id.)
Pickle Pro is alleged to a covered employer under the FLSA
with the authority to hire, fire, assign work, supervise and
control plaintiffs' work schedules and conditions of
employment. (Id., ¶ 4.) Defendant Todd Pree is
an individual and a covered employer who is also the
biological parent of plaintiffs and sole manager with
authority to hire, fire, and assign work to plaintiffs.
2013, Kane Pree founded Pickle Pro but he was a minor and
incorporated the company in his father's name.
(Id., ¶¶ 5, 10.) Todd Pree did not have
significant knowledge of how to construct a pickle ball
paddle, which it is assumed was the nature of the business.
(Id., ¶ 11.) Both plaintiffs began working for
Todd Pree in 2013, through April 18, 2016, when their
employment was terminated after plaintiffs sided with their
mother in the divorce of the parents. (Id.,
plaintiffs worked in excess of 40 hours each week without
proper overtime compensation, and were required to work 60
hours each week. (Id., ¶¶ 15, 22.)
“Defendant”, which is a collective reference to
both defendants, id., ¶ 6, sent written
correspondence admitting to the failure to pay monies owed,
id., ¶ 23. Defendant failed to pay Kane Pree
approximately $20, 835.00 in overtime, and failed to pay
Blake approximately $17, 362.50 in overtime. (Id.,
¶¶ 26-27.) Plaintiffs allege that they are covered,
non-exempt employees, and that “Defendant” was
the employer with operational control who violated the FLSA
by failing to pay the rate of one and one-half times the
regular rate of pay for overtime. (Id., ¶¶
mere entry of a default by the clerk does not in itself
warrant the entry of default by the Court. Rather the Court
must find that there is sufficient basis in the pleadings for
the judgment to be entered.” GMAC Commercial Mortg.
Corp. v. Maitland Hotel Assocs., Ltd., 218 F.Supp.2d
1355, 1359 (M.D. Fla. 2002) (citation omitted). “The
defendant, by his default, admits the plaintiff's
well-pleaded allegations of fact, is concluded on those facts
by the judgment, and is barred from contesting on appeal the
facts thus established.” Nishimatsu Const. Co. v.
Houston Nat. Bank, 515 F.2d 1200, 1206 (5th Cir. 1975).
“A default judgment is unassailable on the merits, but
only so far as it is supported by well-pleaded
allegations.” Eagle Hosp. Physicians, LLC v. SRG
Consulting, Inc., 561 F.3d 1298, 1307 (11th Cir. 2009)
(quoting Nishimatsu, 515 F.2d at 1206). This
requires “more than an unadorned,
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)
Count I - FLSA
establish a prima facie case for overtime compensation, a
plaintiff must show: (1) defendant employed them; (2)
defendant is an enterprise engaged in interstate commerce
covered by the FLSA; (3) plaintiff worked in excess of a
40-hour workweek; and (4) defendant did not pay overtime
wages to him. Morgan v. Family Dollar Stores, Inc.,
551 F.3d 1233, 1277 n.68 (11th Cir. 2008). Although
plaintiffs only refer to defendants generically as
“Defendant”, plaintiffs do allege that each of
the defendants, Pickle Pro and Todd Pree individually, were
both employers. (Doc. #1, ¶¶ 4-5.) Plaintiffs also
allege that they worked in excess of 40 hours “almost
each week” without proper ...