United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
B. SMITH UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Default Final
Judgment against Defendant, 4018 W. Vine Street, LLLP (Doc
19). Upon due consideration, I respectfully recommend that
the motion be DENIED and that
Plaintiff's complaint be dismissed, with leave to
brings this Americans with Disabilities Act case for
injunctive relief and attorney's fees and costs pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 12181, et seq. (the
"ADA") (Doc. 1). Plaintiff sued two entities -
Defendant Ramada Worldwide, Inc. (“Ramada”) and
4018 W. Vine Street LLLP (“Vine Street”). Ramada
was served and answered the complaint, denying any liability
(Doc. 18). Vine Street was served (Doc.14) and has failed to
respond. A clerk's default was entered Vine Street on
March 15, 2018 (Doc. 17). This motion followed and was
referred to me.
Ramada answered and the motion for default judgment was
filed, Plaintiff attempted to dismiss his claims against
Ramada without prejudice, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(a)(1)
(Doc. 20). By separate Order, I have stricken that notice
because it does not comply with the rule it cites.
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).
In defaulting, a defendant “admit[s] the
plaintiff's well-pleaded allegations of fact” for
purposes of liability. Buchanan v. Bowman, 820 F.2d
359, 361 (11th Cir.1987). Nonetheless, a court may enter a
default judgment only if the factual allegations of the
complaint, which are assumed to be true, provide a sufficient
legal basis for entry of a default judgment. Nishimatsu
Constr. Co. v. Houston Nat'l Bank, 515 F.2d 1200,
1206 (5th Cir. 1975) ("The defendant is not held to
admit facts that are not well-pleaded or to admit conclusions
of law. In short, despite occasional statements to the
contrary, a default is not treated as an absolute confession
by the defendant of his liability and of the plaintiff's
right to recover").
United States Supreme Court has noted the difference between
well-pleaded facts and conclusory allegations. In
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173
L.Ed.2d 868 (2009), the Supreme Court explained that a
complaint need not contain detailed factual allegations, but
it demands more than "an unadorned,
the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation. A pleading
that offers 'labels and conclusions' or 'a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do.' Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders
'naked assertion[s]' devoid of 'further factual
enhancement.'" Id. at 678 (internal
citations omitted). "[W]here the well-pleaded facts do
not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility
of misconduct, the complaint has alleged-but it has not
'show[n]'-'that the plaintiff is entitled to
relief.'" Id. at 679 (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2)). This analysis is equally applicable to a motion for
default judgment. See De Lotta v. Dezenzo's Italian
Restaurant, Inc., No. 6:08-cv-2033-Orl-22KRS, 2009 WL
4349806, *5 (M.D. Fla. November 24, 2009).
liability is established, the court turns to the issue of
relief.” Enpat, Inc. v. Budnic, 773 F.Supp.2d
1311, 1313 (M.D. Fla. 2011). “Pursuant to Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 54(c), ‘[a] default judgment must
not differ in kind from, or exceed in amount, what is
demanded in the pleadings,' and a court may conduct
hearings when it needs to determine the amount of damages,
establish the truth of any allegation by evidence, or
investigate any other matter.” Enpat, 773
F.Supp.2d at 1313 (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(b)(2)). Where all
the essential evidence is of record, an evidentiary hearing
on damages is not required. SEC v. Smyth, 420 F.3d
1225, 1232 n. 13 (11th Cir. 2005). In other words, in order
to enter a default judgment, the Court must find that an
adequate showing has been made as to liability and the kind
or amount of damages or other relief.
Allegations of the Complaint
is a mobility impaired individual who requires the use of a
wheelchair to ambulate (Doc. 1, ¶ 12). Here, he alleges
that both Defendants operate the property that is the subject
of this lawsuit:
6. At all times material, Defendant, 4018 W. VINE STREET,
LLLP, owned and operated a hotel property/place of public
accommodation which holds itself out to the public as
"Ramada Kissimmee Downtown Hotel" located at
located at 4018 W. Vine Street, Kissimmee, Florida 34741
(hereinafter "Hotel Property and Hotel Business").
7. At all times material, Defendant, RAMADA WORLDWIDE INC.,
was and is a Delaware Corporation, which conducts a
significant amount of business at 4018 W. Vine Street,
Kissimmee, Florida 34741.
8. At all times material, Defendant, RAMADA WORLDWIDE INC.,
owned and operated a hotel business which holds itself out to
the public as "Ramada Kissimmee Downtown Hotel"
located at 4018 W. Vineland Street, Kissimmee, Florida ...