United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division
B. SMITH United States Magistrate Judge.
matter comes before the Court on the Verified Motion for
Defaults and for Order to Show Cause, filed by Judgment
Creditor Poser Investments, Inc. (Doc. 31). Upon due
consideration, the motion is granted in part
and denied in part.
December 19, 2012, the United States District Court for the
District of New Jersey (Case Number 2:11-cv-2503-WJM-MF)
entered an Order & Judgment in favor of Plaintiff
Travelodge Hotels, Inc. and against Defendants Girdhari
Sankar and Jeyaselvan Kanagasabapathy, jointly and severally,
in the amount of $457, 601.14 (Doc. 1 at 2). On February 21,
2013, Travelodge registered the judgment in this Court (Doc.
1). Subsequently, Poser Investments, Inc.
(“Poser”), as assignee of the judgment, was
substituted in the place of Travelodge Hotels, Inc. (Docs. 5,
6). The Order & Judgment and Assignment of Judgment were
recorded in the Official Records of Duval County, Florida and
the Official Records of Osceola County, Florida, and a
judgment lien certificate has been filed with the Florida
Department of State. According to the verified motion, the
judgment remains uncollected and unsatisfied (Doc. 9 at 2).
February 14, 2018, the Court entered an order granting
Poser's motion for a charging order against Sun
Hospitality Inn, LLC; JL Hospitality Management, LLC; and JL
Hotel Management, LLC (Doc. 10). Two weeks later, the Court
granted Poser's request for writs of garnishment to be
issued against Sun Hospitality Inn, LLC; JLM Hotels LLC d/b/a
Sun Inn and Suites; JL Hospitality Management, LLC; and JL
Hotel Management, LLC (collectively “Garnishees”)
(Doc. 15). Now, Poser asks the Court to enter defaults
against Garnishees for their failure to answer or otherwise
respond to the continuing writs of garnishment (Doc. 31).
Poser also asks that the Court to order the Garnishees to
show cause why final judgments should not be entered against
Statute § 77.081(1) states that “[i]f the
garnishee fails to answer as required, a default shall be
entered against him or her.” The writs of garnishment
in this case were served on the Garnishees on March 21, 2018
(Doc. 31-1 at 2, 5, 8, 11). Garnishees were advised that upon
service, they had twenty (20) days to serve an answer i.e.,
through April 10, 2018 (Id., at 3, 6, 9, 12). None
of the Garnishees filed answers to the writs (Docket).
Because they have failed to answer the continuing writs of
garnishment, Clerk's defaults will be entered against all
of the Garnishees. See Fla. Stat. § 77.081(1);
Epoch Prop., Inc. v. Great Am. Ins. Co., No.
6:15-cv-700-Orl-41DAB, 2015 WL 4645430, at *3 (M.D. Fla. Aug.
Poser's request for the Court to enter a show cause order
is denied. Poser has not provided any legal basis for its
request and has not established its entitlement to the entry
of final judgment against each Garnishee “in excess of
the garnishee's liability to the garnishment
defendant.” Patino v. El Rey Del Chivito
Corp., No. 10-23726-CIV, 2013 WL 5652056, at *2 (S.D.
Fla. Oct. 15, 2013) (citing Henry P. Trawick, Jr.,
Trawick's Fla. Prac. and Proc., § 33-6, at
599 (1995 ed.)). Poser references Fla. Stat. § 77.081(2)
as its basis for seeking final judgment in an amount equal to
the full amount of the judgment but its reliance on this
statute is misguided. The statute only governs prejudgment
garnishments and, therefore, has no application here.
Sec. Bank, N.A. v. Bell South Advert. & Pub.
Corp., 679 So.2d 795, 798, 800 (Fla. 3d DCA 1996),
aff'd Bell South Advert. & Pub. Corp. v. Sec.
Bank, N.A., 698 So.2d 254, 256 (Fla. 1997) (The Florida
Supreme Court “find[s] that section 77.081(2) applies
only to a prejudgment writ of garnishment and that a writ of
garnishment under chapter 77 asserts a claim for an
the writs, the Court has directed the Garnishees to pay Poser
whatever money they owe to the judgment debtors as salary or
wages. Those are unliquidated sums. See Sec. Bank,
N.A., 679 So.2d 795, 798, 800 (Fla. 3d DCA 1996).
“It is well settled that when a plaintiff obtains a
default in a suit for unliquidated damages, the default only
establishes liability. It remains necessary for the plaintiff
to prove its damages at a hearing after notice to the
defaulting party.” Sec. Bank, N.A., 679 So.2d
other words, a party's default alone does not require the
Court to enter a default judgment. DIRECTV, Inc. v.
Trawick, 359 F.Supp.2d 1204, 1206 (M.D. Ala. 2005). The
party seeking default judgment has the burden of establishing
proof of all allegations, including damages. Likewise, the
Court bears a responsibility to conduct an inquiry to
ascertain the proper amount of damages. Cf. Adolph Coors
Co. v. Movement Against Racism & the Klan, 777 F.2d
1538, 1543-44 (11th Cir. 1985). “Damages may be awarded
only if the record adequately reflects the basis for the
award via a hearing or a demonstration of detailed affidavits
establishing the necessary facts.” Id. at
1544; cf. Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(b)(2)(B)-(D).
garnishee cannot be held liable for the entire judgment
against the debtor ... the garnishee is liable solely for the
amount the garnishee owes to the debtor” 30 Am. Jur. 2d
Executions, Etc. §556. “After default, no judgment
can be entered against a garnishee in excess of the amount
remaining unpaid on the judgment against the garnishment
defendant or in excess of the garnishee's
liability to the garnishment defendant.”
Id. (emphasis added) (citing Sec. Bank,
N.A., 679 So.2d 795).
consideration of the foregoing, it is hereby
ORDERED that, (1) Poser's Verified
Motion for Defaults and For Order to Show Cause is
GRANTED to the extent it seeks the entry of
clerk's default against the Garnishees. The Clerk is
instructed to ENTER default against all of the Garnishees.
motion is DENIED in ...