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.

Epstein v. Trump

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

April 12, 2019

ALLEN J. EPSTEIN, Plaintiff,
v.
DONALD J. TRUMP, Defendants.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          GREGORY J. KELLY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         This cause came on for consideration without oral argument on the following motion:

MOTION: MOTION FOR A DEFAULT JUDGMENT (Doc. No. 8) FILED:
April 11, 2019
THEREON it is RECOMMENDED that the motion for default judgment be DENIED and the Complaint be DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.

         On January 11, 2019, Plaintiff Allen J. Epstein, appearing pro se, filed a Complaint naming Donald J. Trump, the President of the United States, as the Defendant. Doc. No. 1. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant “took felonious actions” before the election to hide “personally damaging information, ” which deprived Plaintiff “of a legitimate result from that election.” Id. at 6. Plaintiff alleges other actions by Defendant during the election and his presidency that Plaintiff contends “caused injury to [him] as a citizen.” Id. On April 11, 2019, Plaintiff filed a “Motion for a Default Judgment” (the “Motion”). Doc. No. 8. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant was served via certified mail, id., and filed a document titled “Proof of Service, ” with a copy of the certified mail form, which is not executed as having been delivered, Doc. No. 7 at 2-3. Plaintiff did not obtain a Clerk's default against Defendant.

         There are three reasons why the Motion should be denied. First, Plaintiff did not obtain a Clerk's default against Defendant. Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55, there is “a two-step procedure for obtaining a default judgment.” Deforest v. Johnny Chisholm Global Events, LLC, No. 3:08-cv-498, 2010 WL 1792094, *7 (N.D. Fla. May 4, 2010). The first step is, when a defendant fails to plead or otherwise defend, and the “failure is shown by affidavit or otherwise, ” then the clerk must enter a default. Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(a). The second step is that, after completion of the first step, the plaintiff must move for default judgment. Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(b). Thus, “the clerk's entry of default must precede an application” for default judgment. Deforest, 2010 WL 1792094 at *7 (citing Fairman v. Hurley, 373 F.Supp.2d 227, 231 (W.D.N.Y.2005)).

         Second, Defendant was not properly served. Service of a summons on an individual within a United States judicial district may be accomplished by one of the following:

(1) following state law for serving a summons in an action brought in courts of general jurisdiction in the state where the district court is located or where service is made; or
(2) doing any of the following:
(A) delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to the individual personally;
(B) leaving a copy of each at the individual's dwelling or usual place of abode with someone of suitable age and discretion who resides there; or
(C) delivering a copy of each to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process.

         Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(e). Under Florida law, an individual may be served with a summons by the following means: “delivering a copy of it to the person to be served with a copy of the complaint, petition, or other initial pleading or paper or by leaving the copies at his or her usual place of abode with any person residing therein who is 15 years of age or older and informing the person of their contents.” Fla. Stat. § 48.031(1)(a) (2018). Plaintiff's service by certified mail does not comply with ...


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.