United States District Court, S.D. Florida, Miami Division
Moreno, pro se, Morex Automotive Corp., pro se
ORDER ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR FINAL DEFAULT
LAURENCE KING, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
CAUSE is before the Court on Plaintiff Transportation
Alliance Bank's Amended Motion for Default Judgment (DE
14), filed October 28, 2019. A response was due by November
11, 2019, but none was filed.
background, this case arises from the purported breach of a
commercial loan agreement. (See generally DE 1). As alleged
in the complaint, on August 30, 2018, Defendants Morex 1
Automotive Corp. and Adolfo Moreno ("Defendants")
executed several loan documents in favor of Plaintiff,
including a (1) promissory note executed by Morex, bearing a
principal amount of $100, 000 and interest accruing at
19.990% per annum; (2) a business loan agreement executed by
Morex; (3) a security agreement executed by Morex; (4) a
corporate resolution executed by Morex; and (5) a commercial
guaranty executed by Moreno, guaranteeing Morex's
obligations under the above-referenced loan documents.
(Id. at 2-4).
October 14, 2018, Morex defaulted on the loan after failing
to pay the first installment under the commercial loan
agreement. (DE 1 at 5 ¶ 16). Pursuant to the
acceleration clause of the agreement, Plaintiff accelerated
the debt and demanded payment for the entire balance of the
loan. (Id. ¶ 17). On May 22, 2019, Plaintiff
sued for (a) breach of contract against Morex as the
borrower, (b) breach of contract against Moreno as the
guarantor, and (c) foreclosure of a security interest.
(See Id. at 7-9). A clerk's entry of default was
entered against Morex on July 9, 2019 for failure to make an
appearance in the case. (See DE 6.) Likewise, a
clerk's entry of default was entered against Moreno on
September 9, 2019 for the same reason. (See DE 9).
On September 16, 2019, Defendants filed a Motion to Vacate
the Entry of Default, claiming to "have not been able to
retain a counselor, due to the extremely high retainers we
are being ask[ed]." (DE 10). Moreno, who does not appear
to be an attorney, filed this motion on behalf of Morex and
himself. (See id). The Court denied the motion on
October 21, 2019 (DE 12), and Plaintiff filed the Amended
Motion for Default Judgment seven days later. (DE 14).
Plaintiff requests damages in the amount of $135, 099.45,
which includes the (1) principal balance of $100, 000, (2)
accrued pre-default interest of $4, 331.17, (3) accrued
post-default interest of $28, 323.89 (as of October 22,
2019), and (4) late charges of $2, 444.39. (DE 14 at 11-12).
Plaintiff also requests a declaration that it has a valid
security interest in the collateral, as defined in the
above-referenced security agreement. (Id. at 13).
"a default has been entered, [a] plaintiff may move for
default judgment pursuant to Rule 55(b)" of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure. Denizard v. Relic Inc.,
No. 6:14-cv-714-Orl-31DAB, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91753, at *3
(M.D. Fla., June 17, 2014). 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). Therefore, in considering a motion for default
judgment, a court must examine the sufficiency of the
allegations in the complaint to determine whether the
plaintiff is entitled to a default judgment.
a defaulted defendant admits well-pleaded allegations of
liability, allegations relating to the amount of damages are
not admitted by virtue of default. Rather, the Court
determines the amount and character of damages to be
awarded." Miller v. Paradise of Port Richey,
Inc., 75 F.Supp.2d 1342, 1346 (M.D. Fla. 1999). If a
default judgment is warranted, the Court may hold a hearing
for purposes of assessing damages. Transatlantic Marine
Claims Agency, Inc. v. Ace Shipping Corp., 109 F.3d 105,
111 (2d Cir. 1997) (citing Fed. R. Civ. P, 55(b)(2)).
However, a hearing is not necessary if sufficient evidence is
submitted to support the request for damages. Id.
Moreover, if the plaintiffs claim is for a sum certain,
"the clerk . . . must enter judgment for that amount and
costs against a defendant who has been defaulted for not
appearing and who is neither a minor nor an incompetent
person." Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(b)(1).
review of Plaintiff s submissions, the Court finds a
sufficient basis in the pleadings to enter default judgment
in Plaintiffs favor. Because Defendants were defaulted for
failing to appear, "all of Plaintiff s well-pled
allegations in the Complaint are deemed admitted."
Ordonez v. Icon Sky Holdings, LLC, No. 10-60156-CIV,
2011 WL 3843890, at *5 (S.D. Fla. Aug. 30, 2011) (citing
Buchanan v. Bowman, 820 F.2d 359, 361 (11th Cir.
1987)). Therefore, Plaintiffs allegations are well-pled and
sufficient to establish Defendants' liability.
Additionally, Plaintiffs claim is for a . sum certain and
Plaintiff has submitted sufficient evidence to support its
request for damages. See DE14-1.
it is ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED as
Plaintiffs Amended Motion for Default Judgment (DE
14) be, and the same hereby is,
Plaintiff is entitled to damages in the amount of
$135, 099.45, comprised of: $100, 000 of
unpaid principal; $4, 331.17 of pre-default interest; $28,
323.89 of ...