United States District Court, D. Oregon
OPINION AND ORDER
Michael H. Simon, United States District Judge.
Masonry Industry Trust Administration, Inc. brings this
action against Defendant LeProwse Construction, Inc.,
alleging that Defendant failed to make contributions as
required under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of
1974, as amended (“ERISA”) and applicable
collective bargaining agreements. Before the Court is
Plaintiff's motion for entry of default judgment under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55(b). For the following
reasons, the Court grants Plaintiff's motion, and will
enter a default judgment against Defendant.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55(a), the Clerk of the Court
is required to enter an order of default if a party against
whom affirmative relief is sought fails timely to answer or
otherwise defend an action. Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(a) (“When a
party against whom a judgment for affirmative relief is
sought has failed to plead or otherwise defend, and that
failure is shown by affidavit or otherwise, the clerk must
enter the party's default.”). Upon the entry of
default, the Court accepts “the well-pleaded factual
allegations” of the complaint “as true.”
DIRECTV, Inc. v. Hoa Huynh, 503 F.3d 847, 854 (9th
Cir. 2007) (quoting Cripps v. Life Ins. Co. of N.
Am., 980 F.2d 1261, 1267 (9th Cir. 1992)); see also
Geddes v. United Fin. Grp., 559 F.2d 557, 560 (9th Cir.
1977). The court, however, does not accept as admitted facts
that are not well-pleaded, conclusions of law, or facts
relating to the amount of damages. DIRECTV, 503 F.3d
at 854; Geddes, 559 F.2d at 560; see also Derek
Andrew, Inc. v. Poof Apparel Corp., 528 F.3d 696, 702
(9th Cir. 2008) (“‘The general rule of law is
that upon default the factual allegations of the complaint,
except those relating to the amount of damages, will be taken
as true.'” (quoting TeleVideo Sys., Inc. v.
Heidenthal, 826 F.2d 915, 917-18 (9th Cir. 1987))).
default has been entered against a defendant, a court may
enter a default judgment against that defendant. See
Fed. R. Civ. P. 55(b). “The district court's
decision whether to enter a default judgment is a
discretionary one.” Aldabe v. Aldabe, 616 F.2d
1089, 1092 (9th Cir. 1980); see also Dreith v. Nu Image,
Inc., 648 F.3d 779, 786 (9th Cir. 2011) (noting that a
district's court decision whether to enter a default
judgment is reviewed for abuse of discretion). In Eitel
v. McCool, 782 F.2d 1470 (9th Cir. 1986), the Ninth
Circuit set out factors to guide a district court's
consideration of whether to enter a default judgment. See
DIRECTV , 503 F.3d at 852 (noting that Eitel
“set out factors to guide district court's
determination regarding the appropriateness of granting a
Ninth Circuit in Eitel held:
Factors which may be considered by courts in exercising
discretion as to the entry of a default judgment include: (1)
the possibility of prejudice to the plaintiff, (2) the merits
of plaintiff's substantive claim, (3) the sufficiency of
the complaint, (4) the sum of money at stake in the action;
(5) the possibility of a dispute concerning material facts;
(6) whether the default was due to excusable neglect, and (7)
the strong policy underlying the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure favoring decisions on the merits.
Eitel, 782 F.2d at 1471-72 (punctuation in
original). The “starting point” of the
court's analysis, however, “is the general rule
that default judgments are ordinarily disfavored.”
Id. at 1472.
is the administrative agent for the Cement Masons-Employers
Pension Trust Fund, the Oregon-Washington Cement
Masons-Employers Apprenticeship & Training Trust Fund,
and the Cement Masons-Employers Health and Welfare and
Vacation Trust Fund, the Operative Plasterers and Cement
Masons International Association, and the Operative
Plasterers and Cement Masons International Association, Local
72 (collectively, the “Funds”). Some of the Funds
are qualifying funds under ERISA (“ERISA Funds”).
Other Funds were created in part pursuant to § 302(c) of
the Labor Management Relations Act (“LMRA”) or
collective bargaining agreements to which Defendant is bound
was bound by applicable collective bargaining agreements and
agreements governing the ERISA Funds to pay to Plaintiff (as
Funds administrator) contributions on behalf of
Defendant's employees who performed covered work.
Defendant submitted monthly reports detailing the hours
worked by each employee and the amounts owed by Defendant for
the hours worked. Defendant did not, however, pay the amounts
due. The agreements governing the ERISA Funds contain
provisions provide for interest and liquidated damages if
contributions are not timely paid. The agreements governing
the Non-ERISA Funds provide for interest.
auditor reviewed the records submitted by Defendant and
calculated the amount due in contributions for the ERISA
Funds and Non-ERISA Funds from January 1, 2013 through August
31, 2018, which totaled $108, 265.58. The auditor also
calculated the interest owed for the Funds through July 20,
2019, which totaled $76, 116.58. Finally, the auditor
calculated liquidated damages for the ERISA Funds, which
totaled $9, 015.80. Plaintiff requests a default judgment for
these amounts, plus daily interest at $34.82 until paid.
August 15, 2017, Plaintiff filed the complaint in this case,
alleging violations of ERISA, the LMRA, and the collective
bargaining agreements. On June 11, 2018, Plaintiff moved for
an order of default. The Court issued an Order of Default on
June 12, 2018. On July 12, 2019, Plaintiff filed a motion ...