United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR ENTRY OF
DEFAULT JUDGMENT [ECF NO. 20]
Victoria A. Roberts United States District Judge
the Court is the National Labor Relations Board's
(“NLRB”) Motion for Entry of Default Judgment and
the Attorney Verification supporting the allegations set
forth in the Complaint. [ECF No. 20].
NLRB's motion is GRANTED.
NLRB filed this case against Enjoi Transportation, LLC
(“Enjoi”) and its two principals, Paulette
Hamilton (“Hamilton”) and Gregory Lynn
(“Lynn”; collectively “Defendants”).
Hamilton and Lynn (the “Individual Defendants”)
are married and live together.
NLRB brings its complaint pursuant to the Federal Debt
Collection Procedures Act, 28 U.S.C. §§ 3001,
3301-3308. It seeks an order: (1) declaring as fraudulent
certain transfers of assets from Enjoi to Hamilton and Lynn;
(2) commanding Hamilton and Lynn to reimburse Enjoi for
fraudulent transfers amounting to $46, 224; and (3) entering
judgment against Hamilton and Lynn and in favor of the NLRB
in the amount of $10, 043.
of Defendants proved to be difficult due to the Individual
Defendants' attempts to actively evade service. For
example, when a process server attempted to serve Hamilton at
the Individual Defendants' house on November 19, 2018,
Lynn refused to accept service on Hamilton's behalf and
falsely claimed that she sold him the house and no longer
lived there. [See ECF No. 4-6, PageID.480-82]. On
December 2, 2018, a different person attempted to serve
Hamilton at home. When the process server knocked on the door
and announced who she was, she saw Hamilton look out a window
near the front door; Hamilton then moved out of sight and did
not answer the door. [See ECF No. 4-7, PageID.486].
the Individual Defendants' attempts to evade process, the
NLRB was able to effectuate service on all Defendants. It
served Lynn and Enjoi on November 20, 2018, [see ECF
No. 4-6, PageID.482], and it served Hamilton on December 15,
2018, [see ECF No. 9, PageID.513].
served, Defendants did not answer or otherwise respond to the
complaint within the time allotted under Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(a)(1)(A)(i). In fact, Defendants still
have not answered the complaint.
January 15, 2019 - per the NLRB's requests - the Clerk of
this Court entered a “Clerk's Entry of
Default” as to Defendants.
February 4, 2019, NLRB filed the underlying Motion for Entry
of Default Judgment against Defendants. It also filed a
motion to hold the Individual Defendants in contempt for
failing to comply with a Protective Restraining Order
(“PRO”) previously entered by the Court.
the Court ruled on the motions, the parties jointly requested
- and the Court granted - a stay of the proceedings so the
Individual Defendants could attempt to bring themselves into
compliance with the PRO. Although the NLRB attempted to work
with them, the Individual Defendants continued to be evasive
and failed to bring themselves into compliance with the PRO,
causing the NLRB to move for an order reinstituting the
motion for contempt.
15, 2019, the Court held a show cause hearing. During the
hearing, the Individual Defendants provided the NLRB with the
information required under the PRO, and the NLRB withdrew its
the hearing, Defendants requested that they be given time to
respond to the outstanding Motion for Entry of Default
Judgment. Although Defendants' response was nearly three
months overdue, the Court granted their request and gave them
until June 14, 2019 to file a response. The Court also
advised Defendants that Enjoi could not proceed pro
se and needed legal counsel to appear on its behalf.
14, 2019, Defendants moved for a 30-day extension to respond
to the NLRB's motion, stating that Hamilton had been in
the hospital for seven days and that they needed additional
time to retain legal counsel. The Court granted
15, 2019, the Individual Defendants filed a two-page response
to the Motion for Entry of Default Judgment. The NLRB
the Individual Defendants only filed a response to the
NLRB's Motion for Entry of Default Judgment, the first
paragraph of their response asks the Court to “set
aside the entry of default judgment (sic).” The Clerk
entered default against Defendants, but no default judgment
has entered. Because the Individual Defendants are proceeding
pro se, the Court construes their response liberally
as a request to set aside the Clerk's entries of default.
See Spotts v. United States, 429 F.3d 248, 250 (6th
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55(c), “[t]he court may
set aside an entry of default for good cause.”
Id.; see also O.J. Distrib., Inc. v. Hornell
Brewing Co., 340 F.3d 345, 353 (6th Cir. 2003).
criteria used to determine whether “good cause”
has been shown for purposes of setting aside an entry of
default are whether: (1) the default was willful (i.e.,
defendant's culpable conduct led to the default); (2)
setting aside the default would prejudice plaintiff; and (3)
defendant has a meritorious defense. O.J. Distrib.,
Inc., 340 F.3d at 353 n.3. The Sixth Circuit has
“found that a district court abuses its discretion in
denying a motion to set aside an entry of default when two of
the three factors have been demonstrated by the ...