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Vincent v. Stewart

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma

April 11, 2017

GAIL VINCENT, Plaintiff,
v.
BELINDA STEWART, et al, Defendants.

          ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR DEFAULT AND MOTION FOR CONTEMPT

          Karen L. Strombom United States Magistrate Judge

         This matter comes before the Court on plaintiff's motion for default (Dkt. 62) and motion for contempt against defendant Joseph Williamson (Dkt. 63). Having carefully considered those motions, defendant Williamnson's response to plaintiff's motions, plaintiff's reply thereto, [1] and balance of the record, the Court finds both motions should be denied.

         Plaintiff has brought his motion for default under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (FRCP) 55, which provides in relevant part:

(a) Entering a Default. 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.
(b) Entering a Default Judgment.
(1) By the Clerk. If the plaintiff's claim is for a sum certain or a sum that can be made certain by computation, the clerk--on the plaintiff's request, with an affidavit showing the amount due--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.
(2) By the Court. In all other cases, the party must apply to the court for a default judgment. . . .

Id. “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).

         The “[f]actors 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 ...

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