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Trustees of Plumbers and Pipefitters National Pension Fund v. P and E Services, LLC

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division

July 15, 2014

TRUSTEES OF THE PLUMBERS AND PIPEFITTERS NATIONAL PENSION FUND, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
P AND E SERVICES, LLC d/b/a P & E COMMERCIAL SERVICES, Defendant.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

THERESA CARROLL BUCHANAN, Magistrate Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on Motion for Default Judgment (Dkt. 10) by plaintiffs, the Trustees of the Plumbers and Pipefitters National Pension Fund and the Trustees of the International Training Fund ("plaintiffs"), against defendant P and E Services, LLC d/b/a P & E Commercial Services ("defendant"). When no representative for defendant appeared at the hearing on this motion, the undersigned Magistrate Judge took the matter under advisement.

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Background

Plaintiffs are the trustees of multi-employer employee benefit plans as those terms are defined in Sections 3(3) and 3(37) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA"), 29 U.S.C. §§ 1002(3) and (37). (Compl. ¶¶ 1-2.) Defendant is a corporation that transacts business as a contractor or subcontractor in the plumbing industry. (Compl. ¶ 3.)

Plaintiffs filed this action under Sections 502 and 515 of ERISA, as amended, 29 U.S.C. §§ 1132 and 1145, and Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act ("LMRA"), 29 U.S.C. § 185(a) and (c), which governs suits among parties to enforce provisions of their collective bargaining agreements. (Compl. ¶ 4; Mem. Supp. Mot. Default J. 1.) Plaintiffs seek damages pursuant to the Restated Agreement and Declaration of Trust establishing the National Pension Fund and the Restated Agreement establishing the International Training Fund ("the Trust Agreements"), which have established the Funds and which bind defendant, and pursuant to defendant's collective bargaining agreement with United Association Local Union No. 441, which incorporates defendant's obligations under the Trust Agreements.[1] (Mot. Default J. ¶ 1; Sweeney Declarations ¶¶ 1-3 ("Mem. Supp. Mot. Default J. Ex. A, Ex. B").)

B. Jurisdiction and Venue

Jurisdiction and venue over ERISA and LMRA cases such as this are conferred upon the Court by 29 U.S.C. §§ 1132, 1145 and 185, which provide that an action may be brought in any district court of the United States in which the relevant benefit plan is administered, where the alleged breach took place, or where a defendant resides or may be found. In this case, jurisdiction and venue are proper because each Fund is administered in this District. (Compl. ¶¶ 1-2.)

C. Service of Process

On April 30, 2014, plaintiffs' private process server served Peter Ratcliffe, registered agent of defendant, with a copy of the Complaint and Summons. (Dkt. 5; Mem. Supp. Mot. Default J. 1-2.) Therefore, service was proper under 29 U.S.C. § 1132(e)(2), which provides that process may be served in any district where a defendant resides or may be found.

D. Grounds for Default Judgment

Defendant has not appeared, answered, or otherwise filed any responsive pleadings in this case. On July 1, 2014, the Clerk of this Court entered default pursuant to plaintiffs' Request for Entry of Default and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55. (Dkt. 9.) Plaintiffs filed a Motion for Default Judgment on July 1, 2014. (Dkt. 10.)

II. FINDINGS

Based on the Complaint, the Motion for Default Judgment, the Declarations of William T. Sweeney, Jr., the Declaration of John R. Harney, and the documents submitted in proof of damages, the ...


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