United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division
BOARD OF TRUSTEES, NATIONAL STABILIZATION AGREEMENT OF SHEET M INDUSTRY TRUST FUND, et al., Plaintiffs,
MIKE BEVILACQUA SHEET Metal, Inc., Defendant.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
THERESA CARROLL BUCHANAN, Magistrate Judge.
This matter came before the Court on plaintiffs' Motion for Judgment by Default by the Court Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55(b)(2). (Dkt. 7.) When no representative for defendant appeared at the hearing on July 25, 2014, the undersigned Magistrate Judge took the matter under advisement to issue this Report and Recommendation.
Plaintiffs are the Board of Trustees of the National Stabilization Agreement of the Sheet M Industry Trust Fund ("SASMI"), the Board of Trustees of the Sheet M Workers' National Pension Fund ("NPF"), the Board of Trustees of the International Training Institute for the Sheet M and Air Conditioning Industry ("ITI"), the Board of Trustees of the Sheet M Workers' International Association Scholarship Fund ("SMWIASF"), the Sheet M Occupational Health Institute Trust ("SMOHIT"), and the National Energy Management Institute Committee ("NEMIC") (collectively, "plaintiffs" or "Funds"). SASMI, NPF, ITI, and SMWIASF are herein referenced as the "ERISA Funds, " while NEMIC and SMOHIT are the "Non-ERISA Funds." (Compl. ¶ 8.) NPF, ITI, SMWIASF, SMOHIT, and NEMIC area also referenced as the "National Funds." (Id. ¶ 13.) Plaintiffs are employee benefit plans and trust funds established and maintained under 29 U.S.C. § 186(c) and 29 U.S.C. § 1002.
Defendant is a limited liability company and employer in an industry affecting commerce that does business with the plaintiff Funds. (Id. ¶ 15.) At all times relevant to this action, defendant was a party to collective bargaining agreement ("the labor contract") with Sheet M Workers' International Association, Local Union No. 44 ("the Union"). (Id. ¶¶ 15-17; Shaw Decl. ¶ 4 (Dkt. 8-2); Mem. Supp. Mot. Def. J. 2-3.) Defendant also agreed to abide by the terms of the agreements and declarations of trust ("Trust Agreements") of the ERISA Funds. (Id. ¶ 18.)
Plaintiffs filed this action under §§ 502(g)(2) and 515 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA"), as amended, 29 U.S.C. §§ 1132(g)(2) and 1145, and Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act ("LMRA"), 29 U.S.C. § 185, which govern suits among parties to enforce provisions of their collective bargaining agreements. They seek unpaid contributions, interest, liquidated damages, injunctive relief, and attorneys' fees and costs pursuant to ERISA, LMRA, and the collective bargaining agreement with the Union.
B. Jurisdiction and Venue
Jurisdiction and venue are conferred upon this Court by 29 U.S.C. §§ 1132 and 1451. Where an action is brought under Sections 502 and 515 of ERISA in a district court of the United States, it may be brought in the district where the plan is administered, where the breach took place, or where a defendant resides or may be found. 29 U.S.C. § 1132(e)(2). Moreover, a suit for breach of contract between an employer and a labor organization representing employees in an industry affecting commerce may be brought in federal district court, regardless of the amount in controversy or citizenship of the parties. 29 U.S.C. § 185(a). The plaintiff Funds bringing this action are administered in this district. (Compl. ¶ 9.)
This Court has personal jurisdiction over defendant pursuant to the decision in Bd. of Trs., Sheet M Workers Nat'l Pens. Fund v. McD Metals, Inc. , 964 F.Supp. 1040, 1045 (E.D. Va. 1997). Defendant does business with plaintiffs that is sufficient to create personal jurisdiction over defendant in this district, and a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred in this district.
C. Service of Process
On June 3, 2014, plaintiffs' private process server served defendant by delivering a copy of the original Complaint and Summons to Mike Bevilacqua, defendant's registered agent, at 916 Capouse Avenue, Scranton, PA, XXXXX-XXXX. (Dkt. 4.) Therefore, service was proper under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 4(e) and 4(h) and 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. 6.) ...