United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division
Coastal Sunbelt Produce, LLC, Plaintiff, represented by Blake
Alan Surbey, McCarron & Diess.
Coastal Sunbelt Produce, LLC, Plaintiff, represented by Mary
Jean Fassett, McCarron & Diess.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
THERESA CARROLL BUCHANAN, Magistrate Judge.
matter comes before the Court on plaintiff's Motion for
Entry of Default Judgment. (Dkt. 12.) After a representative
for defendants failed to respond to plaintiff's Motion or
to appear at the hearing before Judge Anderson on July 15,
2016, the undersigned took plaintiff's Motion under
Coastal Sunbelt Produce, LLC, a Maryland corporation with its
principal place of business in Maryland, is a buyer and
seller of wholesale quantities of interstate produce. (Compl.
Â¶ 3.) Defendant Saldivar & Associates, Inc., doing business
as R&R Catering ("R&R"), is a Virginia corporation
with its principal place of business in Virginia that
purchases wholesale quantities of interstate produce. (Id. at
Â¶ 4.) Defendants Robert P. Saldivar ("Mr.
Saldivar") and Michelle M. Bloxton ("Ms.
Bloxton") (collectively "the individual
defendants") are and were shareholders, officers, and/or
directors of R&R. (Id.)
October 16, 2015, and December 19, 2015, plaintiff sold and
delivered wholesale quantities of produce and other goods,
which had been shipped or moved in interstate commerce or in
contemplation thereof, to defendants. (Id. at Â¶ 6.)
Defendants accepted these goods but have not paid for them.
(Id. at Â¶Â¶ 6-7.) Consequently, on April, 22, 2016, plaintiff
filed this action under Section 5 of the Perishable
Agricultural Commodities Act ("PACA"), 7 U.S.C. Â§
499e, to obtain declaratory relief and enforce the trust
provision of the PACA. (Id. at Â¶Â¶ 1, 5.) Plaintiff also
sought to enforce its contract with R&R and the Personal
Guaranty signed by Mr. Saldivar and Ms. Bloxton. (Id. at Â¶Â¶
15-16, 32-35.) Plaintiff now seeks its damages, interest
thereon, and attorneys' fees and costs. (Mot. Default J.
Jurisdiction and Venue
the Court can render default judgment, it must have both
subject matter and personal jurisdiction over the defaulting
Court has subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Â§
1331, which provides that district courts shall have original
jurisdiction over all civil actions arising under the
Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.
Plaintiff's federal claims arise under the Perishable
Agricultural Commodities Act, 7 U.S.C. Â§ 499a et seq. (Compl.
Â¶ 1.) Further, this Court has supplemental jurisdiction over
plaintiff's state law claims for breach of contract
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Â§ 1367 because they form part of the
same case or controversy and share a common nucleus of
operative facts with plaintiff's federal law claims.
Therefore, federal question jurisdiction exists.
Court has personal jurisdiction over defendants because
defendant R&R is a Virginia corporation and defendants Robert
Saldivar and Michelle Bloxton are residents of Virginia.
(Compl. 1-2.) Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Â§ 1391(b), venue is
proper in this judicial district because all defendants are
residents of Virginia and defendant R&R is located in this
district. (Compl. Â¶Â¶ 2, 4.)
Service of Process
general rule, a defendant must be served with the summons and
complaint filed with the court. Fed.R.Civ.P. 4. On May 2,
2016, plaintiff's private process server served defendant
Michelle Bloxton by leaving a copy of the Summons and
Complaint at her residence with her son, Connor Bloxton, a
person of suitable age and discretion who resides there.
(Dkt. 4.) On May 4, 2016, plaintiff's private process
server personally served defendant Robert Saldivar with a
copy of the Summons and Complaint. (Id.) Mr. Saldivar, who is
the Registered Agent of defendant R&R and is designated by
law to accept service of process for the corporation, also
accepted service of process on behalf of R&R. (Id.)
Therefore, service was proper under Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure 4(e) and 4(h).
Grounds for Default Judgment
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides for entry of
default judgment when "a party against whom a judgment
for affirmative relief is sought has failed to plead or
otherwise defend." Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(a). Defendants have
not appeared, answered, or otherwise filed any responsive
pleadings in this case. On May 26, 2016, the Clerk of this
Court entered default as to defendant Michelle Bloxton
pursuant to plaintiff's Request for Entry of Default and
Rule 55(a). (Dkt. 9.) Similarly, on May 27, 2016, the Clerk
of this Court entered default as to defendants R&R and Robert
Saldivar. (Dkt. 11.) On June 16, 2016, plaintiff filed a
Motion for Entry of Default Judgment. (Dkt. 12.) Judge
Anderson held a hearing on plaintiff's Motion on July 15,
2016, at which no representative for defendants appeared.
(Dkt. 16.) Finding this matter uncontested, the undersigned
took plaintiff's Motion under advisement to issue this
Report and Recommendation.
FINDINGS OF FACT
upon a full review of the pleadings and the record in this
case, the undersigned Magistrate Judge finds that plaintiff
has established the following facts.
Coastal Sunbelt Produce, LLC, is a Maryland corporation with
its principal place of business in Maryland. (Compl. Â¶ 3;
Wright Decl. Â¶ 4.) Defendant Saldivar & Associates, Inc.,
doing business as R&R Catering ("R&R"), is a
Virginia corporation with its principal place of business in
Springfield, Virginia. (Compl. Â¶ 4; Wright Decl. Â¶ 6.)
Defendants Mr. Saldivar and Ms. Bloxton are and were
shareholders, officers, ...