United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division
REPORT & RECOMMENDATION
Michael S. Nachmanoff United States Magistrate Judge.
matter comes before the Court on Plaintiffs' Motion for
Default Judgment (Dkt. No. 8). Having reviewed the record and
pleadings, the undersigned Magistrate Judge recommends
entering default judgment in the Plaintiffs' favor for
the reasons that follow.
November 3, 2017, Plaintiffs Hartford Underwriters Insurance
Company, Trumbull Insurance Company, Sentinel Insurance
Company, Ltd., Hartford Casualty Insurance Company, and Twin
City Fire Insurance Company filed a Complaint to recover
damages from Defendant Davis Paige Management Systems
LLC's failure to pay premiums on two insurance policies.
See Compl. ¶¶ 1, 8-9, 14, 21 (Dkt. No. 1).
Plaintiffs allege that at Defendant's request, they
issued a Workers Compensation and Employers Liability
Insurance Policy for the following periods: June 20, 2014 to
June 20, 2015, June 20, 2015 to June 20, 2016, and June 20,
2016 to June 20, 2017, and a Commercial Package Insurance
Policy for the following periods: June 20, 2015 to June 20,
2016 and June 20, 2016 to June 20, 2017. Id. ¶
8. Plaintiffs cancelled both policies on December 24, 2016.
to these policies, Defendant contracted to pay premiums to
Plaintiffs, some of which were defined and others of which
were dependent on the results of an audit, the number of
employees, and the employees' responsibilities and work
classifications. Id. ¶ 9. Upon the conclusion
of each policy period, Plaintiffs conducted an audit of
Defendant's records, resulting in Defendant owing
additional premiums in the amount of $150, 190.44, reflected
in a bill dated February 27, 2017, sent to Defendant.
Id. ¶ 11; see Final Insurance Bill
(Dkt. No. 1-1). Defendant did not object to or dispute this
balance on the insurance policies but failed to pay the
amount past due despite Plaintiffs' repeated requests.
Compl. ¶¶ 13-14, 18-21. Plaintiffs now seek
recovery of $150, 190.44, exclusive of pre- and post-judgment
interest, attorneys' fees, and costs, from Defendant.
Id. ¶¶ 14, 21.
November 9, 2017, Plaintiffs' process server personally
served Defendant through its registered agent, Michael E. P.
Davis, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(c), (e),
and (h). (Dkt. No. 4). See Business Entity Details
for Davis-Paige Management Systems LLC, Virginia State
Mr. Davis as Defendant's registered agent). Defendant did not
file a response within 21 days of receipt (i.e.
November 30, 2017) (Dkt. Nos. 4-8). On January 12, 2018, the
Clerk entered a default against Defendant (Dkt. No. 7). Two
weeks later, Plaintiffs filed this Motion for Default
Judgment (Dkt. No. 8).
Service of Process, Jurisdiction, and Venue
docket reflects that Defendant has been properly served
pursuant to Federal Rule 4(h)(1)(B). See Summons
Return Executed (Dkt. No. 4); Burns Aff. ¶¶ 3-4
(Dkt. No. 6); Pls.' Mot. for Default J. ¶¶ 9-10
(Dkt. No. 8). This Court has subject matter jurisdiction
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332, as Plaintiffs are seeking
damages in excess of $75, 000, exclusive of interest and
costs, and the Parties are citizens of different
states. Compl. ¶ 6; Pls.' Mot. for Default
J. ¶ 7. Plaintiffs are citizens of Connecticut and
Indiana, and Defendant is a citizen of
Virginia. Compl. ¶¶ 2-5.
Court also has personal jurisdiction over Defendant.
Virginia's long-arm statute authorizes the exercise of
personal jurisdiction over Defendant if it satisfies the
minimum contacts test under the Due Process Clause of the
Fourteenth Amendment. See CFA Inst. v. Inst. of Chartered
Fin. Analysts of India, 551 F.3d 285, 292 (4th Cir.
2009). As stated in the Complaint, Defendant is a Virginia
corporation with its principal place of business in Virginia.
See Compl. ¶ 5. Venue is proper pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1391(b) because a substantial part of the
events or omissions giving rise to the claim against
Defendants occurred within the Eastern District of Virginia.
See Id. ¶ 7.
judgment is appropriate if the well-pled allegations of the
complaint establish that the plaintiff is entitled to relief
and the defendant has failed to plead or defend within the
time frame set out in the rules. Fed.R.Civ.P. 55; see
Music City Music v. Alfa Foods, Ltd., 616 F.Supp. 1001,
1002 (E.D. Va. 1985). By defaulting, the defendant admits the
plaintiff's well-pled allegations of fact, which then
provide the basis for judgment. See Partington v. Am.
Int'l Specialty Lines Ins. Co., 443 F.3d 334, 341
(4th Cir. 2006); Ryan v. Homecomings Fin. Network,
253 F.3d 778, 780 (4th Cir. 2001) (quoting Nishimatsu
Constr. Co. v. Houston Nat'l Bank, 515 F.2d 1200,
1206 (5th Cir. 1975)). Nevertheless, “‘[a] court
confronted with a motion for default judgment is required to
exercise sound judicial discretion in determining whether the
judgment should be entered, and the moving party is not
entitled to default judgment as a matter of
right.'” ReadyCap Lending, LLC v. Servicemaster
Prof'l Cleaning, Inc., No. 2:15-cv-451, 2016 WL
1714877, at *2 (E.D. Va. Apr. 12, 2016) (quoting EMI
April Music, Inc. v. White, 618 F.Supp.2d 497, 505 (E.D.
Va. 2009)). Here, because Defendant has not answered or
otherwise timely responded, the well-pled allegations of fact
contained in the Complaint are deemed to be admitted.
examined the record, the undersigned Magistrate Judge finds
that the well-pled allegations of fact contained in the
Complaint, and supported by Plaintiffs' Motion for
Default Judgment, establish that Defendant breached its
agreement to pay premiums on two insurance policies.