United States District Court, E.D. Virginia
R. ALEXANDER ACOSTA, Secretary of Labor, United Stales Department of Labor Plaintiff,
RUBINS COMPANY MJ, INC., et al., Defendants.
PROPOSED FINDINGS OF FACT AND
F. ANDERSON, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the court on a motion for default judgment
filed by plaintiff R. Alexander Acosta, Secretary of Labor,
United States Department of Labor ("plaintiff' or
the Secretary) against defendants Angelica Silvina
Correa, individually and as the sole owner of Rubins Company
MJ, Inc.; and Edmundo Rubins, individually (collectively
defendants). (Docket no. 15). Pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1)(C), the undersigned magistrate judge is
fling with the court his proposed findings of fact and
recommendations, a copy of which will be provided to all
January 6, 2017, plaintiff filed this action against
defendants alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards
Act ("FLSA"). (Docket no. 1). On September 26,
2017, plaintiff notified the Clerk of Court that he had
served the individual defendants on February 21, 2017, but
was unable to serve the corporate defendant. (Docket nos. 5,
7-9, 11). On September 27, 2017, plaintiff filed a request
for entry of default against defendants (Docket no. 6), which
the Clerk of Court entered on September 28, 2017 as to
Angelica Silvina Correa and Edmundo Rubins for failure to
plead or otherwise defend (Docket no. 10). On January 3,
2018, the court ordered plaintiff to promptly file a motion
for default judgment, an accompanying memorandum in support,
and a notice setting the hearing for February 9, 2018 at
10:00 a.m. (Docket no. 13). On January 31, 2018, plaintiff
filed this motion for default judgment and noticed the
hearing for March 2, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. (Docket nos. 15-17).
Plaintiff served his motion for default judgment and
exhibits, memorandum in support, proposed order of default
judgment, and notice of hearing on defendants on January 31,
2018. (Docket no. 18). The courthouse was closed on March 2,
2018 due to inclement weather, and the hearing was
rescheduled for March 9, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. (Docket no. 22).
Defendants were mailed a copy of the court's order
rescheduling the hearing. At the hearing on March 9, 2018,
counsel for the plaintiff appeared, but no one appeared on
behalf of defendants.
following facts are established by the complaint (Docket no.
1) ("Compl."), plaintiffs motion for default
judgment (Docket no. 15), and the memorandum in support of
plaintiffs motion for default judgment (Docket no. 17).
Rubins Company MJ, Inc. d/b/a Rubins Company MJ was
incorporated in Virginia in 2010 under the ownership of
defendant Angelica Silvina Correa. (Compl. ¶ II). Rubins
Company MJ, Inc. cleaned office buildings and residential
apartments following their construction and renovation, and
employed about forty employees on average. (Compl. ¶
II). Defendant Angelica Silvina Correa was the sole owner of
Rubins Company MJ, Inc. and directed the work of the
employees, hired employees, and determined their rates of
pay. (Compl. ¶ HI). Defendant Edmundo Rubins also
directed the work of the employees, hired employees, and
determined their rates of pay. (Compl. ¶ IV). From
January 6, 2014 to January 5, 2016, defendants failed to keep
accurate records of many of their employees' wages,
failed to pay 15 of 38 employees at wage rates not less than
$7.25 an hour, and failed to pay all 38 employees at one and
one-half times their regular rate of pay for hours worked
over forty in a week. (Compl. ¶¶ VII-IX; Docket no.
17 at 5-6).
Findings and Recommendations
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides for the
entry of a default judgment when "a party against whom a
judgment for affirmative relief is sought has failed to plead
or otherwise defend." Based on the failure to plead or
otherwise defend against the action, the Clerk of Court has
entered a default as to Angelica Silvina Correa and Edmundo
Rubins. (Docket no. 10).
defendant in default admits the factual allegations in the
complaint. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(b)(6) ("An
allegation-other than one relating to the amount of
damages-is admitted if a responsive pleading is required and
the allegation is not denied."); see also
GlobalSantaFe Corp. v. Globalsantafe.com, 250 F.Supp.2d
610, 612 n.3 (E.D. Va. 2003) ("Upon default, facts
alleged in the complaint are deemed admitted and the
appropriate inquiry is whether the facts as alleged state a
claim."). Rule 55(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure provides that a court may conduct a hearing to
determine the amount of damages, establish the truth of any
allegation by evidence, or investigate any other matter when
necessary to enter or effectuate judgment.
must have both subject matter and personal jurisdiction over
a defaulting party before it can render a default judgment.
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331, "district courts
shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising
under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United
States." Similarly, 28 U.S.C. § 1337(a) provides
that "district courts shall have original jurisdiction
of any civil action or proceeding arising under any Act of
Congress regulating commerce or protecting trade and commerce
against restraints and monopolies." The FLSA itself also
states that any action to recover unpaid minimum or overtime
wages may be maintained "in any Federal or State court
of competent jurisdiction." 29 U.S.C. § 216(b).
Since this action arises from a law of the United States, the
FLSA, and further arises from an Act of Congress regulating
commerce, this court has subject matter jurisdiction over
this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1337.
Additionally, this court has subject matter jurisdiction over
this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1345, which provides
that "the district courts shall have original
jurisdiction of all civil actions, suits or proceedings
commenced by the United States, or by any agency or officer
thereof expressly authorized to sue by Act of Congress."
court also has personal jurisdiction over the defendants. As
stated in the complaint and clarified in plaintiffs motion,
defendants Angelica Silvina Correa and Edmundo Rubins are
residents of Herndon, Virginia. (Compl. ¶ II; Docket no.
17 at 4). Venue is also proper in this court pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1391(b) because a substantial part of the
events or omissions giving rise to plaintiffs claims occurred
in this district. (Compl. ¶ II).
these reasons, the undersigned recommends a finding that this
court has subject matter jurisdiction over this action, that
this court has personal jurisdiction over the defendants, and
that venue is proper in this court.
to Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(e)(2), an individual within a judicial
district of the United States may be served by delivering a
copy of the summons and complaint to the individual
personally. On January 9, 2017, summonses were issued for
service on Rubins Company MJ, Inc.; Angelica Silvina Correa;
and Edmundo Rubins at 1129 Artie Quill Road, Herndon,
Virginia 20170. (Docket no. 2). The return of service filed
September 27, 2017 indicates that a private process server
left the summons and complaint with the individual
defendants' son, Favian Rubins, on February 21, 2017 at
their residence at 1129 Artie Quill Road, Herndon, Virginia
20170, noting that they would be out of town until March 2 or
3, 2017. (Docket ...