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Worldwide Machinery Ltd. v. Chaznline Construction, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Montana, Billings Division

October 22, 2019

WORLDWIDE MACHINERY LTD. d/b/a WORLDWIDE MACHINERY PIPELINE DIVISION, Plaintiff,
v.
CHAZNLINE CONSTRUCTION, INC., Defendant.

          ORDER ENTERING DEFAULT JUDGMENT

          SUSAN P. WATTERS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is Plaintiff Worldwide Machinery Ltd.'s (Worldwide) motion for entry of default judgment. (Doc. 7.) For the following reasons, the Court grants Worldwide's motion and enters a default judgment in its favor against Defendant Chaznline Construction, Inc. (Chaznline).

         I. Background

         Worldwide filed a complaint against Chaznline alleging breach of contract and account stated (Counts I and II), or in the alternative, unjust enrichment (Count III). (Doc. 1 at ¶¶ 16-31.) Worldwide is a Texas company with its principal place of business in Colorado. (Id. at ¶ 1.) Upon Worldwide's information and belief, Chaznline is a Montana corporation with its principal place of business in Sidney, Montana. (Id. at ¶ 2.)

         Worldwide and Chaznline entered into a written rental contract (the "Contract") where Worldwide agreed to provide Chaznline a 2015 Superior SPD 160 Padding Machine (the "Machine"). (Id. at ¶5, 1-1.) The Contract required Chaznline to pay Worldwide $25, 000 for each four-week period it rented the Machine. It also required Chaznline to pay: 1) any damage to the Machine while it was in use; 2) fuel surcharges in the event the Machine was not returned with a full tank of gas; 3) freight mobilization; 4) an interest charge of 1.5% per month added to any invoice more than 30 days overdue; and 5) reasonable attorneys' fees and expenses in the event Worldwide needed to initiate legal proceedings to collect unpaid amounts under the Contract. (Id. at ¶¶ 6-9, 1-1.)

         Chaznline rented the Maching for six four-week periods, accruing $150, 000 in rental charges. (Doc. 1 at ¶ 10, 1-1, 1-2.) While renting the Machine, Chaznline ordered replacement parts from Worldwide totalling $861.89. (Doc. 1 at ¶ 11, 1-2 at 9.) When Chaznline returned the Machine, the Machine did not have a full tank of gas, and Worldwide assed fuel charges of $137.50. (Doc. 1 at ¶ 12, 1-2 at 5.) Worldwide also charged Chaznline $1, 249.02 for necessary repairs after the Machine's return. (Doc. 1 at ¶ 13, 1-2 at 7.) In total, Worldwide charged Chaznline $160, 383.41. (Doc. 1 at ¶ 14.) Chaznline never objected to this amount. (Id. at ¶ 25.) Chaznline sent Worldwide a payment for $79, 136.25, but it failed to pay the remainder. (Id. at ¶ 15.) Worldwide therefore filed a complaint for the amount Chaznline still owed: $81, 247.16. (Id. at¶ 15.)

         On September 8, 2019, Worldwide successfully served the complaint with a summons on Chaznline by delivering it to Chaznline's Vice President in Fairview, Montana. (Docs. 3, 8 at ¶¶ 5-6.) The summons advised Chaznline it had 21 days to respond and if it failed to do so, a judgment of default would be entered against it. (Doc. 2.) Chaznline failed to respond. On October 7, 2019, Worldwide filed a motion for entry of default (Doc. 4), the Clerk entered default against Chaznline (Doc. 6), and Worldwide then filed the instant motion for default judgment (Doc. 7). Worldwide states Chaznline now owes it $84, 343.16 ($81, 247.16 plus $2, 631 in attorneys' fees and $465 in costs and disbursements). (Doc. 7 at ¶¶ 10-11.)

         II. Legal Standard

         Upon entry of default, the factual allegations of the complaint, except those relating to the amount of damages, are taken as true. TeleVideo Sys., Inc. v. Heidenthal, 826 F.2d 915, 918 (9th Cir. 1987).

         III. Discussion

         The Court's jurisdiction over this action is proper because there is complete diversity of the parties and the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000. 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Venue is proper in the Billings Division of the United States District Court for the District of Montana since Chaznline's principal place of business is in Sidney, Montana. § 1391(b)(1).

         Fed. R. Civ. P. 55(b)(2) governs applications to the Court for default judgment. The Court's decision whether to enter a default judgment is discretionary. Aldabe v. Aldabe, 616 F.2d 1089, 1092 (9th Cir. 1980). In making the determination, the Court considers the following factors:

(1) the possibility of prejudice to the plaintiff,
(2) the merits of plaintiff s substantive ...

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