United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
HAMDIJA (FRANK) NASUFI, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated Plaintiff,
KING CABLE INC, and MANUEL GONZALES Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
J. BOYLE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Plaintiff Frank Nasufi's Motion for Default
Judgment against Defendant King Cable Inc. Doc. 79. For the
following reasons, the Court GRANTS in part and
DENIES in part Plaintiff's Motion.
a collective-action case brought pursuant to the Fair Labor
Standards Act (FLSA). Nasufi alleges that he was employed by
King Cable as a cable technician from December 2013 to June
2015, during which time he was not paid for all hours worked
and was not paid at the lawful regular or overtime rates.
Doc. 47, Am. Compl., ¶¶ 2-5, 22. Nasufi also claims
that King Cable's violations of the FLSA were willful.
Id. ¶ 6. Plaintiff's suit includes at least
sixty-two opt-in plaintiffs who make the same claims.
Id. ¶¶ 49-50; Docs. 28-42, 44 Notice of
Filing Consent Forms. King Cable filed its answer on November
30, 2015. Doc. 14, Answer. On February 3, 2017,
Defendants' counsel filed a Motion to Withdraw, Doc. 54,
which the Court granted after warning King Cable that,
because it was a corporation, it could not proceed without an
attorney. Doc. 58, Order; see Doc. 63 Order, 1
(“the Court held a hearing to resolve Defendants'
counsel Motion to Withdraw” during which “[t]he
Court . . . warned King Cable's officer that . . . it
could not proceed without an attorney). Defendants'
counsel also withdrew as to Defendant Manuel Gonzales, but as
an individual Mr. Gonzales was allowed to proceed pro se. Mr.
Gonzales then filed for bankruptcy, which stayed proceedings
against him. Doc. 65, Notice of Bankruptcy.
King Cable's counsel withdrew, King Cable has failed to
retain new counsel or to respond or otherwise defend itself.
Therefore, Nasufi moved to strike King Cable's answer.
Doc. 59, Mot. to Strike. The Court granted Nasufi's
Motion to Strike and ordered him to file a Motion for Default
Judgment. Doc. 63, Order. Nasufi filed his Motion for Default
Judgment on May 26, 2017, Doc. 79, and the clerk entered
default the same day, Doc. 78. Nasufi's Motion is ripe
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure authorizes the Court
to enter a default judgment against a defendant who has
failed to plead or otherwise defend upon motion of the
plaintiff. Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(b). That being said,
“[d]efault judgments are a drastic remedy, not favored
by the Federal Rules and resorted to by courts only in
extreme situations.” Sun Bank of Ocala v. Pelican
Homestead & Sav. Ass'n, 874 F.2d 274, 276 (5th
Cir. 1989). A party is not entitled to a default judgment
merely because the defendant is technically in default.
Ganther v. Ingle, 75 F.3d 207, 212 (5th Cir. 1996).
“Rather, a default judgment is generally committed to
the discretion of the district court.” United
States v. 1998 Freightliner Vin #: 1FUYCZYB3WP886986,
548 F.Supp.2d 381, 384 (W.D. Tex. 2008).
determining whether a default judgment should be entered
against a defendant, courts have developed a three-part
analysis. Id. First, courts consider whether the
entry of default judgment is procedurally warranted. See
Lindsey v. Prive Corp., 161 F.3d 886, 893 (5th Cir.
1998). The factors relevant to this inquiry include:
 whether material issues of fact are at issue;  whether
there has been substantial prejudice;  whether the grounds
for default are clearly established; [4 ]whether the default
was caused by a good faith mistake or excusable neglect; 
the harshness of a default judgment; and  whether the
court would think itself obliged to set aside the default on
the defendant's motion.
courts assess the substantive merits of the plaintiff's
claims and determine whether there is a sufficient basis in
the pleadings for the judgment. See Nishimatsu Constr.
Co., Ltd. v. Hous. Nat'l Bank, 515 F.2d 1200, 1206
(5th Cir. 1975) (noting that “default is not treated as
an absolute confession by the defendant of his liability and
of the plaintiff's right to recover”). In doing so,
courts are to assume that due to its default, the defendant
admits all well-pleaded facts in the plaintiff's
complaint. Id. However, a “defendant is not
held to admit facts that are not-well pleaded or to admit
conclusions of law.” Id.
courts determine “what form of relief, if any, the
[plaintiff] should receive.” 1998
Freightliner, 548 F.Supp.2d at 384. Normally, damages
are not to be awarded without a hearing or a demonstration by
detailed affidavits establishing the necessary facts. See
United Artists Corp. v. Freeman, 605 F.2d 854, 857 (5th
Cir. 1979). But if the amount of damages can be determined
with mathematical calculation by ...