United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION ORDER
J. BOYLF, UMTED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is the United States of America's Motion for
Default Judgment. Doc. 8. For the reasons that follow, the
Motion is GRANTED.
United States of America (the Government) originally filed
this lawsuit against Defendant Charlotte A. Cloude on March
24, 2017. Doc. 1, Compl. The Government alleges that
Defendant has defaulted on student-loan payments and is
therefore indebted to the United States for the principal and
interest on those loans. See generally Id. Defendant
was served with the summons and complaint on May 11, 2017.
Doc. 5, Aff. of Service. Despite having been served,
Defendant neither submitted an answer nor otherwise made an
appearance in this case. Accordingly, the Government
requested an entry of default as to Defendant on June 5,
2017, Doc. 6, which the Clerk of Court entered the same day.
Doc. 7. That same day, the Government filed the present
Motion for Default Judgment against Defendant to recover the
amount due on Defendant's loans, as well as pre- and
post-judgment interest. Doc. 8. To date, Defendant has not
made an appearance in this case.
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(a)-(b). That 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.
factors relevant to this inquiry include:
 whether material issues of fact exist;  whether there
has been substantial prejudice;  whether the grounds for
default are clearly established;  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
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. But the
“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. See 1998 Freightliner Vin #:
1FUYCZYB3WP886986, 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 ...