United States District Court, W.D. Texas, San Antonio Division
ORDER ON MOTIONS FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT
RODRIGUEZ UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
date, the Court considered Plaintiff's motions for
default judgment against Oceanic Protective Services, LLC
(docket no. 17) and against Stephen R. Hill and Victorio E.
Castillo (docket no. 22). After careful consideration,
Plaintiff's motions are GRANTED.
Plaintiff First National Bank of Pennsylvania filed its
complaint on February 15, 2019, alleging Defendants Oceanic
Protective Services, LLC (“Oceanic”), Stephen
Hill, and Victorio Castillo defaulted on two promissory
notes. Docket no. 1.
September 30, 2015, Oceanic executed Small Business
Administration Notes of $510, 000 (“Note 1”) and
$75, 000 (“Note 2”) and delivered them to a
predecessor to Plaintiff, Yadkin Bank. Id. at
3. The same day, Hill and Castillo each executed agreements
unconditionally guaranteeing payment of both notes, rendering
themselves jointly and severally liable for the obligation.
Id. at 4. Plaintiff alleges Defendants last made the
required monthly payments on January 30, 2018, and on July
24, 2018, Plaintiff notified Defendants of their defaults.
Id. at 7. This Default Notice informed Defendants
that Plaintiff was accelerating the amounts owed under the
notes. Id. Plaintiff alleges Defendants have not
paid and now owe $476, 461.51 on Note 1 and $67, 517.39 on
Note 2. Id. at 8.
brings claims for breach of contract against Oceanic and
guarantors Hill and Castillo. On February 27, 2019, Plaintiff
filed a return of service indicating Oceanic was served,
docket no. 9, and after Oceanic did not answer or otherwise
respond the Court ordered Plaintiff to move for entry of
default and default judgment, docket no. 10. Plaintiff moved
for entry of default against Oceanic, docket no. 11, and then
for default judgment, docket no. 17.
Hill and Castillo, Plaintiff filed a motion for substituted
service after eight unsuccessful attempts to serve these
defendants. Docket no. 12. This motion included a known
residence at which Plaintiff believed Hill and Castillo could
be found. Id. The Court granted this motion and
ordered that the summons be left with anyone over the age of
16 at this address and that a copy be mailed First Class to
this address. Docket no. 13. Plaintiff filed returns of
service for Hill and Castillo, docket nos. 14, 15, and moved
for entry of default, docket no. 18. Plaintiff then moved for
default judgment against Hill and Castillo. Docket no. 22.
to Rule 55(a), a default judgment is proper “[w]hen a
party against whom a judgment for affirmative relief is
sought has failed to plead or otherwise defend.”
However, in considering any motion for default judgment, a
court must examine jurisdiction, liability, and damages. The
Court examines each in turn.
party is seeking entry of default judgment under Rule 55,
“the district court has an affirmative duty to look
into its jurisdiction both over the subject matter and the
parties.” System Pipe & Supply, Inc. v. M/V
Viktor Kurnatovskiy, 242 F.3d 322, 324 (5th Cir. 2001)
(quoting Williams v. Life Savings and Loan, 802 F.2d
1200, 1203 (10th Cir. 1986)).
courts have subject matter jurisdiction over any civil action
that involves a question of federal law, or where there is
diversity of citizenship between the parties and the amount
in controversy exceeds $75, 000. For diversity jurisdiction
to be proper, the “court must be certain that all
plaintiffs have a different citizenship from all
defendants.” Getty Oil Corp., a Div. of Texaco,
Inc. v. Insur. Co. of N.A., 841 F.2d 1254, 1258 (5th
Cir. 1988). The party asserting federal jurisdiction must
“distinctly and affirmatively allege” the
citizenship of the parties. Howery v. Allstate Ins.
Co., 243 F.3d 912, 919 (5th Cir. 2001); see also
Mullins v. Test America, Inc., 564 F.3d 386, 397 (5th
corporation is a citizen of its state of incorporation and
the state where its principal place of business is located,
28 U.S.C. § 1332(c)(1), and a natural person is a
citizen of the state where the person is domiciled. The
citizenship of an LLC, however, depends on the citizenship of
all its members. Tewari De-Ox Systems, Inc. v. Mountain
States/Rosen, LLC, 757 F.3d 481, 483 (5th Cir. 2014);
Harvey v. Grey Wolf Drilling Co., 542 F.3d 1077,
1080 (5th Cir. 2008) (“All federal appellate courts
that have addressed the issue have reached the same
conclusion: like ...