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Mendakota Ins. Co. v. Vargas-Antigua

United States District Court, D. Nevada

December 5, 2014

MENDAKOTA INSURANCE COMPANY, a Minnesota Corporation, Plaintiff,
v.
GIOVANNI VARGAS-ANTIGUA, an individual; MICHEL ANTIGUA-LOPEZ, an individual; DIANE GUTIERREZ, an individual; BIANE

For MENDAKOTA INSURANCE COMPANY: McCormick, Barstow, Sheppard, Wayte & Carruth LLP, Wade M. Hansard, Jonathan Carlson, Las Vegas, Nevada.

ORDER GRANTING APPLICATION FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT

Jennifer A. Dorsey, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

Presently before the Court is Plaintiff MENDAKOTA INSURANCE COMPANY's Application for Entry of Default Judgment against Defendants GIOVANNI VARGAS-ANTIGUA; MICHEL ANTIGUA-LOPEZ; LUIS LOPEZ-RODRIGUEZ; LIUXY VARGAS-PEREZ; FRANCISCO QUINTANA; RAIDEL ECHAVARRIA; IRADA BITEC-LEYVA; INES PEREZ-MESA; and MARELIS LAFFITA (Doc. 68) and the Points and Authorities in Support Thereof (Doc. 69).

I.

BACKGROUND

This case arises out of a series of staged motor vehicle collisions that took place September 7, 2011; October 5, 2011; and November 5, 2011. Plaintiff MENDAKOTA INSURANCE COMPANY's (" MENDAKOTA") Complaint for Declaratory Relief (Doc. 1) alleges that the Defendants and each of them were all actual or potential personal injury claimants as a result of these respective motor vehicle collisions. MENDAKOTA's Complaint for Declaratory Relief alleged that MENDAKOTA owed no coverage obligation to its putative insureds, GIOVANNI VARGAS-ANTIGUA or MICHEL ANTIGUA-LOPEZ, or any of the other Defendants who are potential personal injury claimants on several grounds, including (a) MENDAKOTA's auto policy is void due to material misrepresentations made in connection with ANTIGUA-LOPEZ securing the policy; (b) MICHEL ANTIGUA-LOPEZ and GIOVANNI VARGAS-ANTIGUA's non-cooperation with MENDAKOTA, to MENDAKOTA's prejudice; and (c) the fraud engaged by all of the Defendants to this action falls under an exclusion to the MENDAKOTA policy, which excludes bodily injury caused by an intentional act or at the direction of an insured person.

MENDAKOTA's Complaint (Doc. 1) was filed February 13, 2013. Defendants RAIDEL ECHAVARRIA, LUIS LOPEZ-RODRIGUEZ and INES PEREZ-MESA were duly served on March 28, 2013. (Doc. 6, 7 and 8) Defendants MICHEL ANTIGUA-LOPEZ and GIOVANNI VARGAS-ANTIGUA were duly served May 22, 2013. (Doc. 32, 33) Defendants LIUXY VARGAS-PEREZ, MARELIS LAFFITA, FRANCISCO QUINTANNA and IRADA BITEC-LEYVA were served June 24, 2013. (Doc. 38, 39, 40 and 41) None of these Defendants have appeared in this action since service.

On May 9, 2013, the clerk's office entered default as to Defendants LUIS LOPEZ-RODRIGUEZ, RAIDEL ECHAVARRIA and INES PEREZ MESA. (Doc. 22, 23 and 24) On July 25, 2013, the clerk's office entered default as to Defendants MARELIS LAFFITA, IRADA BITEC-LEYVA, MICHEL ANTIGUA-LOPEZ, FRANCISCO QUINTANNA, LIUXY VARGAS-PEREZ and GIOVANNI VARGAS-ANTIGUA. (Doc. 43, 44, 45, 46, 47 and 48)

On February 22, 2014, MENDAKOTA filed a Motion for Default Judgment and a Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support Thereof. (Doc. 68 and 69)

II.

LEGAL STANDARD

Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55(a), " [w]hen a party against whom a judgment for affirmative relief is sought has failed to plead or otherwise defend, and that failure is shown by affidavit or otherwise, the clerk must enter the party's default." Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55(d)(2) provides that, " a court may enter default judgment after the party seeking default applies to the clerk of the court as required by subsection (a) of this rule."

On May 10, 2013 and July 25, 2013, the clerk entered default against these various Defendants for their failure to plead or otherwise defend the instant lawsuit. Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55(b)(2), MENDAKOTA now asks this Court to enter default judgment against these Defendants.

The choice of whether or not to enter a default judgment lies within the discretion of the trial court. Aldade v. Aldade, 616 F.3d 1089, 1092 (9th Cir. 1980). In the determination of whether or not to grant a default judgment, the trial court should consider the seven factors articulated in ...


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