United States District Court, D. Nevada
before the court is plaintiffs Karen and Phillip Wingen's
(“plaintiffs”) motion for default judgment. (ECF
initiated this action on October 22, 2015. (ECF No. 1).
Ventrum Energy Corp. (“Ventrum”), Salt Creek West
Drilling Fund, LLP (“SCWDF”), Ventrum Louisiana
LLP (“Ventrum LA”), Mackel America Corp.
(“MAC”), NV America Corp. (“NVAC”),
Andrew T. Van Slee (“Van Slee”), Mary E. Hill
(“Hill”), and Danial Hassanpoor
(“Hassanpoor”) all remain as defendants in this
judgment is appropriate “[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.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(a).
a default judgment is a two-step process:
First, the party seeking a default judgment must file a
motion for entry of default with the clerk of a district
court by demonstrating that the opposing party has failed to
answer or otherwise respond to the complaint, and, second,
once the clerk has entered a default, the moving party may
then seek entry of a default judgment against the defaulting
See UMG Recordings, Inc. v. Stewart, 461 F.Supp.2d
837, 840 (S.D. Ill. 2006).
the first step has been satisfied. The clerk entered default
against Ventrum, SCWDF, Ventrum LA, MAC, and NVAC on February
1, 2016. (ECF No. 89). The clerk entered default against Van
Slee on April 4, 2016. (ECF No. 100). The clerk entered
default against Hill on July 10, 2017. (ECF No. 133).
Finally, on March 7, 2019, the court granted plaintiffs'
motion for entry of default, and the clerk entered default
against Hassanpoor. (ECF Nos. 164; 165).
now move the court to enter default judgment against all the
defendants. Because the clerk has entered a default against
all remaining defendants, the only thing before the court is
the calculation of damages.
general rule of law is that upon default the factual
allegations of the complaint, except those relating to the
amount of damages, will be taken as true.” Geddes
v. United Fin. Group, 559 F.2d 557, 560 (9th Cir. 1977)
(citing Pope v. United States, 323 U.S. 1, 12
(1944)). Entry of a default judgment for money is appropriate
without a hearing if “the amount claimed is a
liquidated sum or capable of mathematical calculation.”
Davis v. Fendler, 650 F.2d 1154, 1161 (9th Cir.
tenth cause of action alleges racketeering in violation of
Nevada Revised Statute (“NRS”) § 207.400.
(ECF No. 1 at 72-76). NRS 207.470(1) provides that
“[a]ny person who is injured in his or her business or
property by reason of any violation of NRS 207.400 has a
cause of action against a person causing such injury
for three times the actual damages
sustained.” Nev. Rev. Stat. § 207.470
Nevada Supreme Court has acknowledged that “[t]he
similarities between NRS § 207.470(1) and 18 U.S.C.
§ 1964(c) are clear.” Allum v. Valley Bank of
Nevada, 849 P.2d 297, 301 n.5 (Nev. 1993); Hale v.
Burkhardt, 764 P.2d 866. 867 (Nev. 1988). The court
finds that the Nevada Supreme Court's acknowledged
similarities between Nevada and federal RICO warrant similar
treatment of the statutes.
to the federal RICO statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1964(c), the
court is required to treble damages. See e.g., Monex
Deposit Co. v. Gilliam, No. SACV09287JVSANX, 2010 WL
2380873, at *3 (C.D. Cal. May 24, 2010) (“The [c]ourt
agrees that it must treble the $613, 350 in compensatory
damages because of Monex's RICO claim.” (citing 18
U.S.C. § 1964(c))); see also Genty v. Resolution
Trust Corp., 937 F.2d 899, 914 (3d Cir. 1991) (noting
RICO's “mandatory provision for treble
damages” (emphasis in original)); Jones v.
Phipps, 39 F.3d 158, 161 (7th Cir. 1994) (upholding
default judgment that was trebled from $310, 991.40 to $932,
974.20 pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1964(c))).
the court finds that plaintiffs are entitled to treble
damages under NRS 207.470.
provide a detailed account of the evidence that plaintiffs
represent would have been admitted at a trial on this matter.
(See ECF No. 176 at 19-39). This evidence includes
an ongoing pattern of material misrepresentations and
omissions: defendants allegedly overstated, among other
things, the production of certain oil wells, the experience
of its managers, and the expected return on investment while
downplaying or entirely omitting information ...