United States District Court, N.D. Indiana
OPINION AND ORDER
THERESA L. SPRINGMANN, CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES
matter is before the Court on a Motion for Default Judgment
Against Defendant Harry Floros [ECF No. 86], filed by
Plaintiff Ron Burget on July 28, 2017.
Burget has sued the Defendant pursuant to a promissory note,
in which the Defendant agreed to pay the Plaintiff $44,
136.00 with interest at 4% annually, with equal payments of
$2, 000.00 per month beginning on August 1, 2014. The
Plaintiff alleges that the Defendant has failed to make these
payments, despite repeated demands from the Plaintiff.
Plaintiff obtained a Clerk's Entry of Default [ECF No.
77] against the Defendant pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 55(a). In the Plaintiff's Motion for Default
Judgment, the Plaintiff requests that the Clerk enter
judgment as follows:
1. $48, 692.25 (calculated per the promissory note of $44,
136.00 with 4% interest from June 3, 2014, through June 3,
2016, and 2% interest thereafter)
2. Attorney's fees in the amount of $15, 000 (for 60
hours of work at $250 per hour)
3. Interest post judgment of 8% per annum.
Plaintiff's counsel affirms that the calculation of
damages is true and correct.
the default of a party has been established for failure to
plead or otherwise defend, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55
authorizes a party to seek and a court to enter a default
judgment. As long as a plaintiff's allegations are
well-pled, a default judgment, as a general rule,
“‘establishe[s], as a matter of law, that
defendants [are] liable to plaintiff as to each cause of
action alleged in the complaint.'” Dundee
Cement Co. v. Howard Pipe & Concrete Prods., Inc.,
722 F.2d 1319, 1323 (7th Cir. 1983) (quoting Breuer Elec.
Mfg. Co. v. Toronado Sys. of Am., Inc., 687 F.2d 182,
186 (7th Cir. 1982)); see also O' Brien v. R.J.
O'Brien & Assocs., Inc., 998 F.2d 1394, 1404
(7th Cir. 1993). The party moving for a default judgment must
then establish entitlement to the relief sought. In re
Catt, 368 F.3d 789, 793 (7th Cir. 2004). Under Rule
54(c), a party obtaining a default judgment in its favor is
not entitled to a judgment that differs in kind from or an
award that exceeds the amount demanded in the pleadings.
Courts must ascertain with reasonable certainty the proper
amount to award as damages to the prevailing party, based
upon either an evidentiary hearing or from definite figures
contained in documentary evidence or in detailed affidavits.
In re Catt, 368 F.3d at 793; Dundee Cement
Co., 722 F.2d at 1323.
default of Defendant Floros has already been established,
and, as a matter of law, the Defendant is liable to the
Plaintiff as alleged in the Complaint. Accordingly, the
Plaintiff is entitled repayment of the promissory note, as
sought in the Complaint. However, the Court finds that
ascertaining with reasonable certainty the Plaintiff's
request for $15, 000 in attorney fees requires additional
documentation substantiating the amount. See Stark v. PPM
America, Inc., 354 F.3d 666, 673-75 (7th Cir.2004)
(holding that a party seeking attorneys fees must present
evidence that would demonstrate that its fees are
reasonable); see also Douglas v. Keen, No.
07-CV-452, 2007 WL 2915586, at *2 (S.D. Ill. Oct. 5, 2007)
(holding that the party seeking default did “not have
an attachment showing the itemization of attorneys' fees
and costs incurred by the law” and must supplement its
motion). Moreover, the Plaintiff requests interest post
judgment of 8% per annum, but does not provide an explanation
or citation to any particular statute regarding how this rate
the Court orders the Plaintiff to provide the additional
necessary documentation and citation substantiating the
attorney fees and the post judgment interest rate.
Plaintiff is granted until September 4 2017, to provide the
additional requested documentation and citation in support of
the Plaintiff's Motion for ...