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Johnson v. Piping & Dewatering Services, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

June 12, 2015

Glen Johnson et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
Piping & Dewatering Services, Inc., Defendant.

Christy Lawrie, for Plaintiffs.

No appearance on behalf of Defendant.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

FRANKLIN L. NOEL, Magistrate Judge.

THIS MATTER came before the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge on June 1, 2015 on the Court's Order to show cause why Defendant Piping & Dewatering Services, Inc. and its owner, James Wagner, should not be held in civil contempt for failing to obey the Court's March 4, 2015 Order (ECF No. 63). Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(e), this Court CERTIFIES to the District Court the Findings of Fact set forth below and RECOMMENDS that Defendant be held in contempt and fined $100 per day until it complies with the Court's March 4, 2015 Order (ECF No. 55). The Court additionally RECOMMENDS that if Defendant fails to comply with the March 4, 2015 Order by August 1, 2015, James Wagner should also be held in contempt and immediately arrested by the U.S. Marshal.

I. FINDINGS OF FACT

On April 12, 2013, Plaintiffs filed their Summons and Complaint in this matter. See ECF Nos. 1 and 3. Defendant failed to answer the Complaint and the Clerk of Court entered default against Defendant on May 20, 2013. See ECF No. 9. No attorney has noticed an appearance on behalf of Defendant in the present case.

On June 11, 2013, Plaintiffs filed a motion for default judgment and injunction. ECF No. 10. Defendant did not appear at the hearing on Plaintiffs' motion for default judgment and injunction. See Minute Entry, ECF No. 16. While the Court denied the motion for default judgment, it did enter an injunction prohibiting Defendant from "ignoring its obligations under the relevant Collective Bargaining Agreement and requiring it to forthwith produce for inspection [certain] payroll and employment records for the period of January 1, 2010, through the present." Order and Injunction 1, ECF No. 17. Defendant, by and through its owner and authorized agent James Wagner, was personally served with the Court's Order on October 8, 2013. See Return of Service, ECF No. 18.

After Defendant failed to produce any payroll or employment records as ordered by the Court, Plaintiffs filed a motion for an order to show cause on November 1, 2013. ECF No. 19. Specifically, Plaintiffs sought an order requiring Wagner to appear in person before the Court to show cause why he should not be held in civil contempt for failing to obey the Court's Order. Mem. in Supp. 2, ECF No. 20. On November 5, 2013, Defendant and Wagner were ordered to appear before the Court on December 9, 2013 to show cause why a contempt order should not be entered. Order, ECF No. 24. This Order was personally served on Defendant, by and through Wagner, on November 18, 2013. Return of Service, ECF No. 26. After the hearing on the order to show cause was rescheduled multiple times, Plaintiffs withdrew the motion upon receiving the court-ordered documents from Wagner. See Letter to Magistrate Judge, ECF No. 33.

On March 12, 2014, Plaintiffs filed a motion for entry of judgment. ECF No. 34. Defendant was personally served, by and through Wagner, with the motion and notice of hearing on March 20, 2014. Certificate of Service, ECF No. 41. Defendant, however, failed to respond to the motion or attend the hearing. See Minute Entry, ECF No. 42. On June 24, 2014, the Court granted Plaintiffs' motion and ordered that judgment be entered in the amount of $242, 943.97 against Defendant and in favor of Plaintiffs. Order, ECF No. 44.

On December 12, 2014, Plaintiffs served Defendant with Interrogatories and Requests for the Production of Documents in Aid of Execution. Lawrie Aff. ¶ 4, ECF No. 49. Defendant failed to respond to these requests. Id. ¶¶ 5-8. Accordingly, Plaintiffs filed a motion to compel postjudgment discovery on January 29, 2015. ECF No. 46. This motion and notice of hearing was personally served on Defendant, by and through Wagner, on February 3, 2015. Certificate of Service, ECF No. 52. A hearing on the motion was held on March 2, 2015, but Defendant failed to appear. Minute Entry, ECF No. 54. The Court granted Plaintiffs' motion on March 4, 2015 (the "March 4 Order") and ordered that Defendant must provide responses to Plaintiffs' discovery requests within 10 days of being served with the Order. Order, ECF No. 55. Despite being personally served with this Order on March 9, 2015, Defendant failed to produce any documents in compliance with the Court's Order. Mem. in Supp. 2, ECF No. 59; see also Certificate of Service, ECF No. 57.

Due to Defendant's failure to comply with the Court's March 4 Order, Plaintiffs filed a motion for an order to show cause on April 7, 2015, seeking the Court to require Defendant, by and through Wagner, to appear and show cause why it should not be held in contempt for failing and refusing to obey the Court's order. ECF No. 58. The Court granted the motion and ordered that Defendant and Wagner appear before the Court on June 1, 2015. Order, ECF No. 63. Defendant was personally served, by and through Wagner, with this Order on May 12, 2015. Certificate of Service, ECF No. 65.

The Court held a hearing on the order to show cause on June 1, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. No representative of Defendant, including Wagner, appeared at the hearing. Minute Entry, ECF No. 66. Plaintiffs now seek the Court to hold Defendant and Wagner in contempt of court, and order that Wagner be incarcerated as a sanction for failing to comply with the Court's March 4 Order. ECF No. 59 at 3-4.

II. CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

A. Contempt power of ...


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