United States District Court, D. Minnesota
ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT
WILHELMINA M. WRIGHT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Praxair Distribution,
Inc.'s (Praxair) second motion for default judgment.
(Dkt. 108.) For the reasons addressed below, Praxair's
motion is granted.
is a corporation that sells industrial and medical gases.
Defendant Irish Oxygen Company (Irish) was a customer of
Praxair's since at least November 2014. Praxair initiated
this lawsuit against Irish for nonpayment of invoices.
2019, Irish's counsel moved to withdraw as its counsel.
United States Magistrate Judge Steven E. Rau granted the
motion to withdraw and imposed a deadline of October 1, 2019,
for Irish to obtain new counsel and notify the Court of such.
To date, Irish has not notified the Court that it obtained
new counsel. On October 3, 2019, Praxair applied for entry of
default, which the Clerk of Court promptly granted. Praxair
now moves the Court for default judgment.
entry of default judgment is a two-step process governed by
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55. First, the party seeking
default judgment must obtain an entry of default.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(a). Second, the party seeking default
judgment “must apply to the court for a default
judgment.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(b)(2).
“the law does not allow a corporation to proceed
pro se, ” proceeding pro se as a
corporation is considered default. Ackra Direct Mktg.
Corp. v. Fingerhut Corp., 86 F.3d 852, 857 (8th Cir.
1996); accord Rowland v. Cal. Men's Colony, Unit II
Men's Advisory Council, 506 U.S. 194, 201-02 (1993)
(“It has been the law for the better part of two
centuries . . . that a corporation may appear in the federal
courts only through licensed counsel.”).
Irish has not had counsel since the magistrate judge granted
its prior counsel's motion to withdraw. The magistrate
judge directed Irish to hire new counsel and to notify the
Court no later than October 1, 2019, of the new counsel. But
Irish did not do so. Consequently, Irish is in default, and
default judgment is appropriate here. See Ackra Direct
Mktg. Corp., 86 F.3d at 857.
has requested that the Court enter judgment against Irish in
the amount of $661, 863.04, based on a Praxair employee's
sworn declaration and an itemized statement that Praxair
submitted in support of its motion for default judgment. The
Court finds that there is ample support for most of
Praxair's requested award. However, there is a $209.94
inconsistency between the total amount reflected in
Praxair's sworn employee declaration and the total amount
reflected in Praxair's itemized statement. Because it is
Praxair's burden to demonstrate that it is entitled to
default judgment in the requested amount, the Court resolves
this $209.94 inconsistency against Praxair. For these
reasons, the Court awards Praxair $661, 653.10 in damages, an
amount subject to increase based on the Bill of Costs that
Praxair submits as to interest, costs, and attorneys'
on the foregoing analysis and all the files, records and
proceedings herein, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:
Praxair's second motion for default judgment, (Dkt. 108),
Praxair is awarded $661, 653.10 in damages against Defendant
Irish Oxygen Company, subject to increase based on a Bill of
Costs to be submitted by Praxair within 30 days after the
date of this Order detailing ...