United States District Court, D. Colorado
RAYMOND P. MOORE, District Judge.
This matter is before the Court on Defendant Credit Management, LP's ("Credit Management") Motion to Set Aside Entry of Default. (ECF No. 17.)
For the reasons stated below, the Court DENIES Defendant's Motion to Set Aside the Entry of Default.
On July 23, 2014, Plaintiff Damon Williams filed this lawsuit alleging Defendant's conduct violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"), 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq. (ECF No. 1.) On September 8, 2014, Plaintiff filed a summons returned as executed on July 31, 2014. (ECF No. 8.) Therefore, Defendant's Answer or response permitted by Rule 12 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure was due August 21, 2014. (ECF No. 8.)
On September 8, 2014, Plaintiff moved for the entry of default against Defendant for failure to file an answer or otherwise respond to the Complaint timely. (ECF No. 9.) On September 9, 2014, the Clerk of the Court entered default against Defendant. (ECF No. 10.)
On September 11, 2014, Defendant answered the Complaint. (ECF No. 13.) Also on September 11, Defendant responded to the motion for the entry of default. (ECF No. 14.)
On September 15, 2014, Defendant moved to set aside the entry of default. (ECF No. 17.)
II. LEGAL STANDARD
The Court "may set aside an entry of default for good cause...." Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(c). The principal factors in determining whether a defendant has met the good cause standard are (1) whether the default was the result of culpable conduct of the defendant; (2) whether the plaintiff would be prejudiced if the default should be set aside; and (3) whether the defendant presents a meritorious defense. Pinson v. Equifax Credit Info. Servs., Inc., 316 F.Appx. 744, 750 (10th Cir. 2009) (unpublished) (citation omitted); Hunt v. Ford Motor Co., 65 F.3d 178 (10th Cir. 1995) (unpublished) (citation omitted). The Court may consider other factors as well. Guttman v. Silverberg, 167 F.Appx. 1, 4 (10th Cir. 2005) (unpublished) (citation omitted). Setting aside a default entry is addressed to the sound discretion of the Court. Nikwei v. Ross Sch. of Aviation, Inc., 822 F.2d 939, 941 (10th Cir. 1987).
The good cause required for setting aside an entry of default "poses a lesser standard for the defaulting party than the excusable neglect which must be shown for relief from judgment under Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)." Dennis Garberg & Assocs., Inc. v. Pack-Tech Int'l Corp., 115 F.3d 767, 775 n.6 (10th Cir. 1997) (citation omitted). The preferred disposition of any case is upon its merits and not through default. See Gomes v. Williams, 420 F.2d 1364, 1366 (10th Cir. 1970). Nevertheless, "this judicial preference is counterbalanced by considerations of social goals, justice, and expediency" in adjudicated cases. Id.
As a preliminary matter, with regard to the procedural posture of this matter, Defendant's motion to set aside the entry of default fails to comply with Local Rule 7.1(a). ( See ECF No. 17.) Local Rule 7.1(a) states that
Before filing a motion, counsel for the moving party... shall confer or make reasonable good faith efforts to confer with any opposing counsel... to resolve any disputed matter. The moving party shall describe in the motion, or in a certificate ...