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Keybank National Association v. Northwest Professional Color, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Colorado

April 13, 2016




Plaintiff KeyBank National Association (“Plaintiff”) brings this action against Defendant Northwest Professional Color, Inc. (“Defendant”) for breach of contract. (ECF No. 1.) Before the Court is Plaintiff’s Motion for Default Judgment Against Defendant Northwest Professional Color, Inc. (“Motion”). (ECF No. 10.) For the following reasons, the Motion is granted.


On December 20, 2013, and March 26, 2014, Plaintiff entered into two Installment Payment Agreements with Defendant, under which it extended financing to Defendant in exchange for monthly payments. (ECF No. 1 at 2-3.) On or about August 27, 2014, Plaintiff entered into two Extension Agreements with Defendant. (Id. at 5.) The Extension Agreements modified the payment schedule and the terms of the original Installment Payment Agreements. (Id.) Except as expressly modified by the Extension Agreements, the original agreements remained “in full force and effect.” (ECF No. 1-1 at 2, 4.) According to Plaintiff, Defendant defaulted on its obligations under these agreements. (ECF No. 1 at 5.)

Plaintiff initiated this action by filing a Complaint on October 1, 2015. (See id.) Plaintiff brings a claim against Defendant for breach of contract. (Id. at 7.) Defendant did not answer or otherwise move in response to the Complaint. On October 28, 2015, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Entry of Default against Defendant. (ECF No. 5.) The Clerk filed an Entry of Default as to Defendant on October 29, 2015. (ECF No. 6.) Plaintiff filed the Motion before the Court on December 10, 2015. (ECF No. 10.) Defendant filed no response.

The Court has reviewed the motion, the exhibits and affidavits, and the applicable law, and is sufficiently advised on the issues involved.


Default must enter against a party who fails to appear or otherwise defend a lawsuit. Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(a). Pursuant to Rule 55(b)(1), default judgment must be entered by the clerk of court if the claim is for “a sum certain”; in all other cases, “the party must apply to the court for a default judgment.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(b)(2). “[D]efault judgment must normally be viewed as available only when the adversary process has been halted because of an essentially unresponsive party. In that instance, the diligent party must be protected lest he be faced with interminable delay and continued uncertainty as to his rights. The default judgment remedy serves as such a protection.” In re Rains, 946 F.2d 731, 732-33 (10th Cir. 1991) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).

Further, “a party is not entitled to a default judgment as of right; rather the entry of a default judgment is entrusted to the ‘sound judicial discretion’ of the court.” Greenwich Ins. Co. v. Daniel Law Firm, 2008 WL 793606, at *2 (D. Colo. Mar. 22, 2008). Before granting a motion for default judgment, the Court must take several steps. First, the Court must ensure that it has personal jurisdiction over the defaulting defendant and subject matter over the action. See Williams v. Life Sav. & Loan, 802 F .2d 1200, 1202-03 (10th Cir. 1986). Next, the Court should consider whether the well-pleaded allegations of fact-which are admitted by the defendant upon default-support a judgment on the claims against the defaulting defendant. See Fed. Fruit & Produce Co. v. Red Tomato, Inc., 2009 WL 765872, at *3 (D. Colo. Mar. 20, 2009) (“Even after entry of default, however, it remains for the court to consider whether the unchallenged facts constitute a legitimate basis for the entry of a judgment.”). “In determining whether a claim for relief has been established, the well-pleaded facts of the complaint are deemed true.” Id. (citing Dundee Cement Co. v. Howard Pipe & Concrete Prods., Inc., 722 F.2d 1319, 1323 (7th Cir. 1983)).


A. Jurisdiction

First, the Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this case. District courts have subject matter jurisdiction over “all civil actions where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75, 000 . . . and is between . . . citizens of different states.” 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1). Plaintiff is a citizen of Ohio and Defendant is a citizen of North Dakota. (ECF No. 1 at 1-2.) The amount in controversy is more than $75, 000. (Id. at 2-3.) Thus, the Court is satisfied that it has subject matter jurisdiction over this lawsuit.

Second, the parties have consented to personal jurisdiction and venue in this Court. (Id. at 2.) The two “Extension Agreements”-signed by Defendant-state, “Litigation between the parties shall be commenced only in a state or Federal court located in Denver, Colorado.” (Id.; ECF No. 1-1 at 2-5.) Plaintiff’s allegations in the Complaint ...

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