United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division
Arc Communications Co. Ltd., Plaintiff,
Rotomotion, LLC and Dennis S. D'Annunzio, Defendants.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF MAGISTRATE JUDGE
MARY GORDON BAKER, Magistrate Judge.
This matter is before the Court upon Plaintiff's Motion for a Default Judgment as to Defendant Rotomotion, LLC. ( See Dkt. No. 20.) The motion has been referred to the undersigned for consideration. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b).
Plaintiff Arc Communications Company Limited ("Plaintiff") brought the instant action against Defendants Rotomotion, LLC ("Rotomotion") and Dennis S. D'Annunzio on October 28, 2014. (Dkt. No. 1.) On January 22, 2015, the Clerk entered default as to Rotomotion. (Dkt. No. 13; see also Dkt. No. 5.) On April 8, 2015, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Default Judgment as to Defendant Rotomotion. (Dkt. No. 20).
On August 21, 2015, the undersigned issued an Order setting the hearing on the Motion for Default Judgment for September 14, 2015. (Dkt. No. 31; see also Dkt. No. 30.) That Order further stated, inter alia,
Plaintiff is ORDERED to serve Defendant Rotomotion, LLC with (a) the Notice of Hearing on the Motion for Default Judgment (Dkt. No. 30); (b) this Order (Dkt. No. 31); and (c) the Motion for Default Judgment and attachments (Dkt. No. 20; Dkt. No. 20-1; Dkt. No. 20-2) on or before September 4, 2015. Plaintiff is further ORDERED to file a corresponding certificate of service on or before September 9, 2015.
(Dkt. No. 31 at 1.) On September 2, 2015, Plaintiff filed a "Declaration of Service." ( See Dkt. No. 33.) In this Declaration, Attorney Cooper stated,
2. On August 25, 2015, Plaintiff served the Order and Notice of Hearing on the Motion for Default Judgment (Docket No. 31), the Notice of Hearing on the Motion for Default Judgment (Docket No. 30), and the Motion for Default Judgment and attachments (Docket No. 20, Docket No. 20-1, and Docket No. 20-2) on Defendant Rotomotion, LLC by mailing a copy of each to Defendant Rotomotion, LLC by certified mail, return receipt requested at the address listed for the registered agent for Rotomotion, LLC, 459 Jessen Lane, Suite C, Charleston, South Carolina and to the address at which the registered agent for Rotomotion, LLC is known to have his place of business, 1240 Winnowing Way, Suite 102 #1112, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina 29466. On August 26, 2015, Valerie Herald received service at 1240 Winnowing Way, Suite 102 #1112, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina 29466. A copy of the return receipt is attached hereto as Exhibit 1.
3. In addition, on August 31, 2015, my associate attorney, Margarete L. Allio, sent a courtesy electronic message to the registered agent for Defendant Rotomotion, LLC, confirming that we had received receipt, and also providing an electronic copy of the Order and Notice of Hearing on the Motion for Default Judgment (Docket No. 31), the Notice of Hearing on the Motion for Default Judgment (Docket No. 30), and the Motion for Default Judgment and attachments (Docket No. 20, Docket No. 20-1, and Docket No. 20-2). A copy of that electronic message is attached hereto as Exhibit 2.
(Dkt. No. 33 at 1-2.)
The undersigned held a hearing on this motion on September 14, 2015. ( See Dkt. No. 34.) Lindsey W. Cooper, Esquire, attorney for Plaintiff, appeared at the hearing along with Pimprae Hiranprueck, representative for Plaintiff. Defendant Dennis S. D'Annunzio did not appear at the hearing, nor did any representative for Defendant Rotomotion.
FINDINGS OF FACT
As noted above, a default has been entered against Rotomotion. ( See Dkt. No. 13.) As a result of Rotomotion's default, the undersigned accepts Plaintiff's well-pleaded factual allegations as true. See DIRECTV, Inc. v. Rawlins, 523 F.3d 318, 322 n.2 (4th Cir. 2008) (citing Ryan v. Homecomings Fin. Network, 253 F.3d 778, 780 (4th Cir. 2001)).
On or about June 9, 2014, Plaintiff, a company based in Bangkok, Thailand, "entered into a UAV Exchange Agreement (the Contract')" with Rotomotion, a South Carolina limited liability company. (Compl. ¶¶ 1-4, 7.) The Contract specified that Plaintiff "had previously purchased an SR30 UAV (the original SR30') from Rotomotion but that Rotomotion had experienced delays in its delivery, owing in significant part to Rotomotion's difficulty in obtaining an Export License from the U.S. Department of Commerce." ( Id. ¶ 8.) The Contract also specified that "Rotomotion agreed to replace the original SR30 with a substitute SR30 (the new SR30') at its own expense" and "ship the new SR30 within twenty business days" of Plaintiff's execution of the Contract. ( Id. ¶¶ 9-10.) "As consideration for Rotomotion's shipment of the new SR30, ARC was to ensure that the new SR30 was cleared by Thailand Customs and that ARC would pay all customs, fees, or license expenses." ( Id. ¶ 11.) The Contract further provided that if Rotomotion "failed to ship the new SR30" within "twenty business days (the Shipment Date'), Rotomotion would refund ...