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Wade v. Housing Management Inc.

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Aiken Division

August 8, 2016

Betty Jean Wade, Plaintiff,
v.
Housing Management, Inc. and Hampton House Associates, LP d/b/a Paces Run Apartments a/k/a Hampton House Apartments, Defendants.

          ORDER FOR JUDGMENT BY DEFAULT

          J. Michelle Childs United States District Court

         Plaintiff, Betty Wade ("Plaintiff"), a resident of the federally-subsidized housing complex Paces Run Apartments (“Paces Run”), filed this action against Defendants Housing Management, Inc. and Hampton House Associates, LP ("Defendants"), the property manager and owner, respectively, of Paces Run, seeking a declaratory judgment that Defendants could not terminate her lease without cause simply because the lease term has ended. (ECF No. 18 at 9 ¶ 42.) Plaintiff also requests an injunction preventing Defendants from terminating Plaintiff’s lease without cause. (Id. at 11.) Although Defendants were properly served with the Complaint, and executed a waiver of service of the First Amended Complaint (ECF No. 25), they have not answered or filed any responsive pleading. Pursuant to Plaintiff's request, the Clerk of Court entered a default against Defendants, and Plaintiff then moved for a default judgment.

         I. Introduction

         Plaintiff filed a Complaint against Defendants on December 31, 2014; and she filed an Amended Complaint on June 23, 2015. This action seeks a declaratory judgment and an injunction preventing Defendants from terminating Plaintiff’s lease without cause.

         A. Jurisdiction and Venue

         The court has subject matter jurisdiction over Plaintiff's claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. The court has personal jurisdiction over Defendants, and venue in this District is proper pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391 because Defendants maintain offices and conduct business in this District, and because the alleged wrongful acts occurred in this District.

         B. Process and Service

         On April 28, 2015, Plaintiff's private process server executed service on Defendants through Michael Shadrick, president of Housing Projects, Inc. (ECF No. 11.) Further, on October I, 2015, Michael Shadrick executed a Waiver of the Service of Summons on behalf of Defendants indicating that he received a copy of the complaint. (ECF No. 25.)

         C. Grounds for Entry of Default

         Defendants did not file an answer or other pleading, timely or otherwise, as reflected by two Requests for Entry of Default and two Affidavits of Plaintiff's Counsel in Support of Request for Entry of Default, one set with regard to Defendant Housing Management, Inc, and another set with regard to Hampton House Associates, LP, both filed on November 30, 2015. (ECF Nos. 27, 28.) The Clerk of Court properly entered default as to Defendants on November 30, 2015. (ECF Nos. 30, 31.)

         D. Motion for Default Judgment

         On February 18, 2016, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Default Judgment, a copy of which it also served upon Defendants by mail on said date.

         II. Findings of Fact

         Having reviewed Plaintiff's Complaint, Request for Entry of Default, Motion for Default Judgment, as well as all supporting and supplemental information provided, the court accepts Plaintiff's well-pled factual allegations as true and makes the following factual findings. See DIRECTV, Inc. v. Rawlins, 523 F.3d 318, 322 n.1 (4th Cir. 2009) (accepting plaintiff's allegations against defaulting defendant as true, noting a defaulting defendant "admits the plaintiff's well-pleaded allegations of fact, is concluded on those facts by the judgment, and is ...


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