United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division
DESTINEE N. PEPPERS-JERIDORE, Plaintiff,
T. BAYOU, LLC, d/b/a Burger King, Defendant.
C. NORTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the court on plaintiff Destinee N.
memorandum in support of damages, ECF No. 16.
filed this employment discrimination action with the court on
April 15, 2019 against defendant T Bayou, LLC, d/b/a Burger
King (“Burger King”). On the same day, a summons
was issued for Burger King. In her complaint,
Peppers-Jeridore alleges that she was sexually harassed
during her employment with Burger King and fired upon
reporting the alleged harassment. By local rule, the case was
assigned to Magistrate Judge Mary Gordon Baker. To properly
convey the court's frustration with the events that
followed, a detailed review of this matter's procedural
history is appropriate.
filed this action on April 15, 2019. On July 23, 2019,
because neither party had made any additional filings,
Magistrate Judge Baker issued a text order which stated:
A summons in this action was issued on April 15, 2019, and
service was due by July 15, 2019. No proof of service has yet
been filed. Plaintiff must file proof of service by July 25,
2019. If no proof of service is filed, this action may be
dismissed pursuant to Rule 4(m) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. IT IS SO ORDERED.
ECF No. 5 (“First Instructive Text Order”). The
following day, Pepper-Jeridore's counsel filed a document
entitled “Proof of Service, ” in which a
paralegal of plaintiff's counsel's firm testified to
her service of Burger King via certified mail. ECF No. 7.
26, 2019, Magistrate Judge Baker issued a second text order
The docket reflects that the Summons and Complaint were
served on the Defendant on April 25, 2019. However, no
responsive pleading has been filed, nor has a default been
entered under Rule 55, Fed.R.Civ.P. Therefore, unless by
August 19, 2019, either an Answer or other responsive
pleading is filed by the Defendant or a Rule 55 default is
entered by the Plaintiff, a recommendation for dismissal for
failure to prosecute pursuant to Rule 41, Fed.R.Civ.P. will
be entered. IT IS SO ORDERED.
ECF No. 8 (“Second Instructive Text Order”).
Counsel for Peppers-Jeridore did not comply with the
court's order, failing to make any filings by the August
19th deadline. Accordingly, on August 22, 2019, Magistrate
Judge Baker filed a report and recommendation
(“R&R”) recommending that this court dismiss
the action with prejudice for failure to prosecute pursuant
to Fed. R. Crim. P. 41(b). ECF No. 22. The same day,
Peppers-Jeridore's counsel filed motion for entry of
default. ECF No. 10. Magistrate Judge Baker granted
Pepper-Jeridore's motion, vacated the R&R, and
directed the clerk to enter default. ECF No. 11.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(b), after the clerk enters default, a
plaintiff “must apply to the court for a default
judgment.” In spite of Rule 55, two and a half months
passed after the clerk's entry of default without
Peppers-Jeridore's counsel making a single filing. Based
on that inaction, Magistrate Judge Baker issued another text
order on November 5, 2019:
On August 23, 2019, the Court granted Plaintiffs Motion for
Entry of Default. Nothing has been filed by any parties since
that time. Therefore, unless by November 18, 2019, Plaintiffs
move for default judgment in accordance with Fed.R.Civ.P. 55,
a recommendation for dismissal for failure to prosecute
pursuant to Rule 41, Fed.R.Civ.P. will be entered. IT IS SO
15 (“Third Instructive Text Order”). On the day
of the court-imposed deadline for its filing, counsel for
Peppers-Jeridore filed the instant “Memorandum in
Support of Damages.” ECF No. 16. Nowhere in the
memorandum does counsel request that the court grant default
judgment. Instead, the memorandum computes the damages to
which Peppers-Jeridore is allegedly entitled.