United States District Court, D. Maryland
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
BETH P. GESNER, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
The above-referenced case was referred to the undersigned for review of plaintiffs Motion for Default Judgment and to make recommendations concerning damages, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636 and Local Rules 301 and 302. (ECF No. 7.) Currently pending is plaintiffs Motion for Default Judgment ("Motion"). (ECF No. 6.) Defendant has not filed any response. No hearing is deemed necessary. Loc. R. 105.6. This court properly exercises subject matter jurisdiction over the instant case on the basis of 28 U.S.C. § 1331, as Aberdeen Proving Ground is a federal enclave under exclusive federal jurisdiction. For the reasons discussed herein, I respectfully recommend that plaintiffs Motion (ECF No. 6) be GRANTED and that relief be awarded as set forth herein.
I. STANDARD FOR ENTRY OF DEFAULT JUDGMENT
In reviewing a motion for default judgment, the Court accepts as true the well-pleaded factual allegations in the complaint as to liability. Ryan v. Homecomings Fin. Network, 253 F.3d 778, 780-81 (4th Cir. 2001). It remains for the Court, however, to determine whether these unchallenged factual allegations constitute a legitimate cause of action. Id. If the Court determines that liability is established, the Court must then determine the appropriate amount of damages. Id. The Court does not accept factual allegations regarding damages as true, but rather must make an independent determination regarding such allegations. See, e.g.. Credit Lvonnais Sees. (USA). Inc. v. Alcantara. 183 F.3d 151, 154-155 (2d Cir. 1999). The Court may make a determination of damages without a hearing, so long as there is adequate evidence in the record, such as detailed affidavits or documentary evidence, for the award. See, e.g.. Adkins v. Teseo, 180 F.Supp.2d 15, 17 (D.D.C. 2001).
A. Procedural Background
Plaintiff filed its Complaint on December 4, 2015 (ECF No. 1), and defendant was served with process on January 7, 2016. (ECF No. 4.) On January 29, plaintiff moved for an entry of default and filed the pending Motion for Default Judgment. (ECF Nos. 5, 6.) The Clerk of Court entered an Order of Default on February 9, 2016. (ECF No. 7.) Judge Hollander referred the case to me on February 10 to review the Motion for Default Judgment and to make recommendations concerning damages. (ECF No. 8.)
B. Factual Background
Plaintiff APG Housing, LLC is a Delaware limited liability company which operates family housing on Aberdeen Proving Ground, a federal military installation in Maryland. (ECF No. 1 at ¶ 1.) Defendant Linford Moore is a civilian who occupies property known as 3831A Liberty Court, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland 21005 ("the property"). (Id. at ¶ 2.) The parties entered into a lease agreement ("the lease") in May 2014. (Id.) Defendant has failed to pay rent owed under the lease. (Id. at ¶ 8.) Plaintiff seeks to obtain a judgment for rent owed to it and to evict defendant from the property. (Id. at ¶¶ 9, 13.)
C. Defendant's Liability
To state a claim for breach of contract, "a plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed the plaintiff a contractual obligation and that the defendant breached that obligation." Int'l Waste Indus. Corp. v. Cape Envtl. Mgmt., Inc., 988 F.Supp.2d 542, 550 (D. Md. 2013). I have reviewed plaintiffs Complaint (ECF No. 1) and Motion (ECF No. 6), and find that plaintiff has stated a legitimate cause of action based on defendant's breach of the lease contract. Accepting as true Plaintiffs well-pleaded factual allegations, I find that plaintiff has proven that: the parties entered into a lease agreement (ECF No. 1-2); defendant breached the lease by failing to pay rent (Affidavit of Allison Fenwick, ECF No. 6-2); and that plaintiff has the right to repossess the property pursuant to the lease (ECF No. 1-2 at ¶ 21). Thus, plaintiff has asserted factual allegations that constitute a legitimate cause of action against defendant for breach of contract, and entry of default judgment is proper.
D. Damages and Remedies
As plaintiff has established defendant's liability, the undersigned now undertakes an independent determination of the damages and ...