United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division
Matthew P. Phelps The United States Attorney's Office
Casandra Elliott PRO SE
of the “Report and Recommendations” rendered in
the above-captioned case is attached. Any objections you wish
to make thereto must be made in writing and within 14
days pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
72(b)(2) and Local Rule 301.5(b).
the time for filing written objections has expired, Judge
Paul W. Grimm will review the “Report and
Recommendations” regardless of whether you have filed
written objections to it. If you should fail to file written
objections within the time set forth above (or within the
time of any extension specifically granted by the Court) and
Judge Grimm subsequently adopts the Report and
Recommendations, you will have lost your right to appeal the
findings and conclusions set forth therein to the United
States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, except upon
grounds of plain error.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
L. Simms United States Magistrate Judge.
Report and Recommendation addresses the Motion for Default
Judgment and Summary Judgment (the “Motion”),
filed by the United States of America
(“Plaintiff”) on July 5, 2018. (ECF No. 9).
to 28 U.S.C. § 636 and L.R 301, the Honorable Theodore
D. Chuang referred this matter to the undersigned to author a
report and make recommendations concerning default judgment
and/or damages. I believe that the issues have been fully
briefed and do not believe an additional hearing is
necessary. L.R. 105.6. As set forth more fully below, I
ultimately recommend that the Court GRANT
Factual Background and Procedural Background
facts, as set forth in Plaintiff's Motion, are that on
December 21, 2000, Casandra Elliott (“Defendant”
or “Ms. Elliott”) completed an Application and
executed a Promissory Note for a Federal Direct Consolidation
Loan (“Note”) through the William D. Ford Federal
Direct Loan Program. (ECF No. 13). The Defendant sought
consolidation of multiple outstanding loans. (Id.).
By executing the Application and Note, Defendant authorized
the U.S. Department of Education (“the
Government” or “Plaintiff”) to pay off the
loan balances, and promised to repay the Government. (ECF No.
1-3). In addition, the Defendant acknowledged that the
“amount [of the disbursement] may be more or less than
the estimated total balance I have indicated, ” but
that “the amount of this loan will equal the sum of the
amount(s) that the holder(s) of the loan(s) verified as the
payoff balance(s) on that loan(s) selected for
consolidation.” (Id.). Defendant further
acknowledged that the failure to pay the payments as they
came due would result in liability to pay “collection
costs including but not limited to attorney's fees and
court costs.” (Id.).
January 25, 2001, the Government disbursed the loaned funds,
in the amount of $17, 577.01, 8% interest per annum, to the
Defendant. (ECF No. 9-3, p.2).
September 22, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Complaint against the
Defendant. (ECF No. 1). Plaintiff asserted that the
Government had not received any loan repayments from the
Defendant, and that on July 16, 2013, the Defendant defaulted
on the loan. (ECF No. 1-4). Plaintiff sought an award in the
amount of $38, 912.84 “plus interest thereafter on the
principal at $6.35 per day until the date of judgment.”
(ECF No.1-4). On September 25, 2017, a summons was issued for
Plaintiff. (ECF No. 2).
December 18, 2017, Defendant was personally served with the
summons and Complaint. (ECF No. 4). The summons notified
Defendant that she had 21 days from the date of service to
file an Answer or otherwise respond to the Complaint.
(Id.). On February 8, 2018, Plaintiff filed a
“Request for Entry of Default, ” asserting that
the Defendant failed to plead or otherwise defend. (ECF No.
7). On February 8, 2018, the Clerk of the Court entered
default against Defendant for want of an answer or other
defense. (ECF Nos. 8).
5, 2018, Plaintiff filed its Motion for Default Judgment and
Summary Judgment, as well as its memorandum in support
thereto. (ECF No. 9). Attached to Plaintiff's memorandum
are several exhibits including: (1) a “Certificate of
Indebtedness, ” which sets forth the loan disbursement
amount, the principal balance, and the accrued interest as of
June 26, 2018, and is signed by Christopher Bolander, a Loan
Analyst with the Borrower Services - Collection Group within
the Department of Education's Federal Student Aid
division (ECF No. 9-2); and (2) a sworn declaration, dated
June 13, 2018, from Mr. Bolander which outlines his job
responsibilities and chronicles the history associated with
the loan to include Defendant's borrowing history and the
amount outstanding. (ECF No. 9-3). According to the
Plaintiff, the total debt owed by the Defendant, as of the
time of its filing, had increased to $43, 333.43, which
includes principal in the amount of $28, 998.26 and interest
in the amount of $14, ...