In a recent case, Martino v. Chenel Capital, LLC et al, No. 154267/2022, 2022 WL 16743358 (N.Y. Sup Ct, New York County Nov. 02, 2022), the court granted plaintiff’s motion for a default judgment against defendants. This decision provides some insight into the nuts-and-bolts of obtaining a default judgment, following the defendants’ failure to answer or appear, in New York courts.
In sum, plaintiff commenced this action for damages sustained as a result of defendants’ alleged sex/gender discrimination of plaintiff and fostering a hostile work environment against plaintiff.
As to plaintiff’s motion for a default judgment, the court explained:
On a motion for leave to enter a default judgment pursuant to CPLR §3215, the movant is required to submit proof of service of the summons and complaint, proof of the facts constituting the claim, and proof of the defaulting party’s default in answering or appearing. The proof submitted must establish a prima facie case. The court finds that the plaintiff submitted sufficient proof of service of the summons and complaint upon Chenel Capital, LLC, the corporate defendant, and the individual defendant, Richard Chenel.
Under CPLR §311-a, service on a limited liability company (LLC) is proper where the requisite documents are personally delivered to (1) any member of the LLC within the state, if management is vested in the members, (2) a manager of the LLC within the state, if management is vested in one or more managers, (3) an agent appointed to receive process, or (4) any other person designated to receive process. Here, the affidavit of service states that Lisa Raimondi, who is the managing agent of defendant Chenel Capital, LLC, was served on June 27, 2022 at the address, 1967 Wehrle Drive Suite 1 #086 Buffalo, NY 14221. As it pertains to the individual defendant, the affidavit of service states that Richard Chenel was personally served on August 8, 2022.
To date, defendants Chenel Capital, LLC and Richard Chenel have failed to answer, appear, or obtain an order from the court extending the time to do so, and the time to answer or otherwise appear has expired.
An application for a default judgment must be supported by either an affidavit of facts made by one with personal knowledge of the facts surrounding the claim or a complaint verified by a person with actual knowledge of the facts surrounding the claim. Here, plaintiff has attached an Affidavit of Merit to support its claim.
The general claims alleged in the affirmation in support of the motion are insufficient to establish defendants’ liability. As such, plaintiff’s motion for a default judgment is granted only to the extent that the defendants’ default in this action is noted. All issues regarding the defendants’ liability and damages are to be decided at an Inquest.
The court also denied plaintiff’s motion seeking an order to preclude defendants from testifying in this matter.