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Central Laborers' Pension, Welfare and Annuity Funds v. Atlas Paving & Excavating

October 16, 2008

CENTRAL LABORERS' PENSION, WELFARE AND ANNUITY FUNDS, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
ATLAS PAVING & EXCAVATING, INC., ATLAS BUILDING COMPONENTS, HIGGINS CONSTRUCTION, ROBERT HIGGINS, INDIVIDUALLY, AND LISA HIGGINS, INDIVIDUALLY, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Reagan, District Judge

MEMORANDUM and ORDER

Plaintiffs ("the Funds") properly obtained default judgment as to all five Defendants herein -- each of whom failed to respond to the complaint and failed to respond to an order giving them an opportunity to oppose the motion seeking default judgment. On April 11, 2008, after reviewing documents detailing the damages, the undersigned Judge directed the Clerk of Court to enter judgment in favor of the Funds and against all five Defendants in the amount of $38,551.89.

That order carefully delineated the components of the award (including the portions representing delinquent contributions, attorney's fees and liquidated damages, etc.) and directed Defendants to produce certain payroll records for audit. This Court retained jurisdiction to enforce its order and judgment.

The five Defendants named in the 45-page complaint, named in the Clerk's entry of default and named in the default judgment are:

1-- Atlas Paving & Excavating, Inc.,

2-- Atlas Building Components,

3-- Higgins Construction,

4-- Robert Higgins, individually, and

5-- Lisa Higgins, individually.

Judgment was entered on April 14, 2008. The Magistrate Judge assigned to this case (the Honorable Clifford J. Proud) then handled post-judgment collection matters herein, such as judgment debtor exams set following the issuance and service of citations to discover assets. The hearings before Judge Proud included a June 2, 2008 hearing at which Defendant Robert Higgins appeared.

On June 3, 2008, based on information discovered at the June 2nd hearing (indicating that Robert Higgins was about to pay $50,000 to Lisa Higgins pursuant to a property settlement in a Jersey County, Illinois marriage dissolution action), the Funds moved for a turnover order against Robert Higgins (see Doc. 44).

On July 8, 2008, Judge Proud granted the Funds' motion for turnover, noting (Doc. 55):

Before the Court is [the Funds'] Motion for Turnover Order directed at Robert Higgins (Doc. 44). None of the defendants have responded, and the time for doing so has now expired.... The Court hereby ... Orders defendant Robert Higgins to turn over to plaintiffs the sum of thirty eight thousand five hundred fifty one dollars and eighty nine cents ($38,551.89), that was to be paid to co-defendant, Lisa Higgins. Defendant shall turn the money over by July 22, 2008.

On August 19, 2008, Robert M. Higgins filed a "Motion for Relief from Order Pursuant to Rule 60" (Doc. 77), challenging Judge Proud's July 8th Turnover Order. As explained below, the undersigned District ...


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