Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Dvore v. Casmay

January 29, 2009

IRENE DVORE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JAMES E. CASMAY, SHELDON G. ALDRIDGE, TRACY H. ALDRIDGE, SYED HUMAYUN, AND NORTH COMMUNITY BANK, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Robert M. Dow, Jr.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

The Court has before it Plaintiff's motion for default judgment and prove up as to the remaining Defendants in the case [91], as well as Plaintiff's prove-up materials [93] and supplemental brief [95] discussing the extent to which a default judgment is appropriate against Defendant Humayun. For the reasons stated more fully below, the Court enters an order of default against Defendants Sheldon Aldridge and Tracy Aldridge and grants in part and denies in part Plaintiff's motion for default judgment [91]. The Court enters default judgments (i) against Defendants Sheldon Aldridge, Tracy Aldridge, and James Casmay, jointly and severally, on Count I in the amount of $600,000 and (ii) against Defendant Syed Humayun on Count II in the amount of $200,000. The Court declines to award punitive damages against Defendant Humayun and dismisses Count III of the complaint against Humayun. Within fourteen days of the entry of this order, Plaintiff may prove-up attorneys fees to which she may be entitled under RICO.

I. Background

Plaintiff filed a three-count complaint [1] on June 5, 2006. In her Complaint, Plaintiff alleged that: (1) Defendants James E. Casmay, Sheldon G. Aldridge, and Tracy H. Aldridge violated certain provisions of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act ("RICO") (Count I); (2) Defendants North Community Bank ("NCB") and Syed Humayun made negligent misrepresentations to Plaintiff (Count II); and (3) Defendants NCB and Humayun breached a fiduciary duty allegedly owed to Plaintiff (Count III). Id. An order of default [19] was entered against Defendant Casmay on September 12, 2006, and a conditional order of default [23] was entered against Defendant Humayun on September 25, 2006. Later in 2006, Plaintiff filed executed returns of service as to Defendants Tracy Aldridge and Sheldon Aldridge [25, 31]. Neither of the Aldridges have appeared, answered the complaint, or otherwise participated in this case in the more than two years since they were served with summons, but no order of default has been entered as to the Aldridges. Only NCB appeared and defended itself in this action. This Court previously entered an order granting summary judgment [90] in favor of NCB on both counts of the complaint directed at NCB.

After the Court issued its ruling on NCB's summary judgment motion, Plaintiff filed a motion for default judgment and prove up [91] as to the remaining Defendants in the case. In that motion, Plaintiff seeks entry of judgment against Defendants Casmay, Tracy Aldridge, and Sheldon Aldridge, jointly and severally, in the amount of $600,000 (reflecting an award of $200,000, trebled under RICO), plus attorneys fees and costs. Plaintiff also seeks entry of judgment against Defendant Humayun in the amount of $200,000, plus an award of $600,000 in punitive damages against Humayun.

At the Court' s request, Plaintiff filed a supplement brief addressing the applicability of the Supreme Court' s decision in Frow v. De La Vega, 82 U.S. 552 (1872), and its progeny to the motion for default judgment against Defendant Humayun, a former employee of NCB. As explained below, after careful consideration, the Court concludes that the rationale enunciated in Frow (as later interpreted by the Seventh Circuit) does not prevent the entry of a default judgment against Humayun as to Count II, but does bar the entry of a default judgment against him on Count III of the complaint. Moreover, even if Frow did not bar the entry of a default judgment on Count III, that claim clearly lacks merit, making dismissal appropriate in any event.

II. Analysis

A. Default Judgments Against Casmay and the Aldridges

On September 12, 2006, an order of default [19] was entered against Defendant Casmay. More than two years after having been properly served [25, 31], Defendants Tracy Aldridge and Sheldon Aldridge have failed to appear. The Court therefore enters an order of default against the two Aldridge defendants. In addition, consistent with Plaintiff's motion for default judgment and prove-up materials [91], the Court now enters a default judgment against Defendants Casmay, Tracy Aldridge, and Sheldon Aldridge with respect to Count I of the complaint.

Plaintiff's complaint [1] requests both treble damages and attorneys fees. Both are available under the RICO statute. 18 U.S.C. § 1964(c); cf. Jones v. Phipps, 39 F.3d 158, 160-61, 166 (7th Cir. 1994) (upholding a default judgment in which damages had been trebled under RICO). Plaintiff's prove-up [94] materials state that Plaintiff purchased four certificates of deposits from Casmay for a total of $200,000. See Pl.' s Prove-Up Materials ¶¶ 18-24, 31, 46, 60 (describing the amounts and terms of the certificates of deposit, as well as the overall amount invested and requested); see also Pl.' s Mem. Supp. Summ. J. [48-4] ex. 3 at 5-16. Under 18 U.S.C. § 1964, the amount of damages is trebled, for a total of $600,000, to be awarded jointly and severally as to Casmay and both Aldridges.

Plaintiff has represented to the Court that she will provide prove up materials regarding attorneys fees. The Court directs Plaintiff to do so within fourteen days of the date of this order.

B. Default Judgment Against Humayun

1. The Frow Rule

By way of background, the Supreme Court' s decision in Frow involved the entry of a default judgment against one defendant and a judgment on the merits in favor of the non-defaulting defendants. The plaintiff in that case alleged that eight defendants conspired to defraud him out of a tract of land. One of the defendants, Frow, defaulted and a judgment was entered against him; the other defendants won on the merits. Frow, 82 U.S. at 553. The Court held that entering a default judgment against Frow was inconsistent with a ruling ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.