United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Rock Island Division
DARROW UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
October 5, 2016, the United States moved for an Emergency
Motion of Default to protect the welfare of the dogs seized
in the instant civil asset forfeiture proceeding, ECF No. 24.
The Court granted the motion on November 10, 2016, ECF No.
25, and the United States immediately filed the instant
Motion for Default Judgment, ECF No. 26. For the following
reasons, the motion is GRANTED.
must be entered against a party from “whom a judgment
for affirmative relief is sought [but] has failed to plead or
otherwise defend, ” Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(a), and, in its
discretion, a district court may grant a party's
subsequent motion for default judgment, Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(b);
see also In re Catt, 368 F.3d 789, 793 (7th Cir.
2004). A default judgment establishes a defendant's
liability as a matter of law. Dundee Cement Co. v. Howard
Pipe & Concrete Products, Inc., 722 F.2d 1319, 1323
(7th Cir. 1983); Breuer Elec. Mfg. Co. v. Toronado Sys.
of Am., Inc., 687 F.2d 182, 186 (7th Cir. 1982).
Further, Federal Rule of Procedure 54(b) allows the Court to
direct partial entry of judgment as to one or more, but not
all, claims in an action if the Court finds “no just
reason for delay.” Fed.R.Civ. P. 54(b).
Government provided direct notice of the forfeiture action to
Ryan Hickman, Stantrel Knight, Marcus Holmes, Maudie
Traywick, Shurmean Carter, Yolanda Goldsmith, Iesha Jones,
Timon Mayfield, Elex Roberts, Phyllis McCoy, Traneisha
Jordan, Rudolph Hall, Simmeon Hall and Deaguise Hall. ECF
Nos. 3, 4, 8. Each of these individuals was served with
Notice of a Civil Forfeiture Action and a verified Complaint
by certified mail and by the U.S. Mail. Id. Further,
the Government published notice of the forfeiture on the
official government website, www.forfeiture.gov, as required
by Rule G(4)(a)(iv)(C). Declaration of Publication 5, ECF No.
23. The last publication occurred on June 22, 2016.
Id. The Court previously entered default against the
noticed individuals on November 10, 2016, because they were
properly served and had failed to plead or otherwise defend.
See Nov. 10, 2016 Order. Nothing has changed since
that date, except the increased urgency of rehabilitating the
defaulted potential claimants are not infants or incompetent
persons and are not in the military within the purview of the
Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act of 1940, as amended.
The unchallenged allegations of the Government's verified
forfeiture complaint establish that the 27 defaulted dogs
were involved in, in any manner or part, the commission
and/or facilitation of the commission of a violation of 7
U.S.C. § 2156 (animals involved in a violation of the
Animal Welfare Act) and 15 U.S.C. §§ 1172-1175
(animals used as gambling devices), and are therefore subject
to forfeiture to the United States, pursuant to 15 U.S.C.
§ 1177 and 7 U.S.C. § 2156(f).
the Court finds it appropriate to enter default against Ryan
Hickman, Stantrel Knight, Marcus Holmes, Maudie Traywick,
Shurmean Carter, Yolanda Goldsmith, Iesha Jones, Timon
Mayfield, Elex Roberts, Phyllis McCoy, Traneisha Jordan,
Rudolph Hall, Simmeon Hall and Deaguise Hall, foreclosing
their ability to contest the forfeiture of the dogs, and
against the following twenty-seven dogs on which no claims
have been made:
Fifteen pit bull dogs seized from at 514 14th Avenue, Rock
Island, Illinois (CATS ID: 16-FBI-002706):
1 Black and White Female Pit Bull - Serial No: IL-1A-01
1 Black and White Male Pit Bull - Serial No: IL-1A-02
1 Black Male Pit Bull - Serial No: IL-1A-03
1 Brown and White Female Pit Bull - Serial No: IL-1A-04
1 Brown and White Female Pit Bull - Serial No: IL-1A-06
1 Black and White Male Pit Bull - Serial No: ...