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United States v. Ripley

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

August 29, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
KELLEY S. RIPLEY, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.

         On June 4, 2019, the Government filed a complaint to commence this foreclosure action against Kelley S. Ripley (Doc. 1). This Court has subject matter jurisdiction over the case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1345. A waiver of service was returned executed on June 5, 2019, and Ripley's answer was due on or before August 5, 2019 (Doc. 5). Ripley failed to respond to the complaint, and a Clerk's entry of default was entered on August 7, 2019 pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55(a) (Doc. 7). On August 19, 2019, the Government moved for default judgment pursuant to Rule 55(b) (Doc. 8).

         Default judgment pursuant to Rule 55(b)(2) must be entered by the Court, and the Court may conduct a hearing if it needs to: “(A) conduct an accounting; (B) determine the amount of damages; (C) establish the truth of any allegation by evidence; or (D) investigate any other matter.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(b)(2). Rule 55(b)(2) requires a plaintiff to establish the following: “(1) when and against what party the default was entered; (2) identification of the pleading as to which default was entered; (3) whether the defaulting party is an infant or incompetent person; (4) that the defendant is not in military services such that the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act of 1940 does not apply; and (5) that notice has been served on the defaulting party, if required by Rule 55(b)(2).” UMG Recordings, Inc. v. Stewart, 461 F.Supp.2d 837, 841 (S.D. Ill. 2006).

         All of the requirements for entry of a default judgment under Rule 55(b)(2) are satisfied here, and the Court does not find that a hearing is necessary. As discussed, default was entered against Ripley on August 6, 2019 (Doc. 7). The Government's counsel submitted an affidavit stating Ripley is not an infant, incompetent, or in the military service of the United States of America (Doc. 6, Ex. 1). Additionally, the motion for default judgment comports with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(c) by requesting relief that does not differ in kind from, or exceed in amount, what was demanded in the complaints. The Government also has complied with Southern District of Illinois Local Rule 55.1(b) by mailing a copy of the motion to Ripley's last known addresses (Doc. 8, Ex. 2).

         Additionally, under Illinois law, when a party does not submit a verified answer denying the facts in the complaint, then a “sworn verification of the complaint or a separate affidavit setting forth such fact is sufficient evidence thereof against such party and no further evidence of such fact shall be required.” 735 ILCS 5/15-1506(a)(1). The Court may enter a judgment of foreclosure “upon motion supported by an affidavit stating the amount which is due the mortgagee . . . where all the allegations of fact in the complaint have been proven by verification of the complaint or affidavit.” 735 ILCS 5/15-1506(a)(2). In this case, the Acting State Director for Rural Development attested to the allegations of fact in the Amended Complaint and set forth the amount due (Doc. 8, Ex. 1).

         Thus, the Court GRANTS the motion for default judgment (Doc. 8) and FINDS:

         1. The United States of America, acting through the United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Development (formerly Farmers Home Administration), made a loan to Margaret A. Zieba, secured by a mortgage dated November 5, 1992 (Doc. 1, Ex. 1, pp. 1-4), this mortgage was assumed by Daniel G. Ripley and Kelley S. Ripley on February 7, 1995, in the total principal amount of $49, 640.00 (Id. at pp. 5-9). The mortgages were recorded on November 5, 1992, in Mortgage Record Book 802 at Page 698 (Id. at pp. 1-4) and on February 7, 1995 in Mortgage Record Book 864 at Page 16 (Id. at pp. 5-9), in Jackson County, Illinois. These loans are evidenced by promissory notes dated November 5, 1992 (Id. at pp. 10-12) and February 7, 1995 (Id. at pp. 14-15). Defendant Kelley S. Ripley defaulted on the note. On December 22, 2014, the United States of America, acting through the United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, issued a notice of acceleration (Id. at pp. 21-16).

         2. That the following is the name of a person that who may have claimed an interest in the above described property, but who is foreclosed from asserting her claim, if any, because of her default in this action: Kelley S. Ripley.

         3. That by virtue of the mortgage and indebtedness thereby secured, Plaintiff United States of America has a valid and subsisting lien as follows:

Common address: 109 N. Lawrence Street, DeSoto, Illinois 62832
Lot 34 in Rolling Acres Second Plat, being a subdivision of a part of the Northwest Quarter of the Northwest Quarter and a part of the Northeast Quarter of the Northwest Quarter of Section 21, Township 8 South, Range 1 West of the 3rd P.M., in the Village of DeSoto, Jackson County, Illinois, as shown by the recorded Plat thereof in Plat Cabinet 1 on Page 91 in the Recorder's Office of Jackson County, Illinois.

Tax ID# 10-21-126-025

         4. That by virtue of the mortgage and the indebtedness thereby secured, as alleged in the Complaint, there is due ...


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