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Piano Wellness, LLC v. Williams

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

June 29, 2017

PIANO WELLNESS, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
CHARLOTTE K. WILLIAMS, a citizen of the State of Georgia, individually and trading as KeyboardWellness.com, Defendant.

          ELLIOTT J. STEIN STEVENS & LEE, PC On behalf of Plaintiff

          CHARLOTTE K. WILLIAMS Defendant appearing pro se

          OPINION

          NOEL L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.

         The procedural history of this case is long and tortured, and, among other events, has involved an aborted jury trial that was deemed a mistrial on November 14, 2014 due to Defendant's purported health problems[1] (Docket No. 130), three orders directing Defendant to engage in mediation (Docket No. 148, 151, 179), one adjourned contempt hearing due to Defendant's notice that she would not attend (Docket No. 162), an Order to Show Cause as to why Defendant should not undergo an independent medical examination (Docket No. 164), a second contempt hearing at which Defendant failed to appear (Docket No. 190), an Order to Show Cause why default judgment should not be entered against Defendant (Docket No. 191), a hearing on the Order to Show Cause regarding default judgment, at which Defendant failed to appear (Docket No. 198), and an order granting default against Defendant (Docket No. 200).

         Currently pending is the motion of Plaintiff for default judgment in its favor (Docket No. 207), and Defendant's motion to vacate default against her, as well as vacate several other Court orders, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(1), (3), (6) (Docket No. 202).

         DISCUSSION

         A. Subject matter jurisdiction

         Originally, this Court exercised subject matter jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1338(a) because Plaintiff's original complaint included claims for trademark infringement. Plaintiff filed an amended complaint on December 18, 2015, wherein it removed its trademark infringement claims and instead asserted claims for breach of contract and declaratory judgment. Consequently, this Court exercises subject matter jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a) insofar as the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000.00 and Plaintiff is a citizen of New Jersey, and Defendant is a citizen of Georgia, and 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201 and 2202, insofar as Plaintiff seeks a declaratory judgment in respect of an actual controversy between Plaintiff and Defendant.

         B. Rule 60(b), Rule 55(b)(2), and the Poulis factors

         For Defendant's motion to vacate, Rule 60(b) provides:

(b) Grounds for Relief from a Final Judgment, Order, or Proceeding. On motion and just terms, the court may relieve a party or its legal representative from a final judgment, order, or proceeding for the following reasons:
(1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect;
(2) newly discovered evidence that, with reasonable diligence, could not have been discovered in time to move for a new trial under Rule 59(b);
(3) fraud (whether previously called intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or misconduct by an opposing party;
(4) the judgment is void;
(5) the judgment has been satisfied, released, or discharged; it is based on an earlier judgment that has been reversed or vacated; or applying it prospectively is no longer equitable; or
(6) any other reason that justifies ...

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