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Treasures London Limited v. Keswani

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

February 7, 2019

TREASURES LONDON LIMITED, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
POONAM KESWANI, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          HON. BRIAN R. MARTINOTTI UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         THIS MATTER is before this Court on Defendant Poonam Keswani's (“Keswani”) Motion to vacate the Clerk's Entry of Default against him and to dismiss the complaint for lack of jurisdiction. Plaintiff Treasures London Limited (“Treasures London”) and Harjit Singh Athwal (“Athwal”) (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) oppose the Motion. (ECF No. 7.)

         To set aside an entry of default, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55 permits “[t]he court [to] set aside an entry of default for good cause” at its discretion. Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(c); see Bailey v. United Airlines, 279 F.3d 194, 204 (3d Cir. 2002). Entry of defaults are not favored and doubtful cases are to be resolved in favor of the party moving to set aside the default so that cases may be decided on the merits. United States v. $55, 518.05 in U.S. Currency, 728 F.2d 192, 195 (3d Cir. 1984). To determine whether good cause exists to vacate the entry of default, the Court looks at the following factors: (1) prejudice to the plaintiff; (2) whether the default was entered due to the culpable conduct of the defaulting party; (3) availability of a meritorious defense; and (4) the effectiveness of alternative sanctions.[1] Emcasco Ins. Co. v. Sambrick, 834 F.2d 71, 73 (3d Cir. 1987) (citing Poulis v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., 747 F.2d 863, 868 (3d Cir. 1984)).

         The Court has reviewed the Motion and the numerous filings[2] submitted in connection therewith and enters its decision without oral argument pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 78(b).

         IT APPEARING THAT:

         1. Plaintiffs filed a Complaint on September 27, 2018, asserting this Court's jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332 and 18 U.S.C. § 63. (Compl. (ECF No. 1), § Jurisdiction.)[3]

         2. Keswani was served on November 15, 2018, at his New York, NY home by service on his doorman. (ECF No. 3.)

         3. On December 19, 2018, default was entered against Keswani. (Clerk's Entry, dated Dec. 19, 2018.)

         4. On January 3, 2019, Keswani moved to vacate the default and to dismiss the complaint for lack of jurisdiction. (ECF No. 6.)

         5. Vacating default is appropriate in this matter because there appears to be a meritorious defense, i.e., lack of jurisdiction.

         6. Plaintiffs' Complaint does not set forth allegations sufficient to support diversity jurisdiction. It states only:

a. Plaintiffs are “residents of London, England” and that Treasures London is registered in the United States through Plaintiffs' counsel's office in New Jersey. (ECF No. 1 § Parties and Count Two ¶ 8.)
b. Keswani “is a U.S. citizen” and “is a resident and domiciled in New York City, State of New York.” (ECF No. 1, Count Two, ¶¶ 2, 8.)
c. Defendant Treasures of Prince LLC's “last known registered office address[es]” are in New York and California. ...

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