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Richmond v. Correct Care Solutions, LLC

United States District Court, D. Delaware

September 24, 2018

RYAN RICHMOND, Plaintiff,
v.
CORRECT CARE SOLUTIONS, LLC, et al, Defendants.

          Ryan Richmond, Howard R. Young Correctional Institution, Wilmington, Delaware, Pro Se Plaintiff.

          Daniel A. Griffith, Esquire, and Kaan Ekiner, Esquire, Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, LLC, Wilmington, Delaware, Counsel for Defendants Correct Care Solutions, LLC and Pamela Magee.

          Stuart B. Drowos, Deputy Attorney General, and Ophelia Michelle Waters, Deputy Attorney General, Delaware Department of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware. Counsel for Defendants Matthew Fisher, Correctional Officer Glick, Correctional Officer Malloy, and Staff Lt. Farrington.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          STARK, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE:

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Ryan Richmond ("Plaintiff), an inmate at the Howard R. Young Correctional Institution in Wilmington, Delaware, proceeds pro se and has been granted in forma paitperis status. He filed this civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claiming violations of his constitutional rights. (D.I. 3, 9) Presently before the Court are several motions filed by the parties. (D.I. 75, 77, 80, 81, 85, 91)

         II. REQUEST FOR ENTRY OF DEFAULT

         Plaintiff requests entry of default as to Defendant Matthew Fisher ("Fisher") on die grounds that Fisher failed to plead or otherwise defend. (D.I. 80) Fisher opposes the request.

         The docket indicates that Fisher was served on January 8, 2018. (D.I. 78) Fisher, at the time proceeding pro se, filed a letter/answer to the complaint on February 2, 2018, construed as an answer. (See D.I. 79) Plaintiff 5led die request for default on March 12, 2018. (D.I 80) On March 15, 2018, counsel filed an entry of appearance on behalf of Fisher. (D.I. 83)

         Entry of default is not appropriate. Fisher timely appeared and answered die complaint on February 2, 2018. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 55(a). Therefore, the Court will deny die request for entry of default. (D.I. 80)

         III. MOTION FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT

         Plaintiff moves for default judgment against Defendant Patricia Munda ("Munda"). (D.I. 75) The Clerk of Court entered Munda's default on October 16, 2017. (See D.I. 63) Plaintiff contends that default judgment is appropriate on the grounds that Munda has been served, and she failed to answer, move, or otherwise respond to the complaint. Plaintiff notes that the Court is required to calculate the appropriate amount of damages.

         As a threshold matter, when ruling upon a motion for default judgment, a court is required to determine if there are any jurisdictional defects. See Allaham v. Naddaf, 635 Fed.Appx. 32, 36 (3d Cir. Dec. 17, 2015) (citing Bolden v. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transp. Auth., 953 F.2d 807, 812 (3d Cir. 1991)). This includes consideration of whether proper service of the complaint has been effectuated because, in the absence of proper service, the court lacks personal jurisdiction over a defendant. See e.g., Omni Capital Int'l. Ltd. v. Rudolf Wolff <& Co., Ltd., 484 U.S. 97, 104 (1987) ("Before a federal court may exercise personal jurisdiction over a defendant, the procedural requirement of service of summons must be satisfied."); Grand Entm't. Group, Ltd. v. Star Media Sales, Inc., 988 F.2d 476, 492 (3d Cir. 1993) ("A district court's power to assert inpersonam authority over parties defendant is dependent not only on compliance with due process but also on compliance with the technicalities of Rule 4.").

&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Based on the allegations in the complaint (see D.I. 3, 9), during the relevant time-frame Munda appears to have been employed by Defendant Correct Care Solutions, LLC, the health care provider for the Delaware Department of Correction ("DOC"), from July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2014. See Biggins v. Correct Care Solutions, Inc., 2016 WL 158500, n.1 at *1 (D. Del. Jan. 13, 2016). Connections Community Support Programs, Inc. became the DOC&#39;s healthcare provider on July 1, 2014. See Guilfoil v. Comet Care Solutions, 2016 WL 5024190, at *3 (D. Del. Sept. 15, 2016). In the service documents that Plaintiff submitted, he provided a Dover, Delaware address for Munda. (D.I. 38) However, a review of the return of service indicates that the United States Marshals Service personally served Steve Davis ("Davis"), General Counsel, at a Wilmington, Delaware address. (Id.) On April 27, 2017, the Court was advised by an attorney who represents Connections Community Support Programs, Inc. in litigation before this Court that Davis is legal counsel for ...


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