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Farley v. Daniels

United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Knoxville

December 22, 2014

MELISSA FARLEY, Plaintiff,
v.
STANLEY JASON DANIELS, Defendant.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

H. BRUCE GUYTON, Magistrate Judge.

This case is before the undersigned pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636, the Rules of this Court, and the referral of the District Judge [Docs. 18, 23].

Now before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Default Judgment [Doc. 17], in which she moves the Court to enter a default judgment against Defendant Stanley Jason Daniels pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(b) and to conduct a hearing to determine the appropriate amount damages to be awarded against Mr. Daniels. Also before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Costs and Application for an Award of Attorney Fees. The Court has conducted a hearing on damages and has considered the Plaintiff's request for attorney fees and costs, and the Court finds that this matter is now ripe for adjudication.

For the reasons stated herein, the undersigned will RECOMMEND that a default judgment in the amount of $125, 000.00 be entered in Plaintiff's favor. The undersigned will further RECOMMEND that the Plaintiff be awarded $8, 960.00, representing the attorney fees and costs incurred in litigating this case.

I. PROCEDURAL POSTURE

On October 16, 2014, the undersigned entered an Order [Doc. 19], granting the Plaintiff's request for a hearing on damages. The Order stated that the hearing on damages would take place on November 17, 2014, and a copy of the Order was mailed to Mr. Daniels at his last-known address.

On November 17, 2014, the Court conducted a hearing on damages. Attorney Robert Kurtz was present representing the Plaintiff Melissa Farley, who was also present. Neither Mr. Daniels nor counsel on his behalf appeared at the hearing. The Court heard testimony from the Ms. Farley regarding a sexual assault perpetrated against her by Mr. Daniels and the pain and suffering she has endured as a result of the assault. Her testimony was consistent with the allegations contained in the Complaint. The Court also received a single exhibit at the hearing: a Waiver of Trial by Jury and Request for Acceptance of Plea of Guilty, identifying sexual conduct with an inmate as the offense charged, signed by Mr. Daniels on November 5, 2012.

Following the hearing, Ms. Farley filed her Motion for Costs and Application for an Award of Attorney Fees. Mr. Daniels did not file a response to this motion, and his time for doing so has expired, see E.D. Tenn. L.R. 7.1. The Court may treat the failure to file a timely response as acquiescence to the relief sought.

II. FINDINGS

The Court has considered the testimony presented at the evidentiary hearing and the evidence presented to the Court, and the Court FINDS as follows:

1. This court has jurisdiction to hear this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1331 and §1443.
2. Venue is appropriate pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1391.
3. On January 13, 2012, Mr. Daniels was an employee of the Claiborne County Sheriff's Department and was ...

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