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United States v. Baxter

United States District Court, D. Nebraska

July 2, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
TAMRA L. BAXTER Defendant.

          DEFAULT JUDGMENT

          Laurie Smith Camp, Senior United States District Judge

         This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion for Default Judgment, ECF No. 17. For the reasons stated below, the Motion will be granted.

         BACKGROUND

         The following facts are those alleged in the Complaint, ECF No. 1, and are unchallenged by the Defendant.

         Acting through Rural Housing Service (RHS), an agency of USDA, Plaintiff made a Rural Housing Loan to Defendant Tamra L. Baxter on or about November 29, 2001.

         Baxter signed a promissory note and promised to pay to RHS the sum of $95, 000.00 with interest at the rate of 6.875 percent. In consideration for this loan, Baxter granted to RHS a purchase-money security interest in the form of a Real Estate Trust Deed covering the following property:

Lot Five (5) in Highview Addition to Springfield, an Addition to the City of Springfield, as surveyed, platted, and recorded in Sarpy County, Nebraska

ECF No. 18-1, Page ID 49-50. The Trust Deed was recorded in the Office of Register of Deeds of Sarpy County, Nebraska, on December 4, 2001.

         As of May 14, 2019, RHS claims it is owed, pursuant to the provisions of the liability and security instruments described above, a total balance of $166, 702.65 plus costs and interest. The total sum includes $96, 645.74 in total principal and $26, 002.39 in total interest as of May 14, 2019. RHS also claims it is owed interest accruing thereafter at the daily rate of $18.1912 per day to the date of judgment in this case together with interest at the legal rate thereafter; $44, 054.52 in interest credit or subsidy subject to recapture; and the costs of this action.

         The interests of the Defendant are junior and inferior to the interests of the Plaintiff.

         On February 14, 2019, the Court granted the Plaintiff's request for service by publication on Defendant. The Plaintiff published notice of this action, as required by the Court's order. ECF No. 13. To date, Defendant had not answered or otherwise appeared. On May 13, 2019, the Clerk of Court entered default against Defendant. ECF No. 16.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         “The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure commit the entry of a default judgment against a party to the sound discretion of the trial court.” Belcourt Pub. Sch. Dist. v. Davis, 786 F.3d 653, 661 (8th Cir. 2015) (quoting FTC v. Packers Brand Meats, Inc., 562 F.2d 9, 10 (8th Cir. 1977)) (per curiam). It is “appropriate for a district court to enter a default judgment when a party fails to appropriately respond in a timely manner.” Marshall v. Baggett, 616 F.3d 849, 852 (8th Cir. 2010) (citing Inman v. Am. Home Furniture Placement, Inc., 120 F.3d 117, 119 (8th Cir. 1997)). “Upon default, the factual allegations of a complaint (except those relating to the amount of damages) are taken as true, but ‘it remains for the court to consider whether the unchallenged facts constitute a legitimate cause of action, since a ...


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