Jara v. Kohut
A plaintiff may be entitled to an entry of default if the defendant fails to defend, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55(a). The plaintiffs requested that the court order a default against the pro se defendant, because the defendant failed to file a trial memorandum, on or before July 12, 2012, as required by a June 18, 2012, pre-trial order, or to request an extension of time in which to file the trial memorandum. "A default is an admission of all well-pleaded allegations against the defaulting party," pursuant to Vermont Teddy Bear Co. v. 1-800 Beargram Co., a 2004 decision of the 2nd Circuit. A court may order sanctions, if a party fails to obey a court order, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16(f). "[W]hile pro se litigants may in general deserve more lenient treatment than those represented by counsel, all litigants, including pro ses, have an obligation to comply with court orders," pursuant to McDonald v. Head Criminal Court Supervisor Officer, a 1988 decision of the 2nd Circuit. The District Court exercised its discretion and ordered the pro se defendant to file the trial memorandum, on or before July 24, 2012. In a separate memorandum, the District Court found that because the defendant did not file the trial memorandum, on or before July 24, 2012, and did not appear in court at a scheduled bench trial on July 31, 2012, the defendant effectively indicated that he did not intend to offer any defense. "By his failure to appear," wrote the District Court, "the defendant has demonstrated that he has no intention of defending this action." The defendant did not appear or contact the court. The plaintiffs were prepared and ready to proceed. The District Court granted the plaintiffs their request for a default pursuant to Rule 55(a).