United States District Court, D. Idaho
THOMAS E. PEREZ, SECRETARY OF LABOR, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, Plaintiff,
SANDPOINT GAS N GO & LUBE CENTER, INC., and Idaho corporation, and SYDNEY M. OSKOUI, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
Lynn Winmill Chief Judge
Court has before it Defendant's Motion to Stay and Brief
in Support (Dkt. 85). For the reasons explained below, the
Court will deny the motion.
motion to stay is essentially a motion to reconsider the
Court's earlier decision. Defendants ask the Court to
“reconsider its Memorandum Decision and Order which
denies Defendants' request to this Court to vacate the
Judgment entered in this matter and in the alternative stay
the execution of the Judgment entered in this matter.”
Plf. Br., p.1, Dkt. 85.
Secretary of Labor filed its Complaint on August 27, 2014.
Defendants failed to timely respond. Instead, they filed
several frivolous pleadings, tried to unilaterally set a
hearing on the Court's calendar, attempted to be
represented by a non-lawyer, and disobeyed the Court's
rulings. Eventually, the Court ordered the Clerk of Court to
enter default against both Defendants. The Clerk entered
default on December 8, 2014. Defendant Oskoui tried to appeal
the default but the Ninth Circuit dismissed the appeal
sua sponte on January 14, 2015. The Ninth Circuit
mandate returning the case to this Court was issued on March
13, 2015, the Secretary of Labor filed a motion for default
judgment and requested a hearing on punitive damages. The
Court set a hearing for September 24, 2015. Defendants did
not appear at the hearing, and the Court entered a final
judgment that included $100, 000 in punitive damages, $979.25
in lost wages and prejudgment interest, and injunctive
relief. Defendants filed a notice of appeal on October 6,
2015. On April 25, 2016 the Ninth Circuit filed an Order in
this case indicating that briefing on the appeal was
complete, but the Ninth Circuit had not yet ruled on the
then asked the Court to set aside the default. The Court
denied that request, explaining that Defendants' Notice
of Appeal of this Court's final judgment deprived the
Court of jurisdiction to hear the pending motions. A default
judgment is a final appealable order. Symantec Corp. v.
Global Impact, Inc., 559 F.3d 922, 923 (9th Cir. 2009).
“The effective filing of a notice of appeal transfers
jurisdiction from the district court to the court of appeals
with respect to all matters involved in the appeal.”
Masalosalo by Masalosalo v. Stonewall Ins. Co., 718
F.2d 955, 956 (9th Cir. 1983) (Internal citations omitted).
The Court also noted that it cannot consider a motion to
vacate judgment. Davis v. Yageo Corp., 481 F.3d 661,
685 (9th Cir. 2007).
filed a second and third motion to set aside default,
ultimately citing Rule 62.1, which states that if a timely
motion is made for relief that the court lacks authority to
grant because an appeal is pending, the court may (1) defer
considering the motion, (2) deny the motion, or (3) state
either that it would grant the motion if the court of appeals
remands for that purpose or that the motion raises a
substantial issue. Fed.R.Civ.P. 62.1. The Court denied these
motions as well, citing its discretion to deny a rule 60(b)
motion to vacate a default judgment if (1) the plaintiff
would be prejudiced by granting it, (2) the defendant has no
meritorious defense, or (3) the defendant's culpable
conduct led to the default. Brandt v. American Bankers
Ins. Co. of Florida, 653 F.3d 1108, 1111 (9th Cir.
2011). The Court explained that only a finding of a
defendant's culpable conduct is necessary to deny the
motion. Pena v. Seguros La Comercial, S.A., 770 F.2d
811, 814 (9th Cir. 1985). In this case, Defendants engaged in
culpable conduct for more than a year in an effort to avoid
litigation on the merits of this matter.
now ask the Court to reconsider its decision. Defendants'
motion to reconsider makes several new arguments why the
Court should vacate the judgment, but it does not address the
crucial jurisdiction issue. As explained in the Court's
earlier decision, and as just restated above, Defendants'
Notice of Appeal of this Court's final judgment deprived
this Court of jurisdiction to hear a motion to set aside the
default. Notably, Defendants have since filed a Notice of
Appeal of the Court's Memorandum Decision and Order they
now ask the Court to reconsider. Dkt. 84. And Defendants'
argument that they did not engage in culpable conduct is
without merit. Defendants suggest they did not manipulate the
legal process or interfere with the judicial decision making
process. United States v. Signed Pers. Check No. 730 of
yubran S Mesle, 615 F.3d 1085, 1093 (9th Cir. 2010). The
Court disagrees. Defendants significantly disrupted and
delayed this case by filing multiple frivolous pleadings,
unilaterally setting a hearing on the Court's calendar,
attempting to be represented by a non-lawyer, and disobeying
Court orders. The Court is extremely busy. If the Court had
to address this type of behavior in all of its cases, justice
for all parties before the Court would be seriously impeded.
As it is, the Court and opposing counsel had to spend
considerable time and resources addressing Defendants'
frivolous behavior. Accordingly, Defendants' conduct was
culpable, and the Court is without jurisdiction to consider
the case while it is before the Ninth Circuit on appeal.
Defendant's Motion to Stay and Brief in Support ...