Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Daniel F. Kelleher Auctions, LLC v. Huh

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

January 23, 2019

DANIEL F. KELLEHER AUCTIONS, LLC
v.
EUGENE HUH

          RULING ON MOTION FOR SANCTIONS AND CERTIFICATION OF FACTS TO THE DISTRICT JUDGE PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 636(e)

          ROBERT M. SPECTOR UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         On June 9, 2016, the plaintiff, Daniel F. Kelleher Auctions, LLC, commenced this action against the defendant, Eugene Huh, alleging, inter alia, breach of contract, fraud, and violations of New York General Business Law § 349. (Doc. No. 1). On October 5, 2016, the Court entered a default against the defendant under Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(a) (Doc. No. 9), followed, on April 18, 2017, by a default judgment under Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(b), in the amount of $203, 575.10 in favor of the plaintiff. (Doc. No. 11; see also Doc. No. 10).

         A. FIRST MOTION FOR SANCTIONS - REQUEST FOR CIVIL CONTEMPT & MOTION FOR ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE

         On November 15, 2017, the plaintiff moved to compel the defendant to appear for a post-judgment deposition and to produce certain documents (Doc. No. 14), which the Court granted on January 2, 2018 by electronic order, after no brief in opposition was filed. (Doc. No. 16).

         Three months later, on April 3, 2018, the plaintiff filed a Motion for an Order to Show Cause and for sanctions against the defendant for failure to pay the judgment and failure to comply with the Court's January 2, 2018 order. (Doc. No. 17). In the Motion, the plaintiff requested that the defendant be found in civil contempt, ordered to pay a fine of $1, 000 for every day that he failed to comply with the award compelling his attendance, and award costs and fees to the plaintiff. (Doc. No. 17 at 1-2). Additionally, in its brief in support of its Motion, the plaintiff stated that counsel for the plaintiff notified the defendant of the Court's January 2, 2018 order via electronic mail but was unable to serve him with the notice and the subpoena for the deposition. (Doc. No. 18 at 1-2). On May 22, 2018, the Motion was referred to this Magistrate Judge. (Doc. No. 19).

         The next day, this Court issued an Order to Show Cause in which the defendant was ordered to “file and serve any written response to the plaintiff's motion for an order to show cause on or before June 11, 2018[, ]”and ordered the defendant to appear before the Court on June 18, 2018. (Doc. No. 20 at 2).

         On June 13, 2018, the plaintiff filed an affidavit of service of the Order to Show Cause which detailed the five attempts made to effectuate in hand service on the defendant at his address: 26 Leigh Street, Williston Park, NY 11596. (Doc. No. 22). A copy of the Order was also mailed to the defendant at that address. (Doc. No. 22). On the same day, the plaintiff filed a second affidavit of Order to Show Cause, which detailed that service was made upon Yuvarka Huh, the defendant's wife, at 26 Leigh Street, Williston Park, NY 11596. (Doc. No. 23). A copy of the Order was also mailed to that address. (Doc. No. 23).

         B. JUNE 2018 SHOW CAUSE HEARING

         The defendant neither filed a response to the plaintiff's motion as ordered by this Court, nor appeared at the June 18th show cause hearing. (Doc. No. 24). At the hearing, counsel for the plaintiff represented that he had an email address for the defendant, linked to the defendant's Ebay account from which the defendant sold stamps; the plaintiff subpoenaed the Ebay records, and confirmed that the email address was attached to the defendant's active Ebay account. Thus, in addition to the service made on the defendant's wife, as referenced above, plaintiff's counsel emailed the defendant a copy of the Court's Order on May 24, 2018.

         The plaintiff reiterated its request for the issuance of a civil arrest warrant so that the plaintiff could “figure out” the defendant's assets, which might include money made from selling these stamps on Ebay. Additionally, the plaintiff reiterated its request for sanctions for the fees and costs of the original deposition, the filing of the Motion to Compel, the filing of the Motion for Order to Show Cause, and the fees and costs incurred in connection with the hearing. The plaintiff also requested that additional sanctions be imposed upon the defendant, up to $1, 000 a day.

         C. SECOND MOTION FOR SANCTIONS AND REQUEST FOR CONTEMPT

         In accordance with the Court's direction at the hearing, on June 25, 2018, the plaintiff filed another Motion for Sanctions (Doc. No. 25), pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(b)(2), seeking $9, 850.20 of attorney's fees and costs incurred. (Doc. No. 25-1, Ex. 1). Additionally, the plaintiff repeated its request for additional sanctions of up to $1, 000 per day from January 12, 2018, the date of the Court's Order granting the plaintiff's Motion to Compel (Doc. No. 16) and requested that this Court issue an order adjudging the defendant in civil contempt of this Court's Order and issue a Form AO442. (Doc. No. 25 at 1).

         On July 10, 2018, the Court granted, in part, the plaintiff's Motion for Sanctions (Doc. No. 25) in that it awarded attorney's fees and costs in the amount of $9, 850.20, but did not issue a civil arrest warrant or an order of civil contempt. (Doc. No. 26 at 4). The Court also ordered the defendant to appear at his deposition no later than August 15, 2018. (Doc. No. 26 at 4). In that order, the Court warned the defendant that, if he failed to comply with this Court's order to attend his deposition, the Court “may, and likely will, impose further sanctions, including attorney's fees and costs incurred by the plaintiff in pursuing this matter[]” and may also issue a civil arrest warrant. (Doc. No. 26 at 4).

         D. THIRD MOTION FOR SANCTIONS

         On August 17, 2018, the plaintiff filed another Motion for Sanctions. (Doc. No. 27), which was referred to this Magistrate Judge three days later. (Doc. No. 28). In this motion, plaintiff's counsel represented that his process server made nine unsuccessful attempts to serve the defendant at his known personal residence with a copy of the Court's July 10, 2018 order and a subpoena for the defendant to appear at a scheduled August 7, 2018 deposition. (Doc. No. 27 at 1). The process server noted that the air conditioning units in the defendant's residence were on at the time of his attempts and that the vehicles parked at the residence had been moved in between attempts at service. (Doc. No. 27 at 1). In addition, a neighbor advised the process server that the defendant was inside the residence when the process server was knocking on his front door. (Doc. No. 27 at 1). Moreover, according to the plaintiff, on July 18, 2018 and July 31, 2018, the process server effected service by both affixing copies of the Court's July 10, 2018 order and the deposition subpoena to the front door of the defendant's residence and by mailing copies of these same documents to the residence in an envelope marked “Personal and Confidential.” (Doc. No. 27 at 1; see ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.