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Smoak v. Bitcoin Market LLC

United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma

July 24, 2019

1 CHRISTOPHER SMOAK, an individual residing in California, Plaintiff,
v.
1 BITCOIN MARKET, LLC, an Oklahoma limited liability company; 2 DUSTIN W. DOLLAR, an individual residing in Oklahoma; and 3 TIFFANY DOLLAR, an individual residing in Oklahoma, Defendants.

          ORDER

          PATRICK R. WYRICK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Entry of Default Judgment Against Defendants Bitcoin Market, LLC, Dustin W. Dollar and Tiffany Dollar and Brief in Support (Dkt. 26). Plaintiff's complaint asserts a breach of contract claim against Defendants and that he is owed damages.[1] Defendants Bitcoin Market, LLC, Dustin W. Dollar, and Tiffany Dollar, were served on December 7, 2018, December 10, 2018, and November 14, 2018, respectively.[2] The time for Bitcoin Market, LLC, to answer or otherwise plead or move expired on December 28, 2018.[3] The time for Dustin W. Dollar to answer or otherwise plead or move expired on December 31, 2018.[4]The time for Tiffany Dollar to answer or otherwise plead or move expired on December 5, 2018.[5]

         The Defendants have filed no entry of appearance, answer, request for extension of time, or any other motion. On May 21, 2019, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Entry of Default Judgment Against Defendants Bitcoin Market, LLC, Dustin W. Dollar and Tiffany Dollar and Brief in Support (Dkt. 26). The Clerk certified the Defendants' default on February 1, 2019 (Dkt. 15).

         The Court held an evidentiary hearing on the motion for default judgment on July 23, 2019, at which only counsel for Plaintiff appeared. While Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(b)(6) authorizes the Court to take the allegations in the complaint, except those relating to damages, as true, [6] Fed.R.Civ.P. 55 also permits the Court to conduct a hearing to “establish the truth of any allegation by evidence, ”[7]“determine the amount of damages, ”[8] or “investigate any other matter.”[9] After reviewing the filings in this case and receiving evidence in the hearing as to the basis of the breach of contract claim and damages, the Court finds that Plaintiff has stated a basis for his breach of contract claim and default judgment should therefore be entered against Defendants Bitcoin Market, LLC, Dustin W. Dollar, and Tiffany Dollar.

         The Court further finds that Plaintiff is entitled to damages in the amount of $723, 143.50. This award is based on the following calculations: (1) the value of 75 bitcoin as of the date of entry of judgment (75 x $9, 628.58[10]); plus (2) $1, 000.00 representing the amount Plaintiff transferred to Defendant Dustin Dollar to be held in his Bitcoin Market account.[11] The Court concludes that Plaintiffs claim to compensation for lack of access to his bitcoin, or lost profits, is not recoverable because it was not foreseeable at the time of contracting.[12] Moreover, attorneys' fees and costs are inappropriate here, as such an award is not statutorily available, and Plaintiff merely speculates in the complaint and at the hearing that the relevant contract contains a provision for the award of attorneys' fees and costs to the prevailing party.[13]

         Accordingly, the Court GRANTS Plaintiffs Motion for Default Judgment (Dkt. 26) and ORDERS that default judgment for $723, 143.50 be entered against Defendants Bitcoin Market, LLC, Dustin W, Dollar, and Tiffany Dollar. A separate judgment will issue.

         IT IS ORDERED.

---------

Notes:

[1] See Second Am. Compl. (Dkt. 14). Specifically, Plaintiff asserts he is owed damages in the amount of the value of 75 bitcoin, the value of his lack of access to his bitcoin, $1, 000.00, and attorneys' fees and costs. See Mot. for Entry of Default J. (Dkt. 26) at 9.

[2] See Return of Service (Dkt. 8) (Bitcoin Market, LLC); Return of Service (Dkt. 7) (Dustin W. Dollar); Acknowledgement of Service (Dkt. 5) (Tiffany Dollar).

[3] See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(a)(1)(A).

[4] See id.

[5] See id.


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