Hooper-Haas v. Ziegler Holdings, LLC, No. 11-1747 (1st Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
In 2008 Ziegler Holdings purchased the right to civil possession of a beachfront residence in Vieques, Puerto Rico, from plaintiffs and agreed to make monthly payments over four years, culminating in a balloon payment; maintain insurance on the Property; and indemnify plaintiffs for attorneys' fees of $5,000 in the event of an enforcement action. In 2010, Ziegler stopped making monthly payments, asserting that plaintiffs had misrepresented the property. Plaintiffs sought a declaration that the sale was void, return of the possessory interest, and $5,000 in attorneys' fees. Ziegler failed to timely submit its pretrial memorandum, frustrated plaintiffs’ efforts to have the parties meet and confer regarding discovery, and did not disclose materials described in a court order. Following several court dates and warnings, the district court entered default judgment against Ziegler. The First Circuit affirmed the default judgment, but vacated in part because the court had entered judgment beyond what plaintiffs were entitled to. The court remanded for entry of a revised judgment limited to declaratory relief, possession of the Property, and attorneys' fees.