United States District Court, D. Arizona
ORDER AND DEFAULT JUDGMENT
G. CAMPBELL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
J & J Sports Productions has filed a motion for default
judgment against Defendants Nydia Meza and Taqueria Cajeme,
LLC pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55(b). Doc.
16. No response has been filed. For reasons stated below,
default judgment is appropriate.
obtains licenses to distribute pay-per-view programming to
various commercial establishments, including bars and
restaurants. Plaintiff contracted for the right to broadcast
a boxing match between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and
Amir Khan and related undercard bouts. The program aired May
claims that Defendants intercepted the program and displayed
it to the public at Taqueria Cajeme, a Mexican restaurant and
bar operated by Defendants and located at 356 East University
Drive in Mesa, Arizona. Plaintiff filed suit seeking
statutory damages for Defendants' alleged violations of
the Communications Act of 1934 and the Cable and Television
Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992, 47 U.S.C.
§§ 553 and 605 et seq. Doc. 1.
served process on Defendants Nydia Meza and Taqueria Cajeme
on May 23, 2017. Docs. 8, 9. The Clerk entered their default
one month later after they failed to answer or otherwise
respond to the complaint. Doc. 11. Plaintiff then filed the
present motion for default judgment. Doc. 16.
default is entered by the clerk, the district court may enter
default judgment pursuant to Rule 55(b). The court's
“decision whether to enter a default judgment is a
discretionary one.” Aldabe v. Aldabe, 616 F.2d
1089, 1092 (9th Cir. 1980). Although the court should
consider and weigh relevant factors as part of the
decision-making process, it “is not required to make
detailed findings of fact.” Fair Housing of Marin
v. Combs, 285 F.3d 899, 906 (9th Cir. 2002).
following factors may be considered in deciding whether
default judgment is appropriate: (1) the possibility of
prejudice to the plaintiff, (2) the merits of the claims, (3)
the sufficiency of the complaint, (4) the amount of money at
stake, (5) the possibility of factual disputes, (6) whether
default is due to excusable neglect, and (7) the policy
favoring decisions on the merits. See Eitel v.
McCool, 782 F.2d 1470, 1471-72 (9th Cir. 1986). In
considering the merits and sufficiency of the complaint, the
court accepts as true the complaint's well-pled factual
allegations, but the plaintiff must establish all damages
sought in the complaint. See Geddes v. United Fin.
Group, 559 F.2d 557, 560 (9th Cir. 1977). Having
reviewed the complaint and default judgment motion, the Court
finds that the Eitel factors favor default judgement
and statutory damages in the amount of $30, 000.00 are
Possible Prejudice to Plaintiff.
first Eitel factor weighs in favor of default
judgment. Defendants failed to respond to the complaint or
otherwise appear in this action despite being served with the
complaint, the application for default, and the motion for
default judgment. If Plaintiff's motion is not granted,
Plaintiff “will likely be without other recourse for
recovery.” PepsiCo, Inc. v. Cal. Sec. Cans,
238 F.Supp.2d 1172, 1177 (C.D. Cal. 2002). The prejudice to
Plaintiff in this regard supports the entry of default
Merits of the Claims and Sufficiency of the
second and third Eitel factors favor default
judgment where, as in this case, the complaint sufficiently
states a plausible claim for relief under the Rule 8 pleading
standards. See Id. at 1175; Danning v.
Lavine, 572 F.2d 1386, 1388-89 (9th Cir. 1978).
Plaintiff seeks relief under 47 U.S.C. § 605. To be held
liable for a violation this statute, “a defendant must
be shown to have (1) intercepted or aided the interception
of, and (2) divulged or published, or aided the divulging or
publishing of, a communication transmitted by the
plaintiff.” Nat'l Subscription Television v. S
& H TV, 644 F.2d 820, 826 (9th Cir. 1981). Section
605 applies to satellite television signals. DirecTV,
Inc. v. Webb, 545 F.3d 837, 844 (9th Cir. 2008).
has alleged that Defendants willfully intercepted and
displayed the licensed program on May 7, 2016.
Plaintiff's allegations are supported by the sworn
affidavit of investigator Amanda Hidalgo, who visited
Taqueria Cajeme on May 7 and saw the program being displayed
on a television in ...