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J & J Sports Productions Inc. v. Vazquez

United States District Court, D. Arizona

November 8, 2017

J & J Sports Productions Incorporated, Plaintiff,
v.
Abelardo Hurtado Vazquez, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          James A. Teilborg Senior United States District Judge

         Pending before the Court is Plaintiff's motion for default judgment. (Doc. 19). The Clerk of the Court entered default against Defendant Ringside Pub and Grill LLC on July 3, 2017 and against Defendant Abelardo Hurtado Vazquez on August 15, 2017. (Docs. 14 and 18).

         I. Background

         This case arises from Defendants showing a pay-per-view fight in Defendants' commercial establishment without paying for the fight. (Doc. 19 at 2-3). Plaintiff owned the rights to the fight in question. (Doc. 19 at 2).

         II. Governing Law

         Another Court in this District has analyzed a motion for default in another case filed by this same Plaintiff as follows:

Once a party's default has been entered, the district court has discretion to grant default judgment against that party. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 55(b)(2); Aldabe v. Aldabe, 616 F.2d 1089, 1092 (9th Cir.1980). Factors the court may consider in deciding whether to grant default judgment include (1) the possibility of prejudice to the plaintiff, (2) the merits of the claim, (3) the sufficiency of the complaint, (4) the amount of money at stake, (5) the possibility of a dispute concerning material facts, (6) whether default was due to excusable neglect, and (7) the policy favoring a decision on the merits. Eitel v. McCool, 782 F.2d 1470, 1471-72. In applying the Eitel factors, “the factual allegations of the complaint, except those relating to the amount of damages, will be taken as true.” Geddes v. United Fin. Grp., 559 F.2d 557, 560 (9th Cir.1977).
A. Possible Prejudice to Plaintiff.
The first Eitel factor weighs in favor of granting Plaintiff's motion. Plaintiff served process on Defendants on April 14, 2015. Docs. 13, 14. Defendants have not answered the complaint or otherwise appeared in this action. If Plaintiff's motion for default judgment is not granted, Plaintiff “will likely be without other recourse for recovery.” PepsiCo, Inc. v. Cal. Security Cans, 238 F.Supp.2d 1172, 1177 (C.D. Cal. 2002).
B. The Merits of Plaintiff s Claims and the Sufficiency of the Complaint.
The second and third Eitel factors favor a default judgment where the complaint sufficiently states a claim for relief. See PepsioCo, Inc., 238 F.Supp.2d at 1175. Plaintiff seeks relief under 47 U.S.C. § 605.1 “[T]o be held liable for a violation of section 605, 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). Plaintiff has alleged that Defendants willfully intercepted and displayed the licensed program on March 8, 2014. Doc. 1, ¶¶ 15-21. Plaintiff's allegations are supported by the affidavits of two investigators who visited La Rubia y La Morena and saw the program being displayed on television screens. Doc. 18-3. One of these investigators noted that approximately forty patrons were watching the program on four television screens. Id. at 7. Plaintiff has stated a claim for a willful violation of section 605. [footnote omitted] The second and third factors favor a default judgment.
C. The Amount of Money at Stake.
Under the fourth Eitel factor, the Court considers the amount of money at stake in relation to the seriousness of the defendants' conduct. Plaintiff seeks ...

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