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 Francisca Angelica Gonzalez
Arvizu and Taco Mich. & Bar #4, LLC, doing business as
“Taco Mich.” 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
Liam Smith and related undercard bouts. The program aired
September 17, 2016.
claims that Defendants intercepted the program and displayed
it to patrons at Taco Mich, a Mexican restaurant and bar
operated by Defendants. See Doc. 16-3 at 5-8.
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 on November 14, 2017. Docs. 8,
9. The Clerk entered Defendants' default three weeks
later after they failed to answer or otherwise respond to the
complaint. Doc. 13. Plaintiff then filed the present motion
for default judgment pursuant to Rule 55(b) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure. 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 Hous. 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.
Grp., 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 judgment and an
award of damages in the amount of $30, 000.00 is warranted.
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
establish a violation of 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.
alleges that Defendants willfully intercepted and displayed
the licensed program to the public on September 17, 2016.
Docs. 1 ¶¶ 9-14, 16 ¶ 4. These allegations are
supported by the sworn affidavit of investigator Amanda
Hidalgo, who visited Taco Mich. on the night in question and
saw the program being displayed on a ...