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J & J Sports Productions, Inc v. Lawrence Prijoles

August 17, 2012

J & J SPORTS PRODUCTIONS, INC.,
(DHB) PLAINTIFF,
v.
LAWRENCE PRIJOLES, INDIVIDUALLY AND D/B/A CHRISTY'S BAKERY & RESTAURANT,
DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Irma E. GONZALEZUnited States District Judge

ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART JUDGMENT MOTION FOR DEFAULT [Doc. No. 10]

Presently before the Court is Plaintiff J & J Sports Productions, Inc. ("Plaintiff")'s motion for default judgment. [Doc. No. 10.] After a thorough review of all the submissions, and for the reasons stated below, the Court GRANTS IN PART and DENIES IN PART Plaintiff's motion for default judgment.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff is a commercial distributor of sports and entertainment programming. [Doc. No. 1, Compl. ¶ 11.] Pursuant to contract, Plaintiff was granted the exclusive nationwide commercial distribution (closed-circuit) rights to "Tactical Warfare": Manny Pacquiao v. Antonio Margarito, WBC Light Middleweight Championship Fight Program ("the Program"), which was telecast nationwide on Saturday, November 13, 2010. [Id. ¶ 9.] Plaintiff thereafter entered into sublicensing agreements with various commercial entities throughout the United States, wherein Plaintiff granted these entities limited sublicensing rights, specifically the right to publicly exhibit the Program within their respective commercial establishments. [Id. ¶ 10.]

Defendant Lawrence Prijoles ("Defendant") is the owner and operator of a commercial establishment doing business as Cristy's Bakery and Restaurant, operating at 9178 Mira Mesa Blvd., San Diego, CA 92126. [Compl. ¶ 7.] Plaintiff alleges that Defendant unlawfully intercepted, received, published, divulged, displayed, and exhibited the Program at the time of its transmission at Christy's Bakery and Restaurant. [Id. ¶ 12; see also Doc. No. 10-3, Declaration of Paul B. Marino ("Marino Decl.").] Plaintiff further alleges that these actions were done willfully, for the purposes of commercial advantage and private financial gain, and with full knowledge that the Program was not to be unlawfully intercepted, received, published, divulged, displayed, and/or exhibited by commercial entities unauthorized to do so. [Compl. ¶¶ 12-13.]

On November 10, 2011, Plaintiff filed the present action against the Defendant alleging four causes of action for: (1) violation of 47 U.S.C. § 605; (2) violation of 47 U.S.C. § 553; (3) conversion; and (4) violation of California Business and Professions Code §§ 17200, et seq. [Compl.] Plaintiff served Defendant with the complaint via substituted service on January 13, 2012. [Doc. Nos. 4.] After the Defendant failed to respond to Plaintiff's complaint, Plaintiff requested an entry of default, and the Clerk entered default as to Defendant on March 16, 2012. [Doc. Nos. 5-6.] By the present motion, Plaintiff requests a default judgment against Defendant and an award of $112,200 in statutory and compensatory damages. [Doc. No. 10.]

DISCUSSION

I. Legal Standard for a Default Judgment

Once a default has been entered by the clerk, the district court has discretion to grant a default judgment. Fed. R. Civ. P. 55(b)(2); Aldabe v. Aldabe, 616 F.2d 1089, 1092 (9th Cir. 1980). In exercising its discretion to grant or deny relief, the district court should consider:

(1) the possibility of prejudice to the plaintiff, (2) the merits of plaintiff's substantive claim, (3) the sufficiency of the complaint, (4) the sum of money at stake in the action;

(5) the possibility of a dispute concerning material facts; (6) whether the default was due to excusable neglect, and (7) the strong policy underlying the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure favoring decisions on the merits.

Eitel v. McCool, 782 F.2d 1470, 1471-72 (9th Cir. 1986) (citation omitted). In deciding a motion for default judgment, the well pleaded factual allegations of the complaint, other than damages, are taken as true. Fair Hous. of Marin v. Combs, 285 F.3d 899, 906 (9th Cir. 2002); Televideo Sys., Inc. v. Heidenthal, 826 F.2d 915, 917-18 (9th Cir.1987); see also FED. R. CIV. P. 8(b)(6) ("[a]n

allegation-other than one relating to the amount of damages-is admitted if a responsive pleading is required and ...


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