United States District Court, E.D. California
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS THAT PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT BE GRANTED OBJECTIONS DUE: 14 DAYS (Doc. No. 10)
SHEILA K. OBERTO, Magistrate Judge.
On February 6, 2014, Plaintiff Joe Hand Promotions, Inc. ("Plaintiff") filed a Motion for Default Judgment against Defendant Parampal Singh ("Defendant"), individually and doing business as McHenry's Bar & Restaurant. (Doc. 10.) The motion was referred to the undersigned pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Rule 302 of the Local Rules for the United States District Court, Eastern District of California. The Court reviewed the motion and supporting documentation and determined the matter is suitable for decision without oral argument pursuant to Local Rule 230(g); as such, the hearing on the motion was vacated.
For the reasons set forth below, the Court RECOMMENDS that Plaintiff's Motion for Default Judgment be GRANTED.
II. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Plaintiff filed this action on September 13, 2013. The complaint alleges violations of 47 U.S.C. §§ 605 and 553, as well as causes of action for conversion and for violation of the California Business and Professions Code section 17200, et. seq. (Doc. 1.) The suit is based on Defendant's alleged unlawful interception, receipt, and exhibition of " Ultimate Fighting Championship 152: Jon Jones v. Vitor Belfort " (the "Program"), which was telecast nationwide on September 22, 2012. (Doc. 1, ¶¶ 14, 17-18.) According to the complaint, Plaintiff was the exclusive commercial distributor of the Program. (Doc. 1, ¶ 14.)
Count I of the complaint asserts a violation of 47 U.S.C. § 605 (Unauthorized Publication or Use of Communications) alleging Defendant knowingly intercepted, received, and exhibited the Program for purposes of direct or indirect commercial advantage or private financial gain. (Doc. 1, ¶¶ 13-18.) Plaintiff seeks $110, 000 in statutory damages as well as attorney's fees and costs. (Doc. 1, ¶ 22.) Count II alleges a violation of 47 U.S.C. § 553 (Unauthorized Reception of Cable Services) based upon the same allegations. (Doc. 1, ¶¶ 23-27.) Plaintiff requests $60, 000 in statutory damages, as well as attorney's fees and costs. (Doc. 1, ¶ 27.) Count III states a claim for conversion alleging that Defendant tortiously obtained possession of the Program and wrongfully converted it for his own benefit. (Doc. 1, ¶¶ 28-31.) As to Count III, Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages, exemplary damages, and punitive damages. (Doc. 1, ¶ 31.) Count IV of the complaint alleges a violation of the California Business & Professions Code § 17200, et. seq. (Doc. 1, ¶¶ 32-41.) As to Count IV, Plaintiff seeks restitution, declaratory relief, injunctive relief, attorney's fees, and costs of suit. (Doc. 1, p. 10.)
On December 9, 2013, the summons was returned showing that Defendant was served with the summons and a copy of the complaint on November 29, 2013, via substitute service pursuant to Federal law. (Doc. 5.) Defendant failed to respond to the complaint or otherwise make an appearance. On January 6, 2014, pursuant to Plaintiff's request, the Clerk's Office entered default against the Defendant. (Docs. 14, 22.) On February 6, 2014, Plaintiff filed this motion for default judgment against Defendant. (Doc. 15.) Defendant has not opposed the motion.
A. Legal Standard
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55(b)(2) provides that judgment may be entered as follows:
By the Court. In all other cases, the party must apply to the court for a default judgment. A default judgment may be entered against a minor or incompetent person only if represented by a general guardian, conservator, or other like fiduciary who has appeared. If the party against whom a default judgment is sought has appeared personally or by a representative, that party or its representative must be served with written notice of the application at least 7 days before the hearing. The court may conduct hearings or make referrals-preserving any federal statutory right to a jury trial-when, to enter or effectuate judgment, it needs to:
(A) conduct an accounting;
(B) determine the amount of damages;
(C) establish the truth of any allegation by ...