United States District Court, C.D. California
ORDER RE: PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR ENTRY OF DEFAULT
RONALD, S.W. LEW, Senior U.S. District Judge
before the Court is Plaintiff Twentieth Century Fox Film
Corporation's (“Plaintiff”) Motion for Entry
of Default Judgment (“Motion” or “Motion
for Default Judgment”) against Defendant Matthew
Saundry (“Defendant”). ECF No. 18. Having
reviewed all papers submitted pertaining to this Motion, the
Court NOW FINDS AND RULES AS FOLLOWS: the Court GRANTS
Plaintiff's Motion .
is a corporation that produces and distributes motion
pictures and television programs. Compl. ¶ 5, ECF No. 1.
Plaintiff holds copyright registrations in twenty-four
episodes from Season 1 of the popular television program,
New Girl (the “Program”). Id.
at ¶ 6, Ex. A; Pl.'s Mot. for Default J.
(“Mot.”) 2:15-17. Plaintiff has exclusive rights
to reproduce, distribute, and/or license reproduction of the
Program in video format, including DVDs. Compl. ¶ 6.
Defendant is a resident of Melbourne, Florida who purportedly
does business in this judicial district through his eBay
seller “User ID, ” “mws5000.”
Id. at ¶ 10.
allegedly infringed Plaintiff's copyrights by copying,
reproducing, distributing, and selling unauthorized copies of
the Program; specifically, a DVD boxed set of New
Girl Season 1 (the “DVDs”). See id.
at ¶ 12; Decl. of Daniel Kim (“Kim Decl.”)
4, 2016, an employee of IPCybercrime.com, LLC
(“IPCybercrime”), an investigator of intellectual
property crimes, purchased a copy of the DVDs on an eBay
auction posted by user mws5000 and received it by mail on May
16, 2016. Declaration of Robert L. Holmes (“Holmes
Decl.”) ¶ 2; Mot. Ex. A. The employee paid
Defendant via PayPal and sent payment to the email address
reviewed the allegedly infringing DVDs and determined they
were unauthorized copies of the Program based on their
digital content and the fact that the quality and format of
the DVD disc art was “inconsistent with and inferior to
authorized versions” of the Program. Kim Decl. ¶
4. Moreover, the DVDs had Plaintiff's logo, listed
Plaintiff's location in Beverly Hills, California, and
contained other identifying information. Mot. 3:12-16. The
DVDs also had typographical errors on the package regarding
Plaintiff's copyright notice. Id.
filed a Complaint against Defendant on November 14, 2016,
alleging a claim for copyright infringement, 17 U.S.C.
§§ 501, et seq. .
was personally served on December 3, 2016 in Melbourne,
Florida. ECF No. 14. On February 2, 2017, the parties
stipulated that Defendant would have until February 24, 2017
to Answer the Complaint. ECF No. 10. Defendant did not answer
or otherwise respond to the Complaint by February 24, 2017.
Pursuant to Plaintiff's request, the Clerk entered
default as to Defendant on March 16, 2017 per Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure 55(a). ECF No. 16. On May 5, 2017,
Plaintiff filed the instant Motion for Default Judgment. ECF
No. 18. Defendant did not file an Opposition by the June 6,
2017 deadline. Plaintiff seeks the following damages:
statutory damages totaling $240, 000 pursuant to 17 U.S.C.
§ 504(c); attorneys' fees totaling $8, 400; and
post-judgment interest calculated at the rate set forth in 28
U.S.C. § 1961(a). Mot. 2:3-9.
granting of default judgment is within the discretion of the
district court. Aldabe v. Aldabe, 616 F.2d 1089,
1092 (9th Cir. 1980); see Fed.R.Civ.P. 55.
Procedural and substantive requirements must be satisfied.
the requirements set forth in Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure (“FRCP” or “Rule”) 54(c)
and 55(b), and Local Rule 55-1 must be met. See Vogel v.
Rite Aid Corp., 992 F.Supp.2d 998, 1006 (C.D. Cal 2014).
Local Rule 55-1 provides: “When an application is made
to the Court for a default judgment, the application shall be
accompanied by a declaration in compliance with F.R.Civ.P.
55(b)(1) and/or (2) and include the following: (a) When and
against what party the default was entered; (b) The
identification of the pleading to which default was entered;
(c) Whether the defaulting party is an infant or incompetent
person, and if so, whether that person is represented by a
general guardian, committee, conservator or other
representative; (d) That the Service Members Civil Relief
Act, 50 U.S.C. App. § 521, does not apply; and (e) That
notice has been served on the defaulting party, if required
by F.R.Civ.P. 55(b)(2).” L.R. 55-1.
should also consider the following factors in determining
whether to grant a motion for default judgment: “(1)
the possibility of prejudice to plaintiff, (2) the merits of
plaintiff's substantive claims, (3) the sufficiency of
the complaint, (4) the sum of money at stake in the action,
(5) the possibility of a dispute concerning the material
facts, (6) whether defendant's default was the product of
excusable neglect, and (7) the strong public policy favoring
decisions on the merits.” Eitel v. McCool, 782
F.2d 1470, 1471-72 (9th Cir. 1986).
court determines that the defendant is in default,
“‘the factual allegations of the complaint, other
than those relating to damages, are taken as
true.'” Televideo Sys., Inc. v.
Heidenthal, 826 F.2d 915, 917-18 (9th Cir. 1987)
(quoting Geddes v. United Fin. Group, 559 F.2d 557,
560 (9th Cir. 1977)). Additionally, “[w]hen entry of
judgment is sought against a party who has failed to plead or
otherwise defend, a district court has an affirmative duty to
look into its jurisdiction over both the subject matter and
the parties.” In re Tuli, 172 F.3d 707, 712
(9th Cir. 1999).
Court determines that the allegations in the complaint are
sufficient to establish liability, the plaintiff must provide
proof of all damages sought in the complaint, and the Court
must determine the “amount and character” of the
relief that should be awarded. Vogel, 992 F.Supp.2d
at 1005-06 (citations omitted). “A default judgment
must not differ in kind from, or exceed in amount, what is
demanded in the pleadings.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(c).
Jurisdiction and Service of Process are Proper
considering whether to enter default judgment against
Defendant, the Court must first determine whether it has
jurisdiction over the subject matter and the ...