United States District Court, S.D. California
JOE HAND PROMOTIONS, INC., as Broadcast Licensee of the August 26, 2017 Mayweather vs. McGregor Match, Plaintiff,
DAVID GONZALEZ RUIZ, Individually, and as officer, director, shareholder and/or principal of COTIPAZ, INC. d/b/a/ COTIJAS TACO SHOP; and COTIPAZ, INC. d/b/a COTIJAS TACO SHOP, Defendants.
William Q. Hayes United States District Court
following matters are pending before the Court: 1) the Motion
for Summary Judgment filed by Defendants Cotipaz, Inc. and
David Gonzalez Ruiz (ECF No. 22); and 2) the Cross Motion for
Summary Judgment filed by Plaintiff Joe Hand Promotions, Inc.
(ECF No. 25).
August 16, 2018, Plaintiff Joe Hand Promotions, Inc.
(“Joe Hand”) filed a Complaint against Defendants
David Gonzalez Ruiz and Cotipaz, Inc. (“Cotipaz”)
(ECF No. 1). Plaintiff alleges that it was granted the
exclusive rights of distribution and public performance in
commercial establishments for the Mayweather vs. McGregor
boxing match scheduled for August 26, 2017 (“the
broadcast”). Id. at 3. Plaintiff alleges that
Defendants willfully and unlawfully advertised, intercepted,
and displayed the broadcast at Cotijas Taco Shop on August
26, 2017. Id. at 5, 8. Plaintiff alleges that
Defendants never paid licensing fees, entered into an
agreement, nor attained authorization from Plaintiff for the
broadcast. Id. at 7, 12. Plaintiff brings claims
for: (1) violation of 47 U.S.C. § 605(a) (unauthorized
publication or use of communications); (2) violation of 47
U.S.C. § 553 (unauthorized reception of cable service);
and (3) violation of 17 U.S.C. § 501(a) (copyright
infringement). Id. at 10-11, 13.
31, 2019, Defendants filed a Motion for Summary Judgment
supported by a separate statement of undisputed material
facts, declarations, requests for admissions,
interrogatories, and a request for production of documents.
(ECF No. 22). On June 7, 2019, Plaintiff filed a Response in
Opposition to the Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 23)
supported by a response to Defendant's separate statement
of facts, Defendant's responses to Plaintiff's
requests for admissions, requests for production of
documents, and exhibits. (ECF No. 23). On June 7, 2019,
Plaintiff filed an Affidavit. (ECF No. 24).
7, 2019, Plaintiff filed a Cross Motion for Summary Judgment
supported by a separate statement of undisputed material
facts and Defendant's responses to Plaintiff's
requests for admissions. (ECF No. 25). On July 9, 2019,
Defendants filed a Response in Opposition to the Cross Motion
for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 27).
November 7, 2019, the Court heard oral argument on the Motion
for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 22) and the Cross Motion for
Summary Judgment (ECF No. 25). (ECF No. 30).
Taco Shop (“the Taco Shop”) is a restaurant
located in San Diego, California (Ruiz Decl. ¶ 2, ECF
No. 22-7 at 1) with an occupancy capacity of up to 50 patrons
(Defs.' Resp. to Pl.'s Requests for Admissions, ECF
No. 23-4 at 7). On August 26, 2017, Defendant Ruiz
“owned the property” where the Taco Shop was
located. Id. at 3. On July 16, 2018, Defendant Ruiz
was listed as the “primary owner” and
“licensee” of a liquor license for the business
“Cotija Mex Grill.” (ECF No. 23-3 at 1). The
liquor license was originally issued on January 2, 2013 with
an expiration date of December 31, 2018. Id.
4, 2018, Defendant Ruiz was listed as the
“President” of “Cotipaz, Inc.” in a
Statement of Information filed with the Secretary of State of
the State of California (ECF No. 23-5 at 1). On August 26,
2017, Defendant Ruiz was the “officer/principal of
Cotipaz, Inc.” (Defs.' Resp. to Pl.'s Requests
for Admissions, ECF No. 23-4 at 3). Cotipaz “is a
business entity that operated a taco shop in Murrieta,
Ca[lifornia].” (Ruiz Decl. ¶ 2, ECF No. 22-7 at
2). Defendant Ruiz and Israel Oseguera own Cotipaz.
Id. Cotipaz has “no connection or affiliation
with [the Taco Shop].” Id.
August 26, 2017, the Taco Shop was open for commercial
business and served food and alcohol. (Defs.' Resp. to
Pl.'s Requests for Admissions, ECF No. 23-4 at 4, 6). On
August 26, 2017, Defendant Ruiz “had the capability of
receiving satellite television, broadband, fios, firestick or
similar android services and/or WI-FI broadcasts.”
Id. at 5. On August 26, 2017, the Taco Shop
“had the capability of receiving broadband, fios,
firestick or similar android services, WI-FI and/or satellite
television broadcasts on August 26, 2017.” Id.
Defendants were not authorized by, in agreement with, nor had
authority from Plaintiff to exhibit the broadcast in the Taco
Shop. Id. at 5-6. On August 26, 2017, between 8:30
p.m. and 8:27 p.m. one television set in the Taco Shop was
streaming the last match of an undercard fight of the
broadcast. (ECF No. 23-2 at 1).
August 26, 2017, the Taco Shop was operating pursuant to a
Commercial Lease Agreement (“CLA”) between
Defendant Ruiz and Tenant Enrique Hernandez. (Ex. A, ECF No.
22-9 at 2). The CLA was in effect from February 15, 2017 to
December 1, 2017. Id. The CLA provided that
“Renter hereby leases the Leased Premises to Tenant,
and Tenant hereby leases the same from Renter” and that
“Tenant shall have possession of the lease
premises.” Id. Pursuant to the CLA, Hernandez
agreed to pay Defendant Ruiz $5, 000 per month in rent and
“pay all charges for . . . electricity, telephone, and
other services and utilities used . . . during the term of
[the CLA].” Id. Under the CLA, Defendant Ruiz
retained the ‘right to enter upon the Leased Premises
at reasonable hours to inspect the same, provided [Defendant]
Ruiz not thereby unreasonably interfere with Tenant's
business on the Leased Premises.” Id. The CLA
stated “Tenant will comply with the rules of the Leased
Premises adopted and altered by [Defendant] Ruiz from time to
time and will cause all of its agents, employees, invitees
and visitors to do so; all changes to such rules will be sent
by [Defendant] Ruiz to Tenant in writing.” Id.
SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD OF REVIEW
party may move for summary judgment, identifying each claim
or defense-or the part of each claim or defense-on which
summary judgment is sought. The court shall grant summary
judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute
as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A
material fact is one that is relevant to an element of a
claim or defense and whose existence might affect the outcome
of the suit. See Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v.
Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). The
materiality of a fact is determined by ...