United States District Court, E.D. California
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS GRANTING IN PART
PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT (DOC.
JENNIFER L. THURSTON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
G Closed Circuit Events, LLC seeks the entry of default
judgment against Ramon A. Barajas-Quijada and Gustavo Garcia,
Jr, individually and doing business as Culichi Sushi and
Mariscos. (Doc. 11) Defendants have not opposed this motion.
The Court found the matter suitable for decision without an
oral hearing, and the matter was taken under submission
pursuant to Local Rule 230(g). For the following reasons, the
Court recommends Plaintiff's motion for default judgment
be GRANTED IN PART, in the modified amount
of $13, 100.
G Closed Circuit Events, LLC asserts the company possessed
the exclusive rights to the nationwide commercial
distribution of “Saul ‘Canelo' Alvarez v.
Gennady ‘GGG' Golovkin II Championship Fight
Program, ” (“the Program”) televised
on September 15, 2018. (Doc. 1 at 5, ¶ 20) However,
Plaintiff contends Defendants broadcast the Program at
Culichi Sushi and Mariscos without paying the requisite fee.
(Id., ¶¶ 16-17) Defendants were served
with the summons and complaint filed on September 10, 2019
(Docs. 6-7) but failed to respond within the time prescribed
by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Upon application of
Plaintiff, default was entered on October 30, 2019. (Docs.
Legal Standards Governing Entry of Default
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure govern the entry of default
judgment. After default is entered because “a party
against whom a judgment for relief is sought has failed to
plead or otherwise defend, ” the party seeking relief
may apply to the court for a default judgment. Fed.R.Civ.P.
55(a)-(b). Upon the entry of default, well-pleaded factual
allegations regarding liability are taken as true, but
allegations regarding the amount of damages must be proven.
Pope v. United States, 323 U.S. 1, 22 (1944);
see also Geddes v. United Financial Group, 559 F.2d
557, 560 (9th Cir. 1977). In addition, “necessary facts
not contained in the pleadings, and claims which are legally
insufficient, are not established by default.”
Cripps v. Life Ins. Co. of North Am., 980 F.2d 1261,
1267 (9th Cir. 1992) (citing Danning v. Lavine, 572
F.2d 1386, 1388 (9th Cir. 1978)).
of default judgment is within the discretion of the Court.
Aldabe v. Aldabe, 616 F.2d 1089, 1092 (9th Cir.
1980). The entry of default “does not automatically
entitle the plaintiff to a court- ordered judgment.
Pepsico, Inc. v. Cal. Sec. Cans, 238 F.Supp.2d 1172,
1174 (C.D. Cal 2002), accord Draper v.
Coombs, 792 F.2d 915, 924-25 (9th Cir. 1986). The Ninth
Factors which may be considered by courts in exercising
discretion as to the entry of a default judgment include: (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). As a general rule, the issuance of default judgment is
disfavored. Id. at 1472.
Plaintiff's Factual Allegations
Court accepts Plaintiff's factual assertions because
default has been entered against Defendants. See
Pope, 323 U.S. at 22. Plaintiff alleges that by
contract, it was granted exclusive domestic commercial
distribution rights to the Program and, pursuant to that
contract, “entered into subsequent sublicensing
agreements with various commercial entities throughout North
America” to broadcast the Program within their
establishments, such as “hotels, racetracks, casinos,
bars, taverns, restaurants, [and] social clubs.” (Doc.
1 at 5, ¶¶ 20-21)
alleges the Program was broadcast at Culichi Sushi and
Mariscos without the purchase of a proper sublicense from
Plaintiff. (Doc. 1 at 5-6, ¶ 23) Plaintiff asserts
Defendants were each “owner, and/or operator, and/or
licensee, and/or permittee, and/or person in charge, and/or
an individual with dominion, control, oversight and
management of the commercial establishment doing business as
Culichi Sushi and Mariscos operating at 3017 Wilson Road,
Bakersfield, California 93304.” (Id. at 3,
¶¶ 7, 9)
this act, Plaintiff alleged violations of 47 U.S.C.
§§ 553 and 605, conversion, and a violation of the
California Business and Professions Code. (See
generally Doc. 1 at 5-11) In the application for default
judgment, Plaintiff requests damages for the violation of 47
U.S.C. § 605 and conversion. (See Doc. 11-1)
Therefore, the Court will address only these claims.
Discussion and Analysis
the factors articulated by the Ninth Circuit in
Eitel, the Court finds the factors weigh in favor of
granting Plaintiff's motion for default judgment.
Prejudice to Plaintiff
first factor considers whether the plaintiff would suffer
prejudice if default judgment is not entered, and potential
prejudice to the plaintiff weighs in favor of granting a
default judgment. See Pepsico, Inc., 238 F.Supp.2d
at 1177. Generally, where default has been entered against a
defendant, a plaintiff has no other means by which to recover
damages. Id.; Moroccanoil, Inc. v. Allstate
Beauty Prods., 847 F.Supp.2d 1197, 1200-01 (C.D. Cal.
2012). Therefore, the Court finds Plaintiff would be
prejudiced if default judgment is not granted.
Merits of Plaintiff's claims and the sufficiency of the
the kinship of these factors, the Court considers the merits
of Plaintiff's substantive claims and the sufficiency of
the complaint together. See Premier Pool Mgmt. Corp. v.
Lusk, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63350, at *13 (E.D. Cal. May
4, 2012). The Ninth Circuit has suggested that, when
combined, the factors require a plaintiff to “state a
claim on which the plaintiff may recover.” Pepsico,
Inc., 238 F.Supp.2d at 1175. Notably, a “defendant
is not held to ...