United States District Court, District of Columbia
F. Hogan, Senior United States District Judge
before the Court is plaintiff J & J Sports Productions,
Inc.'s motion for entry of default judgment against
defendant Jose Solloso, doing business as La Dulce Noche [ECF
No. 9]. Plaintiff, a distributer of sports programming,
acquired the domestic commercial exhibition rights to
broadcast a November 22, 2014 boxing match between Manny
Pacquaio and Chris Algieri, and sublicensed the rights to
establishments such as restaurants and bars. Plaintiff
alleges that defendant violated 47 U.S.C. §§ 605
and 553 by engaging in the unauthorized interception and
exhibition of the match. Compl. ¶¶ 12-15; 22-23.
Although plaintiff effected service on May 24, 2018,
defendant has not responded to the complaint or otherwise
appeared in this action. [ECF No. 6]. On June 27, 2018, the
Clerk of the Court entered a default against defendant. [ECF
No. 8]. Plaintiff moved for a default judgment on July 24,
court has the authority to enter default judgment when a
defendant fails to defend its case appropriately or otherwise
engages in dilatory tactics." Boland v. Consol.
Masonry Contractors, Inc., 10-cv-1240, 2010 WL 3851974,
at *1 (D.D.C. Sept. 29, 2010). Default is warranted if the
default is willful, as reflected by the defendant's
failure to respond "either to the summons and complaint,
the entry of default, or the motion for default
judgment." Gutierrez v. Berg Contracting Inc.,
99-cv-3044, 2000 WL 331721, at *1 (D.D.C. Mar. 20, 2000).
"Default establishes the defaulting party's
liability for the well-pleaded allegations of the
complaint," but it "does not establish liability
for the amount of damages claimed by the plaintiff."
Directv, Inc. v. Agee, 405 F.Supp.2d 6, 9 (D.D.C.
2005). The Court has "considerable latitude in
determining the amount of damages." Id.
alleges that the defendant "unlawfully intercepted"
and "received" their satellite signal and exhibited
the boxing match, in violation of 47 U.S.C. § 605(a).
Compl. ¶¶ 13-15; 20-23. Section 605(a) prohibits
unauthorized individuals from "intercept[ing] any radio
communication and divulge[ing] or publish[ing] the existence,
contents, substance, purport, effect, or meaning of such
intercepted communication to any person." 47 U.S.C.
§ 605(a); see also J & J Sports Prods., Inc. v.
Brutti's LLC, No. 14-cv-269, 2014 WL 7363823, at *6
(E.D. Va. Dec. 23, 2014) (noting that an event originating as
a satellite signal constitutes a "radio
communication" under the statute). Because the defendant
has not appeared, and has not responded to the complaint, the
entry of default or the motion for default judgment, and
because the allegations are well-plead, the Court shall grant
default judgment as to the defendant's liability under 47
U.S.C. § 605(a).
seeks $2, 000 in statutory damages, which is the amount
defendant would have been required to paid to obtain the
rights to exhibit the fight. Mem. in Supp. of Mot. at 6; Ex.
3; see 47 U.S.C. § 605(e)(3)(C)(i)(II)
("the party aggrieved may recover an award of statutory
damages for each violation of subsection (a) involved in the
action in a sum of not less than $1, 000 or more than $10,
000"). The Court finds this method of calculating
damages appropriate, and shall award the plaintiff $2, 000 in
damages. See, e.g., J&J Sports Prods., Inc.,
2014 WL 7363823, at *5 (awarding the cost of the sublicensing
fee as damages).
also seeks enhanced damages between $6, 000 to $12, 000
pursuant to 47 U.S.C. § 605(e)(3)(C)(ii), which provides
that a court "in its discretion may increase the award
of damages" where the court finds that a violation was
"committed willfully and for purposes of direct or
indirect commercial advantage or private financial
gain." 47 U.S.C. § 605(e)(3)(C)(ii); Mem. in Supp.
of Mot. at 7. Plaintiff argues that there is "no
dispute" that defendant broadcast the program willfully
and for direct and indirect commercial advantage, noting that
satellite signals do not '"descramble
spontaneously."' Id. at 7 (quoting Time
Warner Cable of New York City v. Googies Luncheonette,
Inc., 77 F.Supp.2d 485, 490 (S.D.N.Y. 1999)). However,
plaintiff admits that it has "no evidence" the
defendant advertised the program to potential customers,
charged an admission fee, or offered any food or beverage
specials. Plaintiffs investigator only saw five individuals
in the establishment during the twelfth round of the match.
Ex. 2 at 2. Plaintiff also has "no evidence" that
defendant has engaged "in repeated violations."
Mem. in Supp. of Mot. at 7. As such, the Court shall deny
plaintiffs request for enhanced damages. See J&J
Sports Prods., Inc., v. Kiflu, 18-cv-225, 2018 WL
6530579, at *3 (D.D.C. Dec. 12, 2018) (denying enhanced
damages where plaintiff failed to "put forth any
evidence that [defendant] engaged in repeat violations,
advertised the broadcast, or charged an admission fee or
605(e)(3)(B)(iii) provides that the Court "shall direct
the recovery of full costs, including awarding reasonable
attorney's fees to an aggrieved party who prevails."
47 U.S.C. § 605(e)(3)(B)(iii). Plaintiff submitted a
declaration in support of attorney's fees. Ex. 6.
However, the declaration, which appears to be missing pages,
does not fully describe the legal tasks completed, the
accompanying rate, and the total amount sought, depriving the
Court of the ability to determine reasonable
fees. The Court will allow plaintiff to submit
additional materials in support of its request by January 4,
appropriate order ...