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Cranbrook Custom Homes, LLC v. Fandakly

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

January 12, 2018

CRANBROOK CUSTOM HOMES LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
WAEIL FANDAKLY, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO CANCEL LIS PENDENS [#18], GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE COUNTER COMPLAINT [#19] AND IMPOSING SANCTIONS

          GERSHWIN A. DRAIN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff filed the instant action on April 4, 2017 alleging that Defendants have violated the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 501 et seq., by copying Plaintiff's copyrighted materials, including architectural plans, building plans, and brochures and used these materials to build their own home in Rochester Hills, Michigan. Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint on June 8, 2017.

         Presently before the Court are the following motions: (1) Defendants' Motion to Cancel the Notice of Lis Pendens and Sanctions, filed on September 19, 2017; and (2) Defendants' Motion to Add a Counterclaim, also filed on September 19, 2017. These matters are fully briefed and the Court concludes that oral argument will not aid in the disposition of these matters. Accordingly, the Court will resolve the present motions on the briefs. See E.D. Mich. L.R. 7.1(f)(2). For the reasons that follow, it the Court will grant both of Defendants' motions.

         II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff is one of Southeast Michigan's largest custom home builder companies. Plaintiff advertises its services and maintains its website at http://cranbrookcustomhomes.com. Plaintiff has built many different homes as part of its Meadowbrook Series of homes. One of the premier homes designed and built by Plaintiff is called the Esperance model home.

         Plaintiff has secured copyright protection and is the owner of the following items that are covered by United States copyright registrations: (1) Esperance Brochure; (2) Esperance Blue Prints; and (3) Esperance Building design.

         Plaintiff became aware of a home being built in Rochester Hills, Michigan (the “Infringing Home”). Plaintiff obtained documents filed with the City of Rochester Hills as part of the home building process. Plaintiff learned that Defendants, Waeil and Abigail Fandakly, are the homeowners of the Infringing Home and Defendant Blake Elderkin is the architect for the Infringing Home. Plaintiff has also obtained the building plans for the Infringing Home and alleges that they are copies of Plaintiff's Esperance Building Design, Esperance Brochure and Esperance Blue Prints.

         Plaintiff initiated this action seeking damages and injunctive relief. In connection with the filing of the Complaint, Plaintiff filed a Notice of Lis Pendens. The Notice states in relevant part:

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that there is currently pending in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division, a Complaint filed by Plaintiff Cranbrook Custom Homes, LLC, involving real property located at 1768 Piccadilly Court, Rochester Hills, Michigan 48309, and more fully described as:
Land situated in Rochester Hills, Oakland County, Michigan, described as:
T3N, R11E, SEC 19 BUTLER RIDGE NO 2 LOT126 12-12-04 FR 300-007
Parcel Identification No. 70-15-19-377-027
Common Address: 1768 Piccadilly Court, Rochester Hills, ...

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