United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR DEFAULT
JUDGMENT [#12] AND CANCELING HEARING
GERSHWIN A. DRAIN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
J & J Sports Productions, Inc., filed the instant lawsuit
on April 25, 2017 alleging that Defendants, Strange Clouds
Hookah Lounge and Michael Kassab, have violated the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. § 605
et seq. and the Cable and Television Consumer
Protection and Competition Act of 1992, as amended 47 U.S.C.
§ 553 et seq., for illegally broadcasting a
boxing match on May 3, 2014. Defendants have failed to appear
and otherwise defend the instant action.
before the Court is the Plaintiff's Motion for Default
Judgment, filed on December 11, 2017. Plaintiff seeks $110,
000.00 in statutory damages, as well as reasonable attorney
fees and costs. For the reasons that follow, the Court will
enter a default judgment in the amount of $5, 441.86.
alleges that, pursuant to contract, it has the exclusive
nationwide television distribution rights to the Floyd
Mayweather, Jr. v. Marcos Reina Maidana WBC Welterweight
Championship Fight Program (hereinafter the
“Program”) broadcast on May 3, 2014. Plaintiff
entered into several sublicensing agreements with various
commercial entities granting said entities limited rights to
publicly exhibit the Program to the patrons of their
respective establishments. The Program originated via a
satellite uplink and was subsequently retransmitted to cable
systems and satellite companies via satellite signal.
further asserts that Defendants had full knowledge that the
Program was not to be intercepted; however they intercepted
and displayed the Program to the patrons of Defendant Strange
Clouds Hookah Lounge. The cost of the Program if the
Defendants had legally purchased the rights to display it
totals $3, 000.00.
August 7, 2017, Plaintiff served Defendants with the Summons
and copy of the Complaint in this matter. Defendants have
failed to file an Answer to the Complaint or otherwise defend
this action. On November 4, 2017, Plaintiff requested that
the clerk enter a default against Michael Kassab and Strange
Clouds Hookah Lounge, Inc. and the clerk entered a default
against these Defendants on November 6, 2017.
LAW & ANALYSIS
Standard of Review for Default Judgment
55(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure permit the
entry of judgment by default against a defendant who has
failed to plead or otherwise defend against an action.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(b). To obtain judgment by default, the
plaintiff must first request a default from the clerk
pursuant to Rule 55(a). Shepard Claims Servs., Inc. v.
William Darrah & Assocs., 796 F.2d 190, 193 (6th
Cir. 1986). “[E]ntry of a default against a defendant
establishes the defendant's liability.” Thomas
v. Miller, 489 F.3d 293, 299 (6th Cir. 2007) (citing
Goldman, Antonetti, Ferraiuoli, Axtmayer & Hertell v.
Medfit Int'l, Inc., 982 F.2d 686, 693 (1st Cir.
1993)). “There is no question that, default having been
entered, each of [plaintiff's] allegations of fact must
be taken as true and each of its [ ] claims must be
considered established as a matter of law.”
a clerk's entry of default “on well-pleaded
allegations establishes only defendant's liability;
plaintiff must still establish the extent of damages.”
Antoine v. Atlas Turner, Inc., 66 F.3d 105, 110 (6th
Cir. 1995) (quoting Kelley v. Carr, 567 F.Supp. 831,
841 (W.D. Mich. 1983)). “Where damages are unliquidated
a default admits only defendant's liability and the
amount of damages must be proved.” Antoine, 66
F.3d at 110.
Violations of 47 U.S.C. § 553 and § 605
Complaint, Motion and Exhibits demonstrate that Defendants
have violated § 553 and § 605. The Cable and
Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992
prohibits intercepting, receiving or assisting in the
interception or receipt of communications services offered
over a cable system, unless authorized to do so by a cable
operator. See 47 U.S.C. § 553(a)(1). The
Communication Act of 1934 applies to satellite transmissions
and prohibits receiving, transmitting, or assisting in the
transmission of any communication by wire or radio and from
divulging or publishing ...