United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
J&J SPORTS PRODUCTIONS, INC.
ONYX ULTIMATE BAR AND GRILL LLC, ET AL.
RULING AND ORDER
A. JACKSON, CHIEF JUDGE
the Court is the Motion for Default Judgment (Doc. 10) filed
by Plaintiff J&J Sports Productions, Inc., in which
Plaintiff seeks a default judgment against Defendants Onyx
Ultimate Bar and Grill LLC. ("Onyx") and Nettie
Brown ("Brown"). Jurisdiction is proper under 28
U.S.C. § 1331. For the following reasons, the Motion for
Default Judgement (Doc. 10) is GRANTED.
is a nationwide distributor of closed circuit pay-per-view
events. (Doc. 1 at ¶ 2). Through a valid and enforceable
contract, Plaintiff purchased commercial distribution and
broadcast (closed circuit) rights to "Mayhem" Floyd
Mayweather, Jr. v. Marcos Rene Maidana, II WBC World
Lightweight Championship Fight Program ("the
Program"). (Doc. 10-11 at p. 2). Through sublicensing
agreements, Plaintiff granted various entities limited rights
to display the Program on September 13, 2014, at their
respective establishments. (Id.). Defendants Onyx
and Brown, its sole manager (see Doc. 10-13), did
not have a sublicensing agreement with Plaintiff nor any
right to broadcast the Program. (Doc. 10-8). However, at the
time of the Program's transmission, Plaintiff claims that
Defendants knowingly and unlawfully "intercepted,
received, published, divulged, displayed, and/or
exhibited" the Program at its establishment. (Doc. 1).
Plaintiff also asserts that Brown "specifically and
wilfully [sic]" directed employees to illegally
intercept and broadcast the Program on the premises.
(Id. at ¶ 14).
subsequently filed its Complaint on August 27, 2017,
asserting violations of the Federal Communications Act
("FCA"), Title 47 U.S.C. § 605, the Wire Tap
Act, Title 18 U.S.C. § 2511 in conjunction with §
2520, and the FCA, Title 47 U.S.C. § 553. (Doc. 1 at
¶ 2). Plaintiff seeks statutory damages, attorney's
fees and costs under § 605, § 2520, and § 553.
(Id. at p. 13). The Clerk of Court entered a default
on November 2, 2017, because Defendants failed to file an
Answer or motion under Rule 12. (Doc. 8). Plaintiff then
filed the pending Motion for Default Judgment. (Doc. 10).
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has
adopted a three step process to obtain a default judgment.
See New York Life Ins. Co. v. Brown, 84 F.3d 137,
141 (5th Cir. 1996). First, a default occurs when a party
"has failed to plead or otherwise defend" against
an action. Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(a). Next, an entry of default must
be entered by the clerk when the default is shown "by
affidavit or otherwise." See id.; NewYork Life,
84 F.3d at 141. Third, a party may apply to the court for a
default judgment after an entry of default. Fed.R.Civ.P.
55(b); New York Life, 84 F.3d at 141.
party files for a default judgment, courts must apply a
two-part process to determine whether a default judgment
should be entered. First, a court must consider whether the
entry of default judgment is appropriate under the
circumstances. Lindsey v. Prive Corp., 161 F.3d 886,
893 (5th Cir. 1998). Several factors are relevant to this
inquiry, including: (1) whether there are material issues of
fact at issue, (2) whether there has been substantial
prejudice, (3) whether the grounds for default have been
clearly established, (4) whether the default was caused by
excusable neglect or good faith mistake, (5) the harshness of
the default judgment, and (6) whether the court would think
itself obliged to set aside the default on a motion by
the Court must assess the merits of the plaintiffs claims and
determine whether the plaintiff has a claim for relief.
Nishimatsu Constr. Co. v. Houston Nat'l Bank,
515 F.2d 1200, 1206 (5th Cir. 1975); Hamdan v. Tiger
Bros. Food Mart, Inc., 2016 WL 1192679, at *2 (M.D. La.
Mar. 22, 2016).
Default Judgment is Appropriate under the Lindsey
Court must first decide whether the entry of default judgment
is appropriate under the circumstances, by considering the
Lindsey factors. First, there are no material facts
in dispute because Defendants failed to file an Answer or
motion under Rule 12. Second, it is undisputed that
Defendants have not responded to any of Plaintiffs attempts
to contact him. Third, the grounds for granting a default
judgment against Defendants are clearly established, as
evidenced by the action's procedural history and the
Clerk's entry of default. Fourth, the Court has no basis
to find that Defendants' failure to respond was the
result of a good faith mistake or excusable neglect because
Defendants have failed to respond to Plaintiff or to the
Court. Fifth, Defendants' failure to file any responsive
pleading or motion mitigates the harshness of a default
judgment. Finally, the Court is not aware of any facts that
would lead it to set aside the default judgment if challenged
by Defendants. The Court therefore finds that the six
Lindsey factors weigh in favor of default.
The Sufficiency of the Pleadings
Court must also determine whether Plaintiffs pleadings
provide a sufficient basis for a default judgment. Plaintiff
sued Defendants under, (1) 47 U.S.C. § 605(a), which
prohibits interception and publishing radio communication;
(2) 18 U.S.C. § 2511, which prohibits intentional
interception of any wire, oral, or electronic communication,
in conjunction with § 2520, which creates a private
right of action; and (3) 47 U.S.C. § 553, which
prohibits interception or reception of any communications
service offered over a cable system. Plaintiff further
alleges that Defendants willfully and ...