United States District Court, D. New Jersey
MCNULTY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
an action to enforce satellite and cable piracy laws against
defendants Old Bailey Corporation and Luz Santana. It comes
before the court on the unopposed motion of plaintiff, Joe
Hand Promotions, Inc., for default judgment. Defendants have
not responded to the complaint, and the clerk has entered
default. For the reasons stated herein, the motion for
default judgment will be granted.
entry of a default judgment is left primarily to the
discretion of the district court." Hritz v. Woma
Corp., 732 F.2d 1178, 1180 (3d Cir. 1984) (citing
Tozer v. Charles A. Krause Milling Co., 189 F.2d
242, 244 (3d Cir. 1951)). Because the entry of a default
judgment prevents the resolution of claims on the merits,
"this court does not favor entry of defaults and default
judgments." United States v. $55, 518.05 in U.S.
Currency, 728 F.2d 192, 194 (3d Cir. 1984). Thus, before
entering default judgment, the court must determine whether
the "unchallenged facts constitute a legitimate cause of
action, since a party in default does not admit mere
conclusions of law." DirecTV, Inc. v. Asher,
No. 3-cv-1969, 2006 WL 680533, at *1 (D.N.J. Mar. 14, 2006)
(citing Wright & Miller, 10A Federal Practice &
Procedure § 2688 (3d ed. 1998)).
are deemed to have admitted the factual allegations of the
Complaint by virtue of their default, except those factual
allegations related to the amount of damages." Doe
v. Simone, No. 12-cv-5825, 2013 WL 3772532, at *2
(D.N.J. July 17, 2013). While "courts must accept the
plaintiffs well-pleaded factual allegations as true, "
they "need not accept the plaintiffs factual allegations
regarding damages as true." Id. (citing
Chanel, Inc. v. Gordashevsky, 558 F.Supp.2d 532, 536
(D.N.J. 2008)). Moreover, if a court finds evidentiary
support to be lacking, it may order or permit a plaintiff
seeking default judgment to provide additional evidence in
support of the allegations in the complaint. Doe,
2013 WL 3772532, at *2-3.
Prerequisites for Entry of Default Judgment
a court may enter default judgment against a defendant, the
plaintiff must have properly served the summons and
complaint, and the defendant must have failed to file an
answer or otherwise respond to the complaint within 21-day
time period provided by the Federal Rules. See Gold Kist,
Inc. v. Laurinburg Oil Co., Inc., 756 F.2d 14, 18-19 (3d
January 28, 2017, plaintiff left a copy of the summons and
complaint with Ana Crivas, a bartender for Phebe Nightclub.
(ECF No. 4). On April 26, 2017, plaintiff personally served
Luz Santana. (ECF No. 11). That is adequate service.
sought default against Old Bailey Corporation and the clerk
entered default on March 24, 2017. (ECF No. 6). Plaintiff
sought default against Luz Santana and the clerk entered
default on July 26, 2017. (ECF No. 14). On September 22,
2017, plaintiff moved for default judgment as to both
defendants. (ECF No. 16). There has been no response to this
I am satisfied that the prerequisites to filing a default
judgment are met. See Gold Kist, 756 F.2d at 18-19.
the prerequisites have been satisfied, a court must evaluate
the following three factors: "(1) whether the party
subject to default has a meritorious defense, (2) the
prejudice suffered by the party seeking default, and (3) the
culpability of the party subject to default." Doug
Brady, Inc. v. N.J. Bldg. Laborers Statewide Funds, 250
F.R.D. 171, 177 (D.N.J. 2008) (citing Emcasco Ins. Co. v.
Sambrick, 834 F.2d 71, 74 (3d Cir. 1987)). Those
factors, considered in light of the record of this case,
weigh in favor of entry of a default judgment.
evaluation of the first factor is always complicated by the
defendants' failure to answer or to oppose the motion. My
independent review of the case, however, does not suggest
that the claims are legally flawed or that defendant could
mount a meritorious defense. See Doe, 2013 WL
3772532, at *5. Accepting the allegations in the complaint as
true, Comdyne I, Inc. v. Corbin, 908 F.2d 1142, 1149
(3d Cir. 1990), I find that the plaintiff has successfully
stated a claim for relief against the defendants.
complaint alleges that plaintiff Joe Hand Promotions, Inc.
had the exclusive right to license and distribute the
broadcast of the Miguel Cotto v. Canelo Alvarez
telecast nationwide on November 21, 2015 ("the
Program"). The Program broadcast originated via
satellite uplink and was subsequently re-transmitted
interstate to cable systems and satellite companies via
satellite signal. Defendants did not contract with Joe Hand
Promotions, Inc. to purchase authorization to exhibit the
Program in their establishment. (The minimum charge to
broadcast the Program was $2, 200. (ECF No. 16-5)).
Nonetheless, defendants intercepted or received the Program
and exhibited the Program to patrons in their establishment
via four television screens over the bar. An affidavit is
attached, stating that an investigator went to the Phebe
Night Club on November 22, 2015 and found the establishing
playing the Miguel Cotto ...