United States District Court, D. New Jersey
WILLIAM J. MARTINI, U.S.D.J.
J & J Sports Productions, Inc. brings these actions
against two New Jersey bars and their officers for violations
of the Communications Act of 1934. Now before the Court are
Plaintiff's motions for default judgment. For the reasons
set forth below, the motions are GRANTED.
J & J Sports Productions, Inc. (“Plaintiff”)
is a distributor of sports and entertainment programming.
Plaintiff purchased the commercial exhibition rights to
broadcast a boxing match between Saul Alvarez and Liam Smith
on September 17, 2016 (“Fight”). Pursuant to its
distribution contract, Plaintiff sub-licensed agreements with
various commercial establishments to permit public exhibition
of the program. To prevent unauthorized viewing, transmission
of the Fight was encrypted and only made available to paying
suit against Tibiri-Tabara, LLC d/b/a/ Kucaramakara
Lounge & Bar (“Kucaramakara”) and Carlos
Rangel (with Kucaramakara, “Tibiri Defendants”),
Plaintiff alleges that the Tibiri Defendants unlawfully
intercepted and exhibited the Fight at Kucaramakara. Tibiri
Compl. ¶¶ 7, 23, ECF No. 1. According to
Plaintiff's investigator, between thirty-four and
thirty-five patrons were present at Kucarmakara while the
Fight played on one of three televisions. Tibiri Gagliardi
Aff. Ex. B at 1, ECF No. 8-1. Given Kucaramakara's
estimated capacity of fifty, it should have paid Plaintiff
$1, 800 to broadcast the Fight. Id. ¶ 8.
suit against Pimms Bar and Restaurant, LLC d/b/a/
Pimms Bar & Restaurant (“Pimms”), Judith C.
Ramos a/k/a/ Judite C. Ramos (“Judith”),
and Joao J. Ramos (“Joao, ” with Judith and
Pimms, “Pimms Defendants, ” and with Tibiri
Defendants, “Defendants”), Plaintiff similarly
alleges that the Pimms Defendants unlawfully intercepted and
exhibited the Fight. Pimms Compl. ¶¶ 7, 23, ECF No.
1. Plaintiff's investigator counted between fifty-four
and fifty-six patrons present while the fight played on one
of four televisions at the bar. Pimms Gagliardi Aff. Ex. B at
1, ECF No. 11. Given the estimated capacity of seventy-five,
Plaintiff would have sold the Pimms Defendants the rights to
show the Fight for $1, 800. Id. ¶ 8.
Tibiri Defendants' case, Plaintiff filed the Complaint on
September 13, 2018, proof of service in October and November
of 2018, and requested a clerk's entry of default in
January 2019. Tibiri ECF Nos. 1, 4-5, 7. After the clerk
entered default, Plaintiff filed the present motion for
default judgment. Tibiri ECF No. 8. Similarly, in the Pimms
case, Plaintiff filed their complaint, proofs of service, and
request for default in late 2018. Pimms ECF Nos. 1, 4-5, 8.
After entry of default, Plaintiff filed their motion for
default judgment. Pimms ECF No. 10. None of the Defendants
have answered or otherwise responded to Plaintiff's
Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331
(federal question) because Plaintiff brings this civil action
pursuant to the Communications Act of 1934. The court
exercises personal jurisdiction over all named Defendants
because they were physically located in the state of New
Jersey at the time they were served and are domiciled in the
state of New Jersey. See FRCP 4.
enter a default judgment, the Court must determine whether a
sufficient cause of action has been stated, taking as true
the factual allegations of the complaint. Super 8
Worldwide, Inc. v. Riya Hosp. Grp., Inc., 14-cv-04527,
2015 WL 3755039, at *1 (D.N.J. June 16, 2015). “Once a
cause of action has been established, the district courts
must make explicit factual findings as to 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.” Id. Further, plaintiffs must
evidence their right to damages. See Comdyne I, Inc. v.
Corbin, 908 F.2d 1142, 1149 (3d Cir. 1990).
Plaintiff has Stated a Cause of Action
brings claims pursuant to 47 U.S.C. § 605 and 47 U.S.C.
§ 553. When a plaintiff seeks relief under either
statute, “its burden is to show that the defendant (1)
intercepted a broadcast; (2) was not authorized to intercept
the broadcast; and (3) showed the broadcast ...