United States District Court, Southern District of New York
April 9, 2003
CABLEVISION SYSTEMS NEW YORK CITY CORPORATION, PLAINTIFF,
JOSEPH SANTIAGO, DEFENDANT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Denise Cote, District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
An order of default was entered against defendant Joseph Santiago ("Santiago") in this action on May 20, 2002. On May 21, 2002, the case was referred to Magistrate Judge Freeman for an inquest on damages. For the reasons that follow, Judge Freeman's Report and Recommendation of March 10, 2003 (the "Report"), to which the defendant has made no objection, is adopted.
Cablevision learned that Santiago had purchased a pirate converter on September 28, 1998. Santiago was also a genuine customer of Cablevision, subscribing to one of its lower cost packages. Through the pirate converter Santiago had access to additional free programming and services for 33 months. The Report estimates the actual damages at approximately $5,000.00, and found that an award of $10,000 was appropriate to deter future violations.
A reviewing court "may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). "To accept the report and recommendation of a magistrate, to which no timely objection has been made, a district court need only satisfy itself that there is no clear error on the face of the record." Nelson v. Smith, 618 F. Supp. 1186, 1189 (S.D.N.Y. 1985); see also Pizarro v. Bartlett, 776 F. Supp. 815, 817 (S.D.N.Y. 1991).
This Court finds no clear error on the face of the record. The Report correctly concluded that Cablevision was entitled under the Communications Act to obtain statutory damages of $10,000. 47 U.S.C. § 605(d)(6), 605(e)(3)(C)(i)(II) (2003). The Report also did not err in awarding Cablevision $180.00 in costs and denying its request for attorney's fees. New York State Ass'n for Retarded Children, Inc. v. Carey, 711 F.2d 1136, 1148 (2d Cir. 1998).
Finding no clear error, the Report is adopted. The Clerk of Court shall enter judgment for Cablevision Systems New York City Corporation against the defendant Joseph Santiago in the amount of $10,000.00 in statutory damages and $180.00 in costs. The Clerk of Court shall close the case.
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