The opinion of the court was delivered by: William M. Skretny United States District Judge
Presently before this Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Default Judgment against Defendants Floyd E. Bimber, III, and F.B. Dooley's Inc.*fn1 (Docket No. 8.) For the reasons discussed below, Plaintiff's motion is granted.
On September 7, 2007, Plaintiff filed its Complaint in this action alleging violations of 47 U.S.C. §§ 553 and 605, et seq. (Docket No. 1.) In particular, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants illegally exhibited the May 5, 2007 DeLaHoya/Mayweather televised boxing program in their establishment. Defendants failed to Answer Plaintiff's Complaint or otherwise defend this action.
As a result of Defendants' failure to appear, Plaintiff filed a Request for a Clerk's Entry of Default on November 8, 2007. (Docket No. 5.) On January 10, 2008, the Clerk of the Court entered default against Defendants as requested. (Docket No. 7.)
Thereafter, on January 28, 2008, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion for Default Judgment as to its first cause of action. (Docket No. 8.) This Court directed Defendants to appear on February 19, 2008, and show cause why judgment should not be entered against them as requested. Neither defendant appeared. This Court therefore took the motion under advisement.
A. Default Judgment Standard
Before obtaining default judgment, a party must first secure a Clerk's Entry of Default by demonstrating, by affidavit or otherwise, that the opposing party is in default. See FED. R. CIV. P. 55(a). Once default has been entered, the allegations of the Complaint that establish the defendant's liability are accepted as true, except for those relating to the amount of damages.Greyhound Exhibitgroup, Inc. v. E.L.U.L. Realty Corp., 973 F.2d 155, 158 (2d Cir. 1992).
Before entering default judgment, the court must determine whether the facts alleged in the Complaint are sufficient to state a claim for relief as to each cause of action for which the plaintiff seeks default judgment. Further, where the damages sought are not for a sum certain, the court must determine the propriety and amount of the default judgment. See FED. R. CIV. P. 55(b)(2).
B. Statutory Violation: 47 U.S.C. § 605(a)
Plaintiff seeks default judgment on only its first cause of action: violation of 47 U.S.C. § 605(a). This section prohibits the unauthorized interception, receipt, exhibition, publication or use of radio communications. See 47 U.S.C. § 605(a).
By contract, Plaintiff was granted the right to distribute the May 5, 2007 DeLaHoya/Mayweather program via closed-circuit television and encrypted satellite signal. (Complaint, ¶ 15; Gagliardi Aff., ¶ 3). Without Plaintiff's authorization, Defendants used an "illegal satellite receiver" or otherwise used a device to intercept Plaintiff's broadcast, which originated via satellite uplink. (Complaint, ¶ 19). With full knowledge that the program was not to be received and exhibited by those unauthorized to do so, Defendants unlawfully intercepted, received, or de-scrambled the satellite signal and exhibited the DeLaHoya/Mayweather program for their direct or indirect commercial advantage or private financial gain. (Complaint, ¶ 18.) Depending on ...