J & J Sports Productions, Inc v. Hernandez

Filing 29

ORDER DENYING MOTION TO ALTER OR AMEND JUDGMENT by Judge Jon S. Tigar, denying 28 Motion to Alter Judgment. (wsn, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 8/20/2013)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 J & J SPORTS PRODUCTIONS, INC, Case No. 12-cv-05773-JST Plaintiff, 8 v. ORDER DENYING MOTION TO ALTER OR AMEND JUDGMENT 9 10 MENERVA HERNANDEZ, Re: ECF No. 28 Defendant. United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 Plaintiff J & J Sports Productions, Inc. (“Plaintiff”) has moved for an order altering or 13 14 amending the Court’s judgment of June 27, 2013. ECF No. 28. Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil 15 Procedure 78(b) and Civil Local Rule 7-1(b), the Court has determined that the motion is suitable 16 for disposition without oral argument, and hereby VACATES the hearing scheduled for August 17 29, 2013. 18 I. BACKGROUND 19 A. Factual and Procedural History Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Menerva Hernandez, individually and doing business as El 20 21 Milagro Restaurant (“Defendant”) intercepted and rebroadcast the Manny Pacquiao v. Juan 22 Manuel Marquez III WBO Welterweight Championship Fight Program to which Plaintiff owns 23 the exclusive commercial distribution rights. Complaint, at ¶¶ 9-12, ECF No. 1. Defendant failed 24 to answer Plaintiff’s complaint. After a hearing, the Court granted Plaintiff’s motion for default 25 judgment, awarding Plaintiff $2,200 in damages for the tort of conversion, and $2,200 in 26 enhanced/statutory damages under Chapter 5 of Title 47 of the United States Code. Order 27 Granting Default Judgment, ECF No. 23; Judgment, ECF No. 24. 28 /// 1 B. Jurisdiction This Court has original federal-question jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s federal statutory 2 3 causes of action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331, and has exercised supplemental jurisdiction over 4 Plaintiff’s state-law conversion claim since it forms “part of the same case or controversy.” 28 5 U.S.C. § 1367(a). 6 C. Legal Standard Pursuant to Rule 59(e) of the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure, a motion to alter or amend 7 judgment may be brought within 28 days of judgment. Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 59(e). “Under Rule 9 59(e), a motion for reconsideration should not be granted, absent highly unusual circumstances, 10 unless the district court is presented with newly discovered evidence, committed clear error, or if 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 8 there is an intervening change in the controlling law.” 389 Orange St. Partners v. Arnold, 179 12 F.3d 656, 665 (9th Cir. 1999). 13 II. 14 ANALYSIS Plaintiff does not present newly discovered evidence or argue that there has been any 15 intervening change in the controlling law. However, Plaintiff argues that the Court committed 16 clear error for two reasons. 17 First, Plaintiff argues the Court erred in awarding damages under 47 U.S.C. § 553 rather 18 than 47 U.S.C. § 605. Plaintiff “acknowledges that there is a split of authority in the Northern 19 District on this issue.” ECF No. 28, at 4:7-8. For reasons explained by the Court in its previous 20 order, the Court finds it appropriate to assess penalties in this situation under Section 553 rather 21 than Section 605. Order Granting Default Judgment, at 5:13-4:7. This was not clear error. 22 Second, Plaintiff objects to the amount of damages the Court awarded, on the grounds that 23 the amount will not adequately deter future violations, and because other courts have awarded 24 higher penalties in comparable situations. Under Section 553, a district court has the discretion to 25 determine whether to assess enhanced/statutory damages as opposed to actual damages, and then 26 has the discretion to award an amount at its discretion subject to certain minimum and maximum 27 amounts. See 47 U.S.C. § 553(c)(3). The Court did not commit clear error in entering an award 28 within the statutory range. 2 1 III. CONCLUSION 2 Plaintiff’s motion to amend or alter the judgment is DENIED. 3 IT IS SO ORDERED. 4 Dated: August 20, 2013 5 6 7 ______________________________________ JON S. TIGAR United States District Judge 8 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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