J&J Sports Productions Inc v. Fletcher
ORDER granting 13 Plaintiff's Motion for Default Judgment Against Defendant. Signed by Honorable Robin J. Cauthron on 2/7/17. (lg)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF OKLAHOMA
J&J SPORTS PRODUCTION, INC.,
LAYFETTE FLETCHER a/k/a
LAYFETTE WILLIAMS, individually and )
d/b/a WOODY’S SPORTS BAR & GRILL, )
Case Number CIV-16-424-C
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff seeks entry of default judgment awarding damages against Defendant,
following the Clerk’s Entry of Default on January 6, 2016. Although the Court’s file reflects
that Plaintiff has properly served Defendant, and the time to answer the summons has long
since passed, Defendant has failed to answer or otherwise respond to this matter.
Accordingly, Plaintiff is entitled to Default Judgment pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 55(b)(2)
Viewing the allegations in Plaintiff’s Complaint as admitted, Defendant has violated
47 U.S.C. § 553 and 47 U.S.C. § 605 et seq. by intercepting and exhibiting a program
licensed for distribution to Plaintiff without paying Plaintiff the required fees. According to
the well-supported allegations in Plaintiff’s Complaint and the affidavits attached to the
present motion, Defendant exhibited the program to persons in a commercial establishment
and was therefore obligated to purchase the right to exhibit the program from Plaintiff.
Given the nature of the safeguards set forth to prevent obtaining the signal from other than
proper means, Plaintiff has established that Defendant’s interception of the signal was
willful. Further, given the nature of Defendant’s business, Plaintiff has established that
Defendant’s display of the program was for commercial advantage or personal financial gain.
The fees that Plaintiff would have charged if Defendant had properly obtained the rights to
the broadcast would be approximately $3,000.00. Plaintiff requests the Court to award an
amount in excess of that rate to serve as a deterrent to other establishments considering
exhibiting pirated programs.
Pursuant to 47 U.S.C. § 605, any person who, without authorization, receives and
publishes a communication, including a satellite broadcast, may be liable for statutory
damages. Damages may be awarded in a sum of not less than $1,000.00 and not more than
$10,000.00. Id. at § 605(e)(3)(C)(i)(II). In the event the Court finds the interception was
willful and for direct or indirect commercial advantage or private financial gain, additional
damages may be awarded in a sum not more than $100,000.00. Id. at § 605(e)(3)(C)(ii).
Section 605 also provides for an award of reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs. Id. at
After consideration of the facts and arguments set forth in the materials submitted by
Plaintiff, the Court finds an award of damages in excess of the amount Defendant would have
paid had she properly purchased the rights to broadcast the program is necessary to satisfy
the intent of the above-noted statutes. In determining the amount of damages that will be just
and serve the interest of law, the Court finds Plaintiff is entitled to recover $10,000.00 in
statutory damages. Additionally, because the interception and exhibition were willful and
for commercial purpose or private financial gain, the Court awards an additional
Plaintiff also seeks to recover the attorneys’ fees and costs expended in pursuing this
action. According to Plaintiff, it has incurred attorneys’ fees in the amount of $1,695.00 and
costs in the amount of $606.33. As the prevailing party, Plaintiff is entitled to recover
attorneys’ fees pursuant to 47 U.S.C. § 605(e)(3)(B)(iii) and costs pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1920. The Court has considered the affidavits submitted in support of the fee request and
finds that the amount sought is reasonable and proper. The costs sought are also proper
under § 1920. Accordingly, Plaintiff will be awarded attorneys’ fees in the amount of
$1,695.00 and costs in the amount of $606.33.
For the reasons set forth herein, Plaintiff’s Motion for Default Judgment Against
Defendant (Dkt. No. 13) is GRANTED. Plaintiff shall recover $10,000.00 in statutory
damages and $100,000.00 in enhanced damages. Plaintiff shall also recover attorneys’ fees
of $1,695.00 and costs in the amount of $606.33. A separate judgment will issue.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 7th day of February, 2017.
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