United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Paducah Division
B. Russell, Senior Judge United States District Court
Hand Promotions, Inc. filed this action against Brandy Marie
Dick and The Neon Saddle LLC, bringing claims under 47 U.S.C.
§§ 553 and 605, along with a common-law claim for
unjust enrichment, for broadcasting a pay-per-view program
without authorization. In a prior order, the Court entered
default against Dick and The Neon Saddle LLC, and neither has
acted since that time. Now, Joe Hand Promotions has filed a
motion for entry of a default judgment against them. Having
carefully reviewed the record before it, the Court finds
entry of a default judgment to be warranted. Accordingly, Joe
Hand Promotions, Inc.'s Motion for Entry of Default
Judgment, [R. 11], is GRANTED.
Hand Promotions, Inc. is a closed-circuit distributor of
sports and entertainment programming. [R. 11-2 at 2, ¶ 3
(Hand, Jr.'s Affidavit).] It purchases the commercial
exhibition rights to programming including, as pertinent to
this action, those related to the Ultimate Fighting
Championship 165: Jon Jones v. Alexander Gustafsson,
which was broadcasted on September 21, 2013. [Id.]
Joe Hand Promotions, in turn, sublicenses those exhibition
rights to commercial establishments for a fee based on the
capacity of the location in question. [Id. at 2-3,
¶¶ 3, 7.]
there are many who wish to exhibit popular sports programming
but remain unwilling to pay for the privilege. [Id.,
¶ 4.] To make sure those businesses pay their fair
share, Joe Hand Promotions dispatches investigators to local
bars and restaurants on the nights of major showings,
including the broadcast of the Ultimate Fighting
Championship 165: Jon Jones v. Alexander Gustafsson, to
catch “signal pirates” in the act. [Id.,
Marie Dick is a managing member of The Neon Saddle LLC, which
owns and operates The Neon Saddle, a bar located in Paducah,
Kentucky. [R. 1 at 2, ¶¶ 7-8 (Complaint).] An
investigator for Joe Hand Promotions, Shawna M. Spiller,
visited The Neon Saddle on the night of September 21. [R.
11-4 at 1-2 (Spiller's Affidavit).] Spiller estimated the
capacity of The Neon Saddle to be around ninety people.
[Id. at 2.] Inside the establishment, Spiller
observed one of two televisions exhibiting the Ultimate
Fighting Championship 165: Jon Jones v. Alexander
Gustafsson. [Id. at 1.] The Neon Saddle,
however, had not entered into a sublicensing agreement with
Joe Hand Promotions to exhibit that program. [R. 11-2 at 3,
¶ 8.] Had Dick and The Neon Saddle paid for the right to
exhibit that program, the cost would have been $1, 100.00.
[R. 11-3 at 1 (Rates).]
Hand Promotions sued Dick and The Neon Saddle LLC, bringing
claims under 47 U.S.C. §§ 553 and 605, along with a
common-law claim for unjust enrichment, for broadcasting the
program without appropriate authorization. [R. 1 at 4-7,
¶¶ 16-33.] Dick and The Neon Saddle LLC were served
with copies of the complaint and summons on November 2, 2015.
[R. 6 at 1-2 (Summons); R. 7 at 1-2 (Summons).] However,
neither appeared or filed an answer (or any other pleadings)
to defend against this action. The Court entered default
against Dick and The Neon Saddle LLC on September 15, 2016.
[R. 9 (Entry of Default).] No action has been taken by either
Dick or The Neon Saddle LLC since default was entered. Now,
Joe Hand Promotions moves for entry of a default judgment
against them. [R. 11 at 1-2 (Motion for Entry of Default
default, the Court takes as true all factual allegations in
the complaint except those relating to the amount of damages.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(b)(6); see also Thomas v.
Miller, 489 F.3d 293, 299 (6th Cir. 2007); Antoine
v. Atlas Turner, Inc., 66 F.3d 105, 110 (6th Cir. 1995).
Even after the entry of default, however, the decision
“to grant a default judgment is within the Court's
discretion.” AF Holdings LLC v. Bossard, 976
F.Supp.2d 927, 929 (W.D. Mich. 2013) (citing Flaks v.
Koegel, 504 F.2d 702, 707 (2d Cir. 1974)). In
determining whether to enter a default judgment, courts in
this Circuit typically consider factors such as:
 the amount of money potentially involved;  whether
material issues of fact or issues of substantial public
importance are at issue;  whether the default is largely
technical;  whether plaintiff has been substantially
prejudiced by the delay involved;  and whether the grounds
for default are clearly established or are in doubt.
10A Charles A. Wright et al., Federal Practice and
Procedure § 2685 (4th ed.), Westlaw (database