United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
July 16, 2004.
JOHN CRUMLISH, et al.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: RICHARD B. SURRICK, District Judge
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
Presently before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for a Default
Judgment as to Defendant John Crumlish. (Doc. No. 67.) For the
following reasons, we will grant Plaintiff's Motion.
Plaintiff filed this action on May 23, 2003, against several
Defendants, including Crumlish. (Doc. No. 1.) On May 30, 2003,
Plaintiff served Crumlish with a summons and the Complaint
pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 5(b)(2)(A)(iii) by leaving the same
at Crumlish's residence with a person of suitable age and
discretion residing therein. (Doc. No. 9.) Crumlish failed to
timely answer or otherwise respond to the Complaint. Accordingly,
on November 11, 2003, the Clerk entered a default with respect to
Crumlish. Plaintiff now moves that we enter a default judgment
against Crumlish in the amount of $11,682.05, plus post-judgment
interest, and that we enjoin Crumlish from committing any further
violations of the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984, as
amended, 47 U.S.C. § 605, and/or 18 U.S.C. § 2511 and 2512.
"A consequence of the entry of a default judgment is that `the
factual allegations of the complaint, except those relating to
the amount of damages, will be taken as true.'" Comdyne I, Inc.
v. Corbin, 908 F.2d 1142, 1149 (3d Cir. 1990) (quoting 10 C.
WRIGHT, A. MILLER, & M. KANE, FEDERAL PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE, § 2688 at 444 (2d ed. 1983)
(citing Thomson v. Wooster, 114 U.S. 104 (1885))). In this
case, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants: (1) effected the
unauthorized interception and receipt of Plaintiff's satellite
programming through the use of illegal satellite decoding
devices, or by the manipulation of the satellite system
authorized to carry the satellite programming where Defendants
are located, or by such other means which are unknown to
Plaintiff and known only to Defendants; illegally and without
authorization, intercepted, received, and exhibited, or otherwise
assisted in the unauthorized interception, reception, or
exhibition of satellite programming transmitted by Plaintiff; and
divulged or published the existence, contents, substance,
purport, effect, or meaning of such satellite communications, all
in violation of 47 U.S.C. § 605(a),*fn1 (Compl. ¶¶ 32-33);
(2) intentionally intercepted, endeavored to intercept, or
procured other persons to intercept electronic communications
from Plaintiff; and disclosed or endeavored to disclose to others
the contents of those electronic communications knowing, or
having reason to know, that the information was obtained through
the interception of electronic communications, all in violation
of 18 U.S.C. § 2511, (Compl. ¶¶ 38-39); (3) possessed,
manufactured, and/or assembled an electronic, mechanical, or
other device knowing, or having a reason to know, that the design
or such device renders it primarily useful for the purpose of the
surreptitious interception of Plaintiff's wire or electronic
communications and that such device or any component thereof has
been or will be sent through the mail or transported in
interstate or foreign commerce in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2512,*fn2 (Compl. ¶¶ 42-43); and (4) knowingly
manufactured, assembled, or modified an electronic, mechanical,
or other device or equipment knowing, or having reason to know,
that the device or equipment is used primarily in the assistance
of the unauthorized decryption of Plaintiff's satellite
programming, or direct-to-home satellite services, or is intended
for any other prohibited activity; actively programmed and
reprogrammed access cards and designed electronic systems for use
in surreptitiously obtaining Plaintiff's satellite programming;
and engaged in the unlawful assembly and/or modification of
devices primarily in the assistance of the unauthorized
decryption of Plaintiff's satellite programming by removing and
inserting pirate access devices and/or inserting illegally
programmed access cards into Plaintiff's receivers, all in
violation of 47 U.S.C. § 605(e)(4),*fn3 (Compl. ¶ 46). We
assume that Plaintiff's allegations are true and proceed to
determine the damages that are proper in this case.
Plaintiff requests an award of statutory damages pursuant to
47 U.S.C. § 605(e)(3)(C)(i)(II).*fn4 Under that section,
because Plaintiff sufficiently alleges that Defendants violated § 605(e)(4), Plaintiff is entitled to "statutory damages
in a sum not less than $10,000, or more than $100,000, as the
court considers just."*fn5 47 U.S.C. § 605(e)(3)(C)(i)(II);
see also DirecTV, Inc. v. Adkins, No. 1:03 CV 00064, 2004 WL
1260058 (W.D. Va. June 9, 2004) (awarding the plaintiff $10,000
for each violation of § 604(e)(4) even though it meant "financial
ruin" to the defendants). Accordingly, we are compelled to award
Plaintiff the $10,000 in statutory damages it requests.
In addition, Plaintiff asks that we award it reasonable
attorney's fees in the amount of $1,607.70, and costs in the
amount of $74.35. Under 47 U.S.C. § 605(e)(3)(B)(iii), the court
"shall direct the recovery of full costs, including awarding
reasonable attorneys' fees to an aggrieved party who prevails."
We find that the requested attorney's fees are reasonable, and we
award Plaintiff the requested fees and costs.
An appropriate Order follows. ORDER
AND NOW, this 16th day of July, 2004, upon consideration of
Plaintiff's Motion for a Default Judgment as to Defendant John
Crumlish, (Doc. No. 67), and all papers filed in support thereof
and opposition thereto, it is ORDERED that:
1. Plaintiff's Motion for a Default Judgment is GRANTED.
2. Judgment is entered in favor of Plaintiff and against John
Crumlish in the amount of $11,682.05, plus post-judgment interest
to accrue from the legal rate now in effect, from the date of
this judgment until paid.
3. John Crumlish is permanently enjoined from committing or
assisting in the commission of any violation of the Cable
Communications Policy Act of 1984, as amended, 47 U.S.C. § 605,
or committing or assisting in the commission of any violation of
18 U.S.C. § 2511 and 2512.
IT IS SO ORDERED.