United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
J. BOYLE JUDGE
the Court is Plaintiff J&J Sports Productions, Inc.'s
(J&J) Brief on the Appropriateness of Final Default
Judgment. Doc. 37. For the reasons that follow, the Court
GRANTS final default judgment in favor of
filed suit alleging that Catsup violated the Federal
Communications Act of 1934 (FCA) by broadcasting the Manny
Pacquiao v. Timothy Bradley Welterweight Championship Fight
Program (the Event) without obtaining a sub-license from
J&J, the only license company authorized to sub-license
the telecast of the event. Doc. 1, Compl., ¶¶ 7,
11, 18. Catsup answered the complaint, Doc. 14, Answer, and
participated in the parties' Rule 26(f) conference, Doc.
25, but has failed to further participate in the case. After
the Court issued two orders to show cause, Doc. 30; Doc. 32,
to which Catsup failed to respond, the Court set a show-cause
hearing, Doc. 33. Catsup failed to attend the hearing. As a
consequence, the Court entered a conditional order of default
judgment as a sanction against Catsup. Doc. 36, Order. The
Court ordered J&J to submit briefing explaining why
default judgment was appropriate, whether there was
sufficient basis in the pleadings for judgment, and evidence
of damages and attorney's fees before the Court entered
final default judgment. Id. at 3. J&J submitted
its briefing so the issue is ripe for review.
determining whether a default judgment should be entered
against a defendant, courts have developed a three-part
analysis. United States v. 1998 Freightliner Vin #:
1FUYCZYB3WP886986, 548 F.Supp.2d 381, 384 (W.D. Tex.
2008). First, courts consider whether the entry of
default judgment is procedurally warranted. See Lindsey
v. Prive Corp., 161 F.3d 886, 893 (5th Cir. 1998). The
factors relevant to this inquiry include:
 whether material issues of fact are at issue;  whether
there has been substantial prejudice;  whether the grounds
for default are clearly established; [4 ]whether the default
was caused by a good faith mistake or excusable neglect; 
the harshness of a default judgment; and  whether the
court would think itself obliged to set aside the default on
the defendant's motion.
courts assess the substantive merits of the plaintiff's
claims and determine whether there is a sufficient basis in
the pleadings for the judgment. See Nishimatsu Constr.
Co., Ltd. v. Hous. Nat'l Bank, 515 F.2d 1200, 1206
(5th Cir. 1975) (noting that “default is not treated as
an absolute confession by the defendant of his liability and
of the plaintiff's right to recover”). In doing so,
courts are to assume that due to its default, the defendant
admits all well-pleaded facts in the plaintiff's
complaint. Id. However, a “defendant is not
held to admit facts that are not-well pleaded or to admit
conclusions of law.” Id.
courts determine “what form of relief, if any, the
[plaintiff] should receive.” 1998
Freightliner, 548 F.Supp.2d at 384. Normally, damages
are not to be awarded without a hearing or a demonstration by
detailed affidavits establishing the necessary facts. See
United Artists Corp. v. Freeman, 605 F.2d 854, 857 (5th
Cir. 1979). But if the amount of damages can be determined
with mathematical calculation by reference to the pleadings
and supporting documents, a hearing is unnecessary. James
v. Frame, 6 F.3d 307, 310 (5th Cir. 1993).
Whether An Entry of Default Judgment is Procedurally
argues that default judgment is procedurally warranted
because Catsup has failed to comply with the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure and this Court's orders, and Catsup's
“lack of participation demonstrates an intention to no
longer litigate the case.” Doc. 37, Pl.'s Br., 1.
J&J notes that Catsup failed to participate in scheduling
mediation or mediation itself; failed to respond, object, or
assert any privileges to any of J&J's discovery
requests; failed to respond to J&J's motion for
summary judgment; failed to comply with the Court's
orders to show cause; and failed to attend the Court's
show-cause hearing. Id. at 2-3.
Court agrees that Catsup's lack of participation
demonstrates that default judgment is procedurally warranted.
First, although Catsup answered the complaint, its general
denial of all of J&J's allegations does not create a
material issue of fact. See Reese v. Anderson, 926
F.2d 494, 499 (5th Cir. 1991)(finding that a plaintiff's
general denial of defendant's motion for summary judgment
did not create a material issue of fact). Second,
Catsup's “failure to respond threatens to bring the
adversary process to a halt, effectively prejudicing
Plaintiff's interests.” Ins. Co. of the W. v. H
& G Contractors, Inc., No. C-10-390, 2011
WL 4738197, at *3 (S.D. Tex, Oct. 5, 2011). Third, the
Court's issuance of conditional default judgment
established grounds for default judgment under Rule
37(b), see Doc. 36, Order, and Catsup
has not responded to any part of the proceedings since
December 2017 at the latest, see J.D. Holdings, LLC v. BD
Ventures, LLC, 766 F.Supp.2d 109, 113 (D.D.C. 2011)
(finding that “[d]efault judgment is appropriate if
defendants are ‘totally unresponsive' and the
failure to respond is ‘plainly willful, as reflected by
[the parties'] failure to respond either to the summons
and complaint, the entry of default, or the motion for
default judgment'” (quoting Cumins Ins.
Soc'y, Inc. v. Billups, No. 10-1478, 2010 WL
4384228, at *2 (D.D.C. Nov. 4, 2010))). Fourth, there is no
evidence before the Court to suggest Catsup's silence is
the result of a “good faith mistake or excusable
neglect.” Lindsey, 161 F.3d at 893. Fifth,
J&J seeks only the relief the law provides it, and Catsup
has no applicable defense for its claims, at least as far as
the Court can see, which “mitigat[es] the harshness of
a default judgment.” John Perez Graphics &
Design, LLC v. GreenTree Inv. Grp., Inc., No.
12-CV-4194-M, 2013 WL 1828671, at *3 (N.D. Tex. May 1, 2013).
Sixth, and finally, the Court is not aware of any facts that
would give rise to “good cause” to set aside the
default, if it were challenged by Catsup. Lindsey,
161 F.3d at 893.
Whether There Is a Sufficient Basis for Judgment in the
light of the entry of default, Catsup is deemed to have
admitted the allegations set forth in J&J's
complaint. Nonetheless, the Court must review the pleadings
to determine whether they present a sufficient basis for
J&J's claim for relief. Nishimatsu Constr.,
515 F.2d at 1206. In ...