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Inc. v. Pagaduan

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

January 18, 2018

ME2 PRODUCTIONS, INC.; VENICE PI, LLC; LHF PRODUCTIONS, INC., Plaintiffs
v.
TRAVIS PAGADUAN, Defendant,

          ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE WHY LHF PRODUCTIONS, INC.'S CLAIMS ARE NOT BARRED BY ISSUE AND/OR CLAIM PRECLUSION

          Susan Oki Mollway United States District Judge

         I. INTRODUCTION.

         This is the second copyright infringement action that one Plaintiff, LHF Productions, Inc., has filed against Defendant Travis Pagaduan for what appears to be the same allegedly infringing conduct with respect to “London Has Fallen.” In the earlier case, judgment was entered in LHF Productions' favor. LHF Productions is ordered to show cause why its claims against Pagaduan in this action are not barred by issue and/or claim preclusion.

         II. BACKGROUND.

         LHF Productions appears to have filed two actions against Pagaduan for alleged copyright violations involving the same movie (“London Has Fallen”), the same time period, and the same conduct.

         A. Pagaduan I.

         On February 23, 2017, LHF Productions sued Pagaduan for violation of its copyright in the movie “London Has Fallen.” See Second Amended Complaint ¶ 8, LHF Productions, Inc. v. Pagaduan, Civ. No. 16-00437 JMS/RLP, ECF No. 20, PageID # 105 (“Pagaduan I”).

         In Pagaduan I, LHF Productions asserted claims of copyright infringement (First Claim for Relief) and contributory copyright infringement (Second Claim for Relief) based on Pagaduan's alleged use of BitTorrent to offer “London Has Fallen” online. See Id. Pagaduan's conduct allegedly occurred from June 9 to June 27, 2016. See Civ. No. 16-00437 JMS/RLP, ECF No. 20-1.

         Pagaduan was served with a copy of the Second Amended Complaint in Pagaduan I on April 15, 2017. See Civ. No. 16-00437 JMS/RLP, ECF No. 26. Default was entered on May 22, 2017. See Civ. No. 16-00437 JMS/RLP, ECF No. 29.

         On July 5, 2017, LHF Productions moved for default judgment in Pagaduan I. See Civ. No. 16-00437 JMS/RLP, ECF No. 31. On August 21, 2017, Magistrate Judge Richard L. Puglisi issued his Findings and Recommendation to Grant in Part and Deny in Part Plaintiff LHF Productions, Inc.'s Motion for Entry of Default Judgment (“F&R”). See Civ. No. 16-00437 JMS/RLP, ECF No. 33. The F&R recommended that default judgment be entered in LHF Productions' favor for $750 in statutory damages and that the court deny LHF Productions' request for injunctive relief. Id.

         On September 11, 2017, Chief District Judge J. Michael Seabright adopted the F&R. See Civ. No. 16-00437 JMS/RLP, ECF No. 34. Judgment was entered in favor of LHF Productions the following day. See Civ. No. 16-00437 JMS/RLP, ECF No. 35. No. appeal was taken.

         B. Pagaduan II.

         On September 1, 2017, LHF Productions, acting as one of several Plaintiffs, again sued Pagaduan in the present case with respect to alleged violations of its copyright rights in the movie “London Has Fallen.” See First Amended Complaint ¶ 16, LHF Productions, Inc. v. Pagaduan, Civ. No. 17-00130 SOM/KJM, ECF No. 16, PageID #s 67-68 (“Pagaduan II”). The First Amended Complaint in Pagaduan II notes that Pagaduan was sued in Pagaduan I for alleged copyright violations with respect to “London Has Fallen” on June 11, 2016. Id. ¶ 35, PageID #s 71-72. The First Amended Complaint then alleges that Pagaduan also infringed LHF Productions' copyright in “London Has Fallen” two days later, on June 13, 2016, again through BitTorrent. Id. ¶ 36, PageID # 72.

         Notwithstanding Magistrate Judge Puglisi's F&R of August 21, 2017, recommending that the court enter default judgment in Pagaduan I in favor of LHF Productions and against Pagaduan in the amount of $750 in statutory damages covering Pagaduan's alleged violation of LHF Productions' copyright rights through his use of BitTorrent in June 2016 with respect to “London Has Fallen, ” LHF Productions asserted what appear to be the same copyright claims against Pagaduan in Pagaduan II. In the First Amended Complaint in Pagaduan II (filed just days after the F&R in Pagaduan I), LHF Productions again asserts that Pagaduan used ...


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