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Default Judgment Issued against the Santangelos
January 10, 2007
Thomas Mennecke
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Slyck reported last month that the music industry, represented by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), had dropped its case against Patti Santangelo. The music industry had opted to drop their suit against Patti in favor of seeking a default judgment against her children, Robert and Michelle.

It appears that today the music industry has received a pyrrhic victory. In a default judgment rendered by Justice Stephen C. Robins in White Plains, New York, Michelle Santangelo has been ordered to pay significant financial damages to the music industry. A default judgment means Michelle's representation didn't respond to the complaint - an odd and currently inexplicable circumstance. According to Justice Robins, the plaintiffs (music industry) were granted $750 for each 41 sound recordings allegedly pirated.

“Plaintiffs seek the minimum statutory damages of $750 per infringed work…for each of the forty-one sound recordings listed in Exhibit A to the complaint. Accordingly, having been adjudged to be in default, Defendant Michelle Santangelo shall pay damages to Plaintiffs for infringement of Plaintiffs’ copyright in the sound recording listed…in the total principal sum of Thirty Thousand Seven hundred Fifty Dollars ($30,750.00).”

Ouch, thirty grand is nothing to sneeze at. But just when thirty thousand seemed like a tough price to pay, the judge granted the Plaintiffs an additional $490.00 for reasons undisclosed. Yet this doesn’t mean the RIAA vs. Santangelo saga is over just yet. Other than exposing an eclectic taste in music, the fight has yet to be removed from the Santangelo family.

The next likely move on part of the Santangelos will be to immediately vacate the judgment. While the music industry may have succeeded in this round, the war is far from over.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
Legal/Courtroom :: Individual Lawsuits

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