Steve K. Wilson BRIGGS, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Kevin SPACEY; et al., Defendants-Appellees, Sound Point Capital Management, LC, Defendant.
Decided: February 12, 2020
Before: FERNANDEZ, SILVERMAN, and TALLMAN, Circuit Judges.
Steve K. Wilson Briggs, Pro Se Gregory P. Korn, Attorney, Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert LLP, Santa Monica, CA for Defendants-Appellees Ari Emanuel DEF, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc., Neill Blomkamp, Mordecai Wiczyk, MRC Brendan Nathaniel Charney, Attorney, Kelli L. Sager, Esquire, Attorney, Rochelle Lyn Wilcox, Esquire, Partner, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, Los Angeles, CA, for Defendant- Appellee NBCUniversal Media, LLC Stephen Gerard Larson, Attorney, Jonathan E. Phillips, Esquire, Attorney, Larson O'Brien LLP, Los Angeles, CA, for Defendant-Appellee
Steve K. Wilson Briggs appeals pro se from the district court’s judgment dismissing his action alleging copyright infringement and related claims. We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291. We review de novo. Daniels-Hall v. Nat’l Educ. Ass’n, 629 F.3d 992, 998 (9th Cir. 2010) (failure to state a claim); Reyn’s Pasta Bella, LLC v. Visa USA, Inc., 442 F.3d 741, 745 (9th Cir. 2006) (preclusion). We affirm.
The district court properly dismissed Briggs’s claims except for the breach of contract and international infringement claims on the ground of issue preclusion because the issues involved in those claims were actually litigated and decided in Briggs’s prior federal copyright action. See Taylor v. Sturgell, 553 U.S. 880, 892, 128 S.Ct. 2161, 171 L.Ed.2d 155 (2008) (issue preclusion bars “successive litigation of an issue of fact or law actually litigated and resolved in a valid court determination essential to the prior judgment, even if the issue recurs in the context of a different claim” (citation and internal quotation marks omitted)); Howard v. City of Coos Bay, 871 F.3d 1032, 1040-41 (9th Cir. 2017) (requirements for federal issue preclusion).
The district court properly dismissed Briggs’s breach of contract and international infringement claims because Briggs failed to allege facts sufficient to state a plausible claim. See 17 U.S.C. § 602(a)(2) (elements of international infringement claim); Oasis W. Realty, LLC v. Goldman, 51 Cal.4th 811, 124 Cal.Rptr.3d 256, 250 P.3d 1115, 1121 (2011) (elements of California breach of contract claim); see also Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 341-42 (9th Cir. 2010) (although pro se pleadings are liberally construed, a plaintiff must allege facts sufficient to state a plausible claim).
To the extent that Briggs contends that the previous federal judgment should be set aside, this constitutes an impermissible collateral attack on that judgment. See Mullis v. U.S. Bankr. Court for Dist. of Nev., 828 F.2d 1385, 1393 (9th Cir. 1987) (“[C]ollateral attacks on the judgments, orders, decrees or decisions of federal courts are improper.” (citation omitted)). Contrary to Briggs’s contention, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60 is not applicable here.
In light of our conclusion that the district court properly dismissed Briggs’s action on the merits, we conclude that the district court did not err in failing to rule on Briggs’s motion for default judgment prior to entering judgment in favor of defendants. See Eitel v. McCool, 782 F.2d 1470, 1471-72 (9th Cir. 1986) (factors for determining whether to enter default judgment; default judgments are generally disfavored, and cases should be decided on the merits whenever reasonably possible).
We reject as meritless Briggs’s contentions regarding the district court’s alleged misconduct.
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