and upon plaintiffs' motion for retaxation. Specifically, plaintiffs contend that:
1) collection of costs will create "incredible financial hardships for the two individual plaintiffs and their families";
2) recording of a lien would create an "unnecessary cloud on title" that could be foreclosed upon;
3) whether California Rural Legal Assistance (hereinafter "CRLA"), plaintiffs' counsel, can post bond on behalf of plaintiffs should not be weighed in determining whether plaintiffs are entitled to a stay without bond;
4) the equities favor an issuance of a stay without a bond, especially since the underlying judgment is only for costs.
This Court previously considered plaintiffs' "hardship" arguments at great length on the two prior occasions described above. The Court was not persuaded by such arguments on either of those occasions.
Nor is it persuaded now.
This lawsuit was initiated by California Rural Legal Assistance. CRLA is a federally funded organization that utilizes federal funds to litigate cases that are deemed to be in the interests of members of the local rural community. CRLA receives federal funds, as it should, because its cases are considered to be in the "public interest." For example, the instant lawsuit was brought by CRLA to challenge the at-large election system of the El Centro school district, pursuant to the federal Voting Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1973. The lawsuit was brought by CRLA on behalf of the Hispanic community in the El Centro area. The Court therefore has no doubt that this lawsuit was brought in "good faith" and in the "public interest," nor does the Court question the use of federal funds for such purpose. Indeed, the Court finds CRLA's objectives in bringing this case meritorious and laudable.
In pursuing the lawsuit, CRLA chose to file its complaint in the names of the named plaintiffs, Mr. Aldasoro and Mr. Enriquez. This strategic decision does not change the fact, however, that the real party in interest in this case is the United States Government in behalf of the local Hispanic community as represented by CRLA. The real parties in interest are not Mr. Aldasoro and Mr. Enriquez. Mr. Aldasoro and Mr. Enriquez are nominal plaintiffs only. Defendant has represented, and the Court has no reason to disbelieve, that neither named plaintiff has expended any money whatsoever in litigating this case. It is the federal government that has expended such money.
To date the federal government has paid CRLA several hundred thousand dollars for litigation expenses relating to discovery and pretrial motions, trial, and a host of post-trial motions. For CRLA to now oppose the payment of a marginal sum of approximately $ 19,000 in court costs, on the grounds that nominal plaintiffs are impoverished, is therefore disingenuous. Regardless of whose name appears on the cost bill, it is the federal government that is the real party in interest and federal funds that will be used to pay the costs. The United States government is not impecunious. Moreover, defendant itself is a local government entity and its defense in this case has been a drain on public tax revenues. The Court sees no inequity in enforcing a cost bill on behalf of the successful local government entity against the losing federal government real party in interest. Accordingly, CRLA's "hardship" arguments are not persuasive. The Court will not waive the bond required by Fed. R. Civ. P. 62(d).
Finally, plaintiffs' argument that a costs-only judgment is somehow less deserving of security to the judgment creditor finds no support under federal law. Although it is true that under California law, an appellant may obtain a stay of execution of a costs-only judgment without posting bond, see, e.g., Pecsok v. Black, supra, 7 Cal. App. 4th at 457, the Federal Rules reflect no such policy. On the contrary, "Rule 62, taken in its entirety, indicates a policy against any unsecured stay of execution after the expiration of the time for filing a motion for new trial." Van Huss v. Landsberg, supra, 262 F. Supp. at 869; see N.L.R.B. v. Westphal, 859 F.2d 818, 819 (9th Cir. 1988) (under Rule 62, "the posting of a bond protects the prevailing [party] from the risk of a later uncollectible judgment and compensates him for delay in the entry of final judgment").
Accordingly, plaintiffs' motion for a stay without bond pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 62(c) and (d) is hereby DENIED.
For all the above foregoing reasons, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:
1) Plaintiffs' Motion for Stay of Execution Pending Appeal is DENIED; and
2) Plaintiffs shall be granted a 10 day stay of execution of this Order, from the date of this Order, to allow plaintiffs time to bring a motion to stay with the court of appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED: DEC 7 1995
Rudi M. Brewster
United States District Judge