United States District Court, S.D. California
ORDER DENYING IN PART, GRANTING IN PART, DEFENDANT
ROY GAYHART'S MOTION TO VACATE RENEWAL OF JUDGMENT OR,
ALTERNATIVELY, CORRECT THE JUDGMENT [DOC. NO. 84]
Marilyn L. Huff United States District Judge.
January 19, 1993, Plaintiff Robert Armstrong
(“Plaintiff”) and Defendant Roy Gayhart
(“Defendant”) stipulated to a judgment of $6, 500
in favor of Plaintiff, payable by Defendant. (Doc. No. 62.)
On Plaintiff's motion, the Court renewed the judgment on
May 21, 2002. (Doc. No. 70.) The Court also subsequently
renewed the judgment on Plaintiff's motion on November 7,
2007, (Doc. No. 72), July 11, 2008, (Doc. No. 76), and June
3, 2015, (Doc. No. 82). Defendant did not participate in
January 25, 2017, Defendant brought the present motion
seeking to vacate the previous renewals of judgment or,
alternatively, correct the judgment amount. (Doc. No. 84.) On
February 28, 2017, Plaintiff opposed the motion. (Doc. No.
94.) Defendant replied on March 2, 2017. (Doc. No. 86.) On
March 6, 2017, the Court heard arguments on the matter. (Doc.
No. 97.) Defendant was represented by Attorney Jeremy Golden
and Plaintiff proceeded pro se. (Id.)
case arises from a $6, 500 stipulated judgment from 1993.
(Doc. No. 62.) Since that time, Defendant has not paid the
judgment and Plaintiff has asked the Court to renew it from
time to time. (Doc. Nos. 70, 72, 76, 82.) Most recently,
Plaintiff moved to renew the judgment on May 7, 2015. (Doc.
No. 78.) In his motion to renew the judgment, Plaintiff
claimed that interest was accruing at the rate of 10% per
year. (Id.) The Court ordered supplemental briefing
on why the 10% interest rate was appropriate. (Doc. No. 79.)
Plaintiff filed supplemental briefing on June 1, 2015,
asserting the 10% interest rate was appropriate because the
parties had agreed to it at the time of the stipulation and
Defendant subsequently acknowledged the rate was proper.
(Doc. No. 80.) Defendant did not participate in these
proceedings. On June 3, 2015, the Court renewed the judgment
as requested, but reserved the right to alter the interest
rate at a later date. (Doc. No. 82.)
argues the Court should adjust the judgment amount because
the appropriate federal postjudgment interest rate is 3.67%.
(Doc. No. 84-1 at 5-6.) Defendant also argues the judgment
renewals should be vacated because he did not receive notice.
(Doc. No. 84-1 at 4.) Finally, in the alternative, Defendant
argues the Court should deem Plaintiff's judgment
satisfied because Plaintiff has collected payments from other
defendants totaling more than the amount in the original
complaint. (Id. at 6.)
AMOUNT OF JUDGMENT
original judgment of $6, 500 has been accruing interest since
1993. (Doc. No. 62.) Defendant made payments totaling $700 in
1994 but stopped making payments after experiencing financial
difficulties. (Doc. No. 84-1 at 2.) In May 2002, Plaintiff
renewed the judgment in the amount of $11, 324.99. (Doc. No.
70.) This included the remaining principal of $5, 800 and
accrued postjudgment interest of $5, 524.99. (Id.)
Plaintiff filed a certificate of service, certifying he
served Defendant with a notice of the renewal of judgment via
U.S. mail. (Doc. No. 71.) Plaintiff next renewed the judgment
in November 2007. (Doc. No. 72.) Plaintiff had received no
payments from Defendant during the period and the additional
accrued interest was $6, 134, for a total judgment of $17,
460.00. (Id.) Plaintiff attempted to serve Defendant
notice but the mail was returned as undeliverable. (Doc. No.
74.) Because of the wrong address, Plaintiff renewed the
judgment again in 2008, this time for the amount of $18,
403.12. (Doc. No. 76; see Doc. No. 88.) Plaintiff
most recently attempted to renew the judgment on May 7, 2015.
(Doc. No. 78.) Plaintiff had received no payments from
Defendant and claimed an additional $12, 347.74 had accrued
in interest. (Id.) On May 11, 2015, the Court
requested additional briefing regarding the proper interest
rate. (Doc. No. 79.) On June 1, 2015, Plaintiff filed
supplemental briefing explaining that the appropriate
interest rate was 10% because that was what the parties had
agreed to at the time of the settlement. (Doc. No. 80.) In
light of Plaintiff's representations, and absent
objection from Defendant, the Court granted the renewal of
judgment on June 3, 2015, but reserved the right to alter the
interest at a later date. (Doc. No. 82.)
interest rates are governed by federal law. Fid. Nat.
Fin. Inc. v. Friedman, 602 F.3d 1121, 1123
(“Interest accruing on an unpaid federal judgment is
governed by federal law-even in diversity cases.”). The
U.S. Code provides that “[i]nterest shall be allowed on
any money judgment in a civil case recovered in a district
court.” 28 U.S.C. § 1961(1). By default,
“[s]uch interest shall be calculated from the date of
the entry of the judgment, at a rate equal to the weekly
average 1-year constant maturity yield . . . for the calendar
week preceding the date of the judgment.”
Id. However, parties may agree to contractually
waive the application of 28 U.S.C. § 1961. See
Fidelity Fed. Bank, FSB v. Durga Ma Corp, 387 F.3d 1021,
1023 (9th Cir. 2004); Citicorp Real Estate, Inc. v.
Smith, 155 F.3d 1097, 1108 (9th Cir. 1998) (“We
agree with the district court that the parties contractually
waived their right to have post-judgment interest calculated
at the federal statutory rate.”).
argues the Court should amend the judgment against him to
reflect the applicable federal postjudgment interest rate,
rather than the 10% interest rate the Court previously
applied. (Doc. No. 84-1 at 5-6.) Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 60(b) allows a court to modify a previous order for
the following reasons:
(1) Mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect;
(2) Newly discovered evidence that, with reasonable
diligence, could not have been discovered in time to move for
a new trial under Rule 59(b);
(3) Fraud (whether previously called intrinsic or extrinsic),
misrepresentation, or misconduct ...