United States District Court, S.D. California
MICHAEL LEWIS, LAUREN TAYLOR, C.L., a minor, and B.L., a minor, by and through Guardian Ad Litem, Plaintiffs,
COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO, et al., Defendants.
(1) GRANTING DEFENDANT COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO'S MOTION TO
STAY ENFORCEMENT OF COSTS AND ATTORNEY'S FEES ORDERS
PENDING APPEAL WITHOUT POSTING SUPERSEDEAS BOND; and [Doc.
No. 302] (2) DENYING PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR NON-TAXABLE
EXPENSES [Doc. No. 273]
MARILYN L. HUFF, DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Defendant County of San Diego's (“the
County”) motion to stay enforcement of the Court's
costs and attorney's fees Orders pending appeal without
posting a supersedeas bond, filed on February 5, 2018. (Doc.
No. 302.) On February 15, 2018, Plaintiff Lauren Taylor,
individually and as Guardian Ad Litem for Plaintiffs C.L. and
B.L. (“Plaintiffs”), opposed the motion. (Doc.
No. 306.) On February 26, 2018, the County replied. (Doc. No.
308.) The Court, pursuant to its discretion under Local Rule
7.1(d)(1), determines that the motion is fit for resolution
without oral argument, submits the motion on the papers, and
vacates the hearing set for March 5, 2018. For the reasons
discussed below, the Court grants the County's motion.
before the Court is Plaintiffs' motion for non-taxable
out-of-pocket expenses. (Doc. No. 273.) On February 20, 2018,
the County filed its objection. (Doc. No. 307.) For the
reasons discussed below, the Court denies Plaintiffs'
a jury trial, on August 18, 2017, the Court entered an
amended judgment in favor of Defendants Baxter, Quinteros,
and Jemison on all causes of action. (Doc. No. 245.) The
Court entered judgment in favor of Defendant County of San
Diego as to all claims by Plaintiffs Lewis and Taylor.
(Id.) The Court entered judgment in favor of
Plaintiffs C.L. and B.L. as to their claims against Defendant
County of San Diego and awarded C.L. and B.L. each $1 in
nominal damages, payable by the County of San Diego, as well
as costs and fees as allowed by law. (Id.) In
September 2017, both Plaintiffs and the County filed
respective notices of appeal regarding the jury's
findings and the Court's amended judgment. (See
Doc. Nos. 249, 254.)
December 22, 2017, the Clerk of Court taxed costs for
Plaintiffs in the amount of $28, 732.47. (Doc. No. 287.) On
January 23, 2018, the Court denied the County's motion to
re-tax and set aside the award of costs. (Doc. No. 296.) On
January 30, 2018, the Court awarded Plaintiffs reasonable
attorneys' fees in the amount of $499, 509.00. (Doc. No.
298.) On January 31, 2018, the Court entered an amended
judgment to include an award of costs to Plaintiffs C.L. and
B.L. in the amount of $28, 732.47 and an award of
attorneys' fees to Plaintiffs C.L. and B.L. in the amount
of $499, 509.00. (Doc. No. 299.) On February 2, 2018, the
Court issued an order stating that it was considering
Plaintiffs' request for non- taxable out-of-pocket
expenses and that the County should file an objection to that
request if it wished to do so. (Doc. No. 300.) On February
20, 2018, the County filed its objection. (Doc. No. 307.)
February 5, 2018, the County filed a notice of appeal
regarding the Court's Orders (1) denying the County's
motion to re-tax and set aside the award of costs; (2)
awarding Plaintiffs reasonable attorneys' fees; and (3)
entering amended judgment. (Doc. No. 301 (citing Doc. Nos.
296, 298, 299).) Also on February 5, 2018, the County filed a
motion to stay enforcement of the Court's Orders
regarding costs and attorneys' fees, pending appeal.
(Doc. No. 302.) Moreover, the County moved for a waiver of
the supersedeas bond requirement. (Id.) On February
15, 2018, Plaintiffs opposed the motion. (Doc. No. 306.) On
February 26, 2018, the County replied. (Doc. No. 308.)
I. Motion to Stay Pursuant to Rule of Civil Procedure
Rule of Civil Procedure 62(d) provides for a stay of the
execution of a final judgment pending appeal when the moving
party posts a supersedeas bond. Fed.R.Civ.P. 62(d).
“The bond may be given upon or after filing the notice
of appeal or after obtaining the order allowing the appeal.
The stay takes effect when the court approves the
bond.” Id. The Court, however, has
“inherent discretionary authority in setting
supersedeas bonds, ” Rachel v. Banana Republic,
Inc., 831 F.2d 1503, 1505 n.1 (9th Cir. 1987), and may
exercise its discretion to “waive the bond requirement
if it sees fit, ” Townsend v. Holman Consulting
Corp., 881 F.2d 788, 796-97 (9th Cir. 1989), vacated
on reh'g on other grounds, 929 F.2d 1358 (9th Cir.
1990) (en banc). A party seeking a departure from the normal
requirement of a full security supersedeas bond bears the
burden of showing reasons for such a departure. See
Salameh v. Tarsadia Hotel, No. 9-CV-2739, 2015 WL
13158486, at *2 (S.D. Cal. May 19, 2015) (citing Poplar
Grove Planting & Ref. Co. v. Bache Halsey Stuart, Inc.,
600 F.2d 1189, 1191 (5th Cir. 1979)). “[A]n inflexible
requirement of a bond would be inappropriate in two sorts of
case: where the defendant's ability to pay the judgment
is so plain that the cost of the bond would be a waste of
money; and . . . where the requirement would put the
defendant's other creditors in undue jeopardy.”
Paula Band of Luiseno Mission Indians v. California,
No. 9-CV-1955, 2014 WL 12669557, at *2 (S.D. Cal. Aug. 29,
2014) (quoting Olympia Equip. Leasing, Co. v. W. Union
Tel. Co., 786 F.2d 794, 796 (7th Cir. 1986)).
determining whether to waive the supersedeas bond
requirement, courts consider several factors, including
“(1) the complexity of the collection process; (2) the
amount of time required to obtain a judgment after it is
affirmed on appeal; (3) the degree of confidence that the
district court has in the availability of funds to pay the
judgment; (4) whether the defendant's ability to pay the
judgment is so plain that the cost of a bond would be a waste
of money; and (5) whether the defendant is in such a
precarious financial situation that the requirement to post a
bond would place other creditors of the defendant in an
insecure position.” See, e.g.,
Salameh, 2015 WL 13158486, at *2 (quoting Dillon
v. Chicago, 866 F.2d 902, 904-05 (7th Cir. 1988));
Paula Band, 2014 WL 12669557, at *2 (same). Indeed,
“[c]ourts in the Ninth Circuit regularly use the
Dillon factors in determining whether to waive the
bond requirement.” Kranson v. Fed. Express
Corp., No. 11-CV-5826, 2013 WL 6872495, at *1 (N.D. Cal.
Dec. 31, 2013).
the Court concludes that the County has met its burden to
show that a waiver of the Rule 62(d) bond requirement is
warranted. The County submitted a declaration by the
County's Assistant Auditor and Controller, explaining
that the County has the highest possible financial rating
with three of the major credit rating agencies, that the
County has an operating budget of $5.79 billion, and that the
County has funds set aside for future liability and judgments
sufficient to cover the attorneys' fees and costs awards
in this case. (Doc. No. 302-2, Drager Decl. ¶¶ 1,
3-6.) The County also submitted a declaration by the Chief of
Departmental Administrative Services for the San Diego County
Counsel's Office, who is familiar with the County's
financial situation and states that she is unaware of any
instance in which the County has defaulted on a court
judgment. (Doc. No. 302-5, Legaspi Decl. ¶¶ 1, 5.)
Having considered this evidence, as well as the parties'
arguments, the Court is confident that the County has funds
available to pay the judgment and that, given the
County's evident ability to pay, the cost of a bond would
be a waste of money. See Pauma Band, 2014 WL
12669557, at *3 (citing Olympia Equip., 786 F.2d at
796). Accordingly, pursuant to its broad discretionary power,
the Court grants the County's motion to stay enforcement
of the Court's costs and attorneys' fees Orders
pending appeal without posting a supersedeas bond.
Motion for Non-Taxable ...