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Rajala v. Gardner

United States District Court, D. Kansas

September 10, 2014

ERIC C. RAJALA, Plaintiff,
v.
ROBERT H. GARDNER, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

ERIC F. MELGREN, District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on Defendants' Motion for Stay of Execution of the Judgment and for Expedited Briefing (Doc. 340). On June 10 through June 12, 2014, a jury trial was held, and the jury entered a verdict in Plaintiff's favor on June 12, 2014, in the amount of $329, 000 against each Defendant.[1] Plaintiff filed a Motion to Alter Judgment to Add Prejudment Interest on June 25, 2014.[2] The next day, Defendants filed the motion at issue in this Order. Several weeks later, Defendants filed a Renewed Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law, or Alternatively for Remittitur or New Trial on July 9, 2014.[3]

Defendants request a stay of execution pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 62(b), pending resolution of post-trial motions. Defendants ask the Court to permit the stay.[4] They also ask the Court to waive the requirement of posting a supersedeas bond. In addition, Defendants request expedited briefing on the issue.[5] Plaintiff does not object to the stay if a bond is posted for the judgment amount plus 25%. Plaintiff relies upon D. Kan. Rule 62.2 for the 25% figure.[6]

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 62(b) provides that "[o]n appropriate terms for the opposing party's security, the court may stay the execution of a judgment-or any proceedings to enforce it-pending disposition of any of the following motions: (1) under Rule 50, for judgment as a matter of law... or (3) under Rule 59, for a new trial or to alter or amend a judgment." It is within the Court's discretion whether to issue the stay.[7] Rule 62(b) does not require a supersedeas bond but rather requires "appropriate terms for the opposing party's security."[8] As one decision from the District of Kansas notes:

In Rule 62(b), the conditional "may" applies to the Court's discretion of issuing the stay, not the requirement of the appropriate security. While the Court must consider "adequate terms" for [the plaintiff's] security in granting the stay, it appears that the appropriate terms need not necessarily include a supersedeas bond. That is, it is within the Court's discretion to determine whether a supersedeas bond is required to protect [the plaintiff's] interests.[9]

Thus, in this case, the Court must determine whether a supersedeas bond, or other appropriate terms, is necessary to protect Plaintiff's interest.[10]

The Court finds that to preserve Plaintiff's interest in the judgment, a supersedeas bond is necessary and required. This case has been ongoing for over five years. The parties disagree as to every aspect of the case, and most of the issues have involved contentious, protracted litigation. Defendants do not assert how they would be prejudiced by having to post a supersedeas bond and do not offer any justification for granting an unsecured stay. The Court concludes that Defendants' stay of enforcement may be granted. However, that stay is conditioned upon each individual Defendant posting a supersedeas bond in the amount of $329, 000, pending disposition of the pending post-trial motions. Although Plaintiff requests a 25% increase over the judgment amount, at this time, the Court will not increase the bond by that amount because the timeframe for resolving the post-trial motions will be considerably less than the timeframe for resolving a potential appeal.[11]

IT IS ACCORDINGLY ORDERED this 10th day of September, 2014, that Defendants' Motion for Stay of Execution of the Judgment and for Expedited Briefing (Doc. 340) is hereby GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART. The Court grants the stay but it is conditional upon each Defendant posting a supersedeas bond in the amount of $329, 000.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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