United States District Court, D. Kansas
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
MURGUIA United States District Judge.
case involves a dispute over whether a worker's
compensation insurance policy (“the Policy”)
provided by plaintiff Liberty Mutual
(“plaintiff”) to former defendant Clemens Coal
Company included coverage of a black lung disease claim
(“the Spencer Black Lung Claim”) filed by former
defendant Clayton Spencer. Dennis Woolman
(“defendant”), former president of Clemens Coal,
eventually became the sole remaining defendant in this case.
bench trial, this court granted declaratory judgment in favor
of plaintiff. The judgment declared that “the plain
language of the Policy, as written, unambiguously does not
provide coverage for the Spencer Black Lung Claim.”
(Doc. 154, at 22.) The court also rejected defendant's
estoppel defense, (id.), and granted judgment as a
matter of law to plaintiff on defendant's negligence
counterclaim after a jury had found for defendant on that
counterclaim, (doc. 153, at 4).
filed a motion “for stay of judgment pending post-trial
motions and, if necessary, an appeal.” (Doc. 159.)
Defendant has not filed a notice of appeal from any of this
court's judgments. For reasons discussed below, the court
denies defendant's motion.
seeks a stay of execution pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 62.
“Rule 62, read in its entirety, reflects the federal
policy of providing a judgment creditor with security during
the pendency of an appeal.” Afrika v. New
York, No. 12-CV-0537MAT, 2014 WL 1347762, at *2
(W.D.N.Y. Apr. 4, 2014) (citing Herbert v. Exxon
Corp., 953 F.2d 936, 938 (5th Cir. 1993); Miami
Int'l Realty Co. v. Paynter, 807 F.2d 871, 873 (10th
Cir. 1986)). “Courts have traditionally restricted
application of Rule 62” to stays from money judgments.
Afrika, 2014 WL 1347762, at *2 (citing
Herbert, 953 F.2d at 938).
not clear which subsection of Rule 62 defendant seeks to
invoke, but he refers to Rule 62(b) throughout his motion.
Despite referring to subsection (b), defendant also uses
language reflective of the standards for subsections (c) and
(d). The court therefore looks at each subsection to
determine whether it entitles defendant to relief.
of Rule 62(b)
Civ. P. 62(b) reads, “On 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” motions under Rules 50,
52(b), 59, or 60. “The conditional
‘may'” in this rule refers to the court's
discretion in granting a stay, “not to the requirement
of security.” Boardwalk Apartments, L.C. v. State
Auto Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co., No. 11-2714-JAR, 2015 WL
265040, at *1 (D. Kan. Jan. 21, 2015). The purpose of Rule
62(b) is “to preserve the status quo while protecting
the prevailing party's interest in the judgment, ”
and thus “courts typically require security in the full
amount of the judgment.” Gen. Steel Domestic Sales,
LLC v. Chumley, No. 10-CV-01398-PAB-KLM, 2013 WL
2634640, at *1 (D. Colo. June 12, 2013). Rule 62(b) applies
only to enforcement of a judgment. Underwood v. B-E
Holdings, Inc., 269 F.Supp.2d 125, 143 n.3 (W.D.N.Y.
2003) (holding that movants could not invoke Rule 62(b) where
judgment had been stricken so that jury verdict could be
readjusted according to New York's structured judgment
case law is sparse addressing Rule 62(b) outside of the
damages award context, other courts have held that Rule 62(b)
is inapplicable where the judgment at issue is neither
monetary nor injunctive. Smith v. Dell, Inc., No.
06-2496-B/V, 2007 WL 3232037, at *1 (W.D. Tenn. Oct. 31,
2007) (finding Rule 62(b) not applicable to a judgment of
dismissal because “no monetary or injunctive relief has
issued”); see also Afrika, 2014 WL 1347762, at
*2 (holding Rule 62(b) inapplicable in the context of a
judgment rendered in a federal habeas corpus proceeding).
62(b) does not apply in this case. The plain language of Rule
62(b) shows that the rule governs stays of “execution
of a judgment-or any proceedings to enforce it, ” as
opposed to the effectiveness of judgments themselves. Here,
the court's judgments require no execution or enforcement
proceedings to become fully effective. The parties'
rights and obligations under the Policy are what the
declaratory judgment states. The judgment as a matter of law
this court granted on defendant's negligence counterclaim
is effective without the need for execution or enforcement
proceedings. Defendant's estoppel defense is rejected;
plaintiff need not go through additional proceedings to
execute or enforce this denial. In short, these judgments
became effective at the moment this court issued them, and
thus they are beyond the scope of Rule 62(b).
of Rule 62(c)
Civ. P. 62(c) states, “While an appeal is pending from
an interlocutory order or final judgment that grants,
dissolves, or denies an injunction, the court may suspend,
modify, restore, or grant an injunction on terms for bond or
other terms that secure the opposing party's
rights.” Defendant has not explicitly invoked Rule
62(c), but both sides addressed the four-factor test
(discussed in more detail below) typically applied under the
rule. The court therefore addresses Rule 62(c)'s
applicability to this case.
plain language of Rule 62(c) indicates that a court may issue
a stay under this rule only while an appeal is pending and
only if the order or judgment appealed from is an injunction.
Here, defendant has not filed a notice of appeal. Moreover,
the court's judgments were not injunctions. Instead, this
court declared the rights of parties to a contract, granted
judgment as a matter of law on a negligence counterclaim, and
rejected an estoppel defense. The plain meaning of Rule 62(c)
indicates that it does not apply in this case.