Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center v. St. Bernard Parish et al
ORDER AND REASONS granting 1050 Motion to Stay Enforcement of Judgment Without Obligation of Posting Supersedeas Appeal Bond; finding as moot 1050 Motion for Temporary Stay to Arrange for Bond; denying 1052 Motion To Lift Stay or Require That Defendants Post a Supersedeas Bond. Signed by Judge Helen G. Berrigan on 10/4/2013. (kac, )
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
GREATER NEW ORLEANS FAIR
HOUSING ACTION CENTER, ET AL
ST. BERNARD PARISH, ET AL
SECTION “C” (1)
ORDER AND REASONS
This matter comes before the Court on (1) motion to stay enforcement of
judgment without obligation of posting supersedeas appeal bond and alternative
motion for temporary stay to arrange for bond filed by the defendants, St. Bernard
Parish Council and St. Bernard Parish (collectively ʺSt. Bernardʺ) ; and (2) motion to lift
stay or require that defendants post a supersedeas bond filed by Greater New Orleans
Fair Housing Action Center and Provident Realty Advisors, Inc. (collectively
ʺplaintiffsʺ). Rec. Docs. 1050, 1052. Having considered the record, the memoranda of
counsel and the law, the Court rules as follows.
On August 20, 2013, the Court issued a judgment for attorneys fees and costs in
favor of the plaintiffs in the amount of $148,344.38 to the plaintiffs.1 Rec. Doc. 1049. A
The motion filed by St. Bernard contains a mathematical error as to the total. Rec.
Doc. 1050 at 1.
notice of appeal was filed by St. Bernard on September 18, 2013. Rec. Doc. 1057. The
Court has previously stayed the enforcement of three other money judgments in the
plaintiffsʹ favor without bond under Fed. R. Civ. P. 62(f) and Castillo v. Montelepre,Inc.,
999 F.2d 931, 942 (5th Cir. 1993), based upon proof that the defendants had sufficient
funds and insurance policy proceeds to satisfy the judgments. Rec. Docs. 440, 1025,
1038. In these motions, St. Bernard seeks a stay without bond pending appeal of the
Courtʹs latest judgment, and the plaintiffs seek a bond sufficient to cover all previous
judgments pending appeal. According to the plaintiffs, the total value of the
judgments on appeal approximates $2.1 million.
Specifically, the plaintiffs argue that a supersedeas bond is required for a stay of
all pending appeals because the St. Bernardʹs December 2012 audit indicates a decline
in revenues resulting in a deficit in its unrestricted funds balance of ($3,792,157). Rec.
Doc. 1046‐2 at 20; Rec. Doc.1052‐1 at 2. St. Bernard argues that the fund that would
actually be used to pay any judgment is the unassigned general fund balance, which
reflects a positive balance of $2,887,607 in that same audit. Rec. Doc. 1046‐2 at 22; Rec.
Doc. 1056 at 5. In addition, St. Bernard argues that its insurance policies cover the value
of the judgments on appeal. Rec. Doc. 1056‐1.
In ordering the previous stays without bond, the Court relied on assurances of
insurance coverage and a positive balance in unrestricted revenue. Rec. Doc. 440 at 3;
Rec. Doc. 1025; Rec. Doc. 1038. The Court has reviewed the most recent audit and the
affidavits presented on behalf of St. Bernard and, while they certainly reflect a
diminishment in assets, they do not indicate that St. Bernard lacks sufficient funds to
satisfy the judgments on appeal, including the most recent one. The assurances
regarding insurance coverage adds to the security on hand in the event the judgments
In determining that supersedeas bonds are not required at this time, the Court is
mindful that it has the discretion under Fed. R. Civ. P. 62(d) to waive the posting of a
bond. Relevant factors to be considered are the complexity of the collection process, the
amount of time required to obtain a judgment after it is affirmed on appeal, the degree
of confidence the court has in the availability of funds to pay the judgment, whether the
defendantʹs ability to pay the judgment is so obvious that to require a bond would be a
waste of money, and whether requiring a bond would place other creditors in an
insecure position. 12 James Wm Moore, Mooreʹs Federal Practice § 62.03 (3rd ed. 2012).
The evidence presented indicates that St. Bernard has rebounded and is capable of
responding to the judgments. The judgments on appeal largely reflect awards of
attorneyʹs fees to the plaintiffs. Finally, the Court notes that the plaintiffs can seek
expedited consideration of the appeals, which have been lodged for some time now and
stayed by the Fifth Circuit.
The Court will reconsider this ruling should the defendantʹs financial
IT IS ORDERED that the motion to stay enforcement of judgment without
obligation of posting supersedeas appeal bond filed by the defendants, St. Bernard
Parish Council and St. Bernard Parish is GRANTED and the alternative motion for
temporary stay to arrange for bond filed by the defendants is DISMISSED as moot. Rec.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the motion to lift stay or require that defendants
post a supersedeas bond filed by Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center and
Provident Realty Advisors, Inc. is DENIED. Rec. Doc. 1052.
New Orleans, Louisiana, this 4th day of October, 2013.
HELEN G. BERRIGAN
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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