Bryant v. Meade & Associates, Inc. et al
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT LEGALCOLLECTION.COM'S AMENDED MOTION TO STAY PROCEEDINGS [DOC. 132]. Signed by District Judge Avern Cohn. (MVer)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
Case No. 15-10199
MEADE & ASSOCIATES, INC.,
LAW OFFICES OF DONALD R.
CONRAD, PLC, DONALD R.
CONRAD, and LEGALCOLLECTIONS.COM
HON. AVERN COHN
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT LEGALCOLLECTIONS.COM’S AMENDED MOTION
TO STAY PROCEEDINGS (Doc. 132)1
This is a case under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and
corresponding state debt collection statutes. Plaintiff Terry Bryant sued defendants
Meade & Associates (Meade), the Law Offices of Donald R. Conrad, Donald R. Conrad,
and LegalCollections.com, LLC. Bryant settled with Meade. (Doc. 5). The case then
proceeded against the Law Offices of Donald R. Conrad, Donald R. Conrad, and
LegalCollections.com (collectively, where appropriate, the Conrad defendants).
Eventually, the Court entered a default judgment against the Conrad defendants for
failure to comply with discovery and Court orders relating to discovery. (Doc. 28). The
Court later granted plaintiff’s motion for damages in the amount of $101,000.00 against
Upon review of the parties’ papers, the Court deems these matters appropriate for
decision without oral argument. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 78(b); E.D. Mich. LR 7.1(f)(2).
the Conrad defendants, jointly and severally. (Doc. 30). Plaintiff then began collection
efforts which to date have been unsuccessful.
Before the Court is Legalcollection.com LLC’s motion to stay all proceedings
pending appeal (Doc. 132). For the reasons that follow, the motion is DENIED.
Plaintiff filed her complaint against defendants on January 19, 2015. (Doc. 1)
Plaintiff alleged that she had been the victim of identity theft: two transactions involving
counterfeit checks allegedly resulted in unlawful collection attempts by defendants.
The Conrad defendants, through Donald R. Conrad, filed an Answer on March 27,
2015. (Doc. 4). After that, the Conrad defendants failed to participate in the case.
Accordingly, on May 11, 2016, the Court entered an Order for default judgment
against the Conrad defendants. (Doc. 28). The Conrad defendants took no immediate
action. On June 8, 2016, plaintiff filed a motion for damages. (Doc. 29). The Conrad
defendants did not respond. On July 12, 2016, the Court granted plaintiff’s motion for
damages. (Doc. 30). The Conrad defendants took no immediate action.
Then, months after the entry of the default judgment, the Conrad defendants filed
motions to set aside the judgment. (Docs. 36, 48, 63). The Court denied the motions.
(Doc. 94). Defendants moved for reconsideration. (Doc. 101). The Court denied the
motion. (Doc. 114).
LegalCollections.com then filed a notice of appeal, seeking to appeal the order
denying the motion to set aside and order denying reconsideration. (Doc. 129). The Law
Offices of Donald Conrad and Donald Conrad filed a similar notice of appeal (Doc. 133).
The filing of an appeal does not operate to stay enforcement. Rather, a party
seeking to stay enforcement of a valid judgment must file a bond securing the amount of
the underlying judgment. This stay bond – known as a supersedeas – is required under
the language of Rule 62,2 and the posting of the bond may only be waived under unusual,
limited circumstances. As noted in Hamlin v. Charter Township of Flint, 181 F.R.D. 348,
351 (E.D. Mich. 1998):
For the appellee, Rule 62(d) effectively deprives him of his right to enforce a valid
judgment immediately. Consequently, the appellant is required to post the bond to
provide both insurance and compensation to the appellee. The supersedeas bond
protects the non-appealing party ‘from a risk of later uncollectible judgment’ and
also ‘provides compensation for those injuries which can be said to be the natural
and proximate cause of the stay .... Therefore, Rule 62(d) establishes not only
the appellant's right to a stay, but also the appellee's right to have a bond
Id. (citations omitted, emphasis added).
Here, Legalcollection.com asks for a stay pending appeal without having to post a
bond. In Hamlin, the court noted that “[b]ecause of Rule 62(d)' s dual protective role, a full
supersedeas bond should almost always be required.” Id. Furthermore, “only in
‘extraordinary circumstances' should anything less be required.” Id. See also, EB–Bran
Prods., Inc. v. Warner Elektra Atlantic, Inc., 2006 WL 1851010 at *2 (E.D.Mich.2006).
There should be no waiver or modification of the bond requirement unless, for example,
Rule 62(d) provides:
(d) Stay with Bond on Appeal. If an appeal is taken, the appellant may
obtain a stay by supersedeas bond, except in an action described in Rule
62(a)(1) or (2). 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.
“the defendant's ability to pay the judgment is so plain that the cost of the bond would be
a waste of money,” or “the requirement would put the defendant's other creditors in undue
jeopardy”; and even in these events, the appellant must “present ‘a financially secure plan
for maintaining that same degree of solvency during the period of an appeal.’” Hamlin,
181 F.R.D. at 353 (citation omitted).
Legalcollections.com argues that the four-factor test in Adams Cnty./Ohio Valley
School Bd., 310 F.3d 927, 928 (6th Cir. 2002) entitles them to a waiver of the bond
requirement. It is mistaken. The test in Adams applies to stays of injunctive relief under
Rule 62(c), not stays of monetary judgments under Rule 62(d). See Michigan Coalition of
Radioactive Material Users, Inc. v. Griepentrog, 945 F.2d 150, 153 (6th Cir.1991).
Here, Legalcollections.com has not satisfied the burden of demonstrating
“extraordinary circumstances” that might override the requirement of posting a full
supersedeas bond. To the contrary, given the history of this case and
Legalcollection.com’s mighty post-judgment efforts to avoid collection lead to the
conclusion that it is using all its resources to avoid this judgment. This is exactly the type
of injury against which a supersedeas bond is designed to protect—the possibility that a
judgment may later be uncollectible.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated: February 2, 2017
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