Moore et al v. Ferguson Police Department et al
MEMORANDUM: Judgment shall be entered in accordance with this Memorandum. Signed by District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr on 11/29/16. Associated Cases: 4:14-cv-01443-SNLJ, 4:14-cv-01447-SNLJ(CSG)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
TINA MOORE, individually and as
Personal Representative of the ESTATE OF )
JASON MOORE, et al.,
CITY OF FERGUSON, MISSOURI, et al., )
No. 4:14-cv-1443 SNLJ
No. 4:14-cv-1447 SNLJ
This matter is before the Court on the parties’ dispute regarding the Judgment to
be entered in this case following a jury verdict.
Plaintiffs seek a reasonable award of attorneys’ fees and costs pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1988(b) and 42 U.S.C. § 1983. They request leave to file a petition for fees and
their bill of costs. Defendants counter that they will file a Motion for New Trial and
Renewed Motion for Judgment of Acquittal in which they will argue that plaintiffs are
not the prevailing party. Defendants also state that “plaintiffs have made no showing
their request for fees is reasonable.”
In the interest of efficiency, plaintiffs shall be directed to file their Petition for
Attorneys’ Fees and Bill of Costs after the defendant’s Motion for New Trial and
Renewed Motion for Judgment of Acquittal has been ruled upon.
The Eighth Circuit held that state law should be applied when determining
whether prejudgment interest is appropriate in a § 1983 case. Winter v. Cerro Gordo
County Conservation Bd., 925 F.2d 1069, 1073 (8th Cir. 1991). Although the Eighth
Circuit provided little analysis in so holding, this Court has acknowledged that it is bound
by that decision. H/N Planning & Control, Inc. v. City of St. Peters, Missouri,
4:04CV01099 ERW, 2007 WL 1445121, at *6 (E.D. Mo. May 14, 2007), rev'd and
remanded on other grounds sub nom. Hodak v. City of St. Peters, 535 F.3d 899 (8th Cir.
2008). Defendants contend that plaintiffs are not entitled to prejudgment interest because
the damages were not reasonably ascertainable until the jury returned with its verdict.
Plaintiffs contend that they are entitled to prove their entitlement to prejudgment interest
pursuant to § 408.040 RSMo, which allows for computation of prejudgment interest in
certain circumstances following a prejudgment demand. Indeed, the proposed judgment
submitted by plaintiffs simply allows them to submit a Motion for Award of Prejudgment
Interest within 21 days of entry of the judgment. The Court will allow plaintiffs to file
such a motion; however, they should file it 21 days after the defendants’ post-trial
motions, discussed above, have been ruled upon.
Finally, plaintiffs and defendants disagree regarding the interest rate to be applied
to the judgment. This issue, too, is premature.
Judgment shall be entered in accordance with this Memorandum.
Dated this 29th day of November, 2016.
STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, JR.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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