United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
NELSON ARCE, ET AL.
LOUISIANA STATE, ET AL.
ORDER & REASONS
M. AFRICK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is a motion filed by defendant, the State of Louisiana
(“State”), to stay the execution of judgment
pending appeal without obligation to post a supersedeas bond.
Plaintiff Ana Christine Shelton (“Shelton”)
opposes the motion and asks the Court to require the State to
post the bond as a precondition to staying the
judgment. For the following reasons, the motion is
case originated from a lawsuit filed on August 22, 2016 by
plaintiff Nelson Arce (“Arce”) against the State
and Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joseph Lopinto
(“Lopinto”) alleging violations of the Americans
with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the
Rehabilitation Act. Arce passed away in May of 2017, and
Shelton, the administrator of Arce's estate and mother of
his children, was substituted as plaintiff. The case
proceeded to trial in December of 2017, which resulted in a
finding by the jury that the State and Lopinto had
intentionally discriminated against Arce in violation of the
The jury also found, however, that the discrimination had not
caused Arce injury, and, therefore, it did not award him
compensatory damages. Instead, the Court awarded Shelton
nominal damages of $1 as to each defendant, pursuant to a
stipulation among the parties regarding the amount of nominal
Shelton moved for an award of attorneys' fees and pre-
and post-judgment interest. After this Court denied the
motion for fees, Shelton appealed, and the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Fifth Circuit vacated the Court's order
and remanded the matter for reconsideration. On remand, this
Court awarded Shelton $40, 945.02 in attorneys' fees to
be paid by the State, as well as post-judgment interest at
the federal statutory rate pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1961. The Court also ordered the State to pay
one half of the $41, 396.31 in attorneys' fees and costs
awarded in connection with Shelton's
appeal. The total judgment against the State is
$61, 643.18 plus applicable legal interest.
Lopinto, and the State have each filed notices of
appeal of this Court's most recent judgment.
Their appeals are currently pending in the Fifth Circuit.
Rule of Civil Procedure 62(d) establishes a general rule that
allows parties to obtain a stay of execution of a money
judgment by posting a supersedeas bond. Fed. R. Civ. Proc.
62(d); see Enserch Corp. v. Shand Morahan & Co.,
918 F.2d 462, 463-64 (5th Cir. 1990). In the Fifth Circuit,
the district court has discretion to depart from the rule and
waive the requirement of a supersedeas bond under two
(1) The judgment debtor objectively demonstrates a present
financial ability to facilely respond to a judgment and
presents to the court a financially secure plan for
maintaining that same degree of solvency during the period of
an appeal; or
(2) The judgment debtor's present financial condition is
such that the posting of a full bond would impose an undue
Poplar Grove Planting & Ref. Co. v. Bache Halsey
Stuart, Inc., 600 F.2d 1189, 1191 (5th Cir. 1979). The
party seeking waiver of the bond bears the burden to
“objectively demonstrate the reasons for such a
State asserts that it will be able to satisfy the judgment in
the event of an unsuccessful appeal through the State's
self-insurance fund. In support of this affirmation, it has
submitted the affidavit of Melissa Harris
(“Harris”), the State Risk Director and Director
of the Office of Risk Management (“ORM”).
According to Harris, the fund has liability limits of $5,
000, 000.00 per occurrence, and payment for the judgment at
issue does not require legislative appropriation ...