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Roberto Ciaprazi v. the County of Nassau

January 12, 2012

ROBERTO CIAPRAZI,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
THE COUNTY OF NASSAU, JOSEPH JABLONSKY, AS SHERIFF OF NASSAU COUNTY, C.O. PETER SKALKOS AND C.O. THOMAS AMATO, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Spatt, District Judge.

MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER

In this case, the Plaintiff Roberto Ciaprazi ("Ciaprazi" or the "Plaintiff") brought an action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 ("Section 1983") against the County of Nassau, Joseph Jablonsky ("Jablonsky"), Correction Officer Peter Skalkos ("Skalkos") and Correction Officer Thomas Amato ("Amato") alleging that Skalkos and Amato violated his constitutional rights by subjecting him to excessive force on two separate occasions. A jury returned a verdict in favor of the Plaintiff only on his excessive force claim against Amato and awarded him nominal damages of $1. Presently before the Court is the Plaintiff's motion to enforce the judgment pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure ("Fed. R. Civ. P.") 69, a Motion for a Writ of Execution, and a Motion for Contempt to hold the Defendants and their counsel in contempt of court.

I.BACKGROUND

A.Procedural History

On November 27, 1998, the Plaintiff filed a complaint in this matter. The Plaintiff alleged that Skalkos used excessive force against him on April 17, 1996 while he was confined at the Nassau County Correctional Center. The Plaintiff further alleged that Amato used excessive force against him at the same facility on August 16, 1996. The Plaintiff sought $700,000 in compensatory damages and $90,000 in punitive damages.

A jury trial was held in February of 2002. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the Plaintiff only on his excessive force claim against Amato and awarded him nominal damages of $1. The Plaintiff subsequently sought to recover $150 for the cost of the filing fee, which this Court granted on April 8, 2002. See Ciaprazi v. County of Nassau, 195 F. Supp. 2d 398, 400-01 (E.D.N.Y. 2002).

Thereafter, the Plaintiff filed an application to recover the $150.00 cost of the fee for the filing of the Complaint, but never received a response. The Plaintiff also wrote twice to Charles Horn, the Defendant's counsel, requesting compliance with the Court's Order and that the awarded costs and interest be paid. The Plaintiff never received a response.

B.The Present Motion

On April 20, 2011, the Plaintiff filed a motion to enforce the Court's April 8, 2002 Order, which awarded the Plaintiff $150.00 in costs, in addition to any interest that has accrued on that amount. Also, the Plaintiff seeks to receive the $1.00 in nominal damages pursuant to the judgment in this case, in addition to any interest that has accrued on that amount.

The Plaintiff also seeks a writ of execution, pursuant to Rule 69(a)(1) of the Fed. R. Civ. P., to secure the payment of the awarded cost and of the interest due. Finally, the Plaintiff seeks to hold the Defendants and their Counsel in contempt of the Court for failing to pay the money owed, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 70(e).

C. Recent Events

On June 6, 2011, after the Plaintiff filed the present motion, he filed an additional affirmation with this Court. This affirmation stated that on May 16, 2011, he received a check from the Nassau County Attorney in the amount of $151.00, as payment pursuant to this Court's April 8, 2002 Order.

On May 18, 2011, the Plaintiff wrote to Nassau County Deputy County Attorney Liora Ben-Sorek seeking an additional $149.96, which he believes he is owed in interest.

On May 24, 2011, Ben-Sorek replied that the only interest the Plaintiff was entitled to was on the $1.00 awarded in nominal damages. She also stated that the Plaintiff had not indicated the basis for the "arbitrary" 8% annual compound rate that he applied in determining the amount of interest due and that further, applying a lower interest rate ...


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