United States District Court, S.D. New York
OPINION & ORDER
KATHERINE B. FORREST, DISTRICT JUDGE
pending before the Court is defendant and third-party
plaintiff Home Depot U.S.A. Inc.'s (“Home
Depot”) motion for a stay from the enforcement of the
judgments in this action pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 62
(“Rule 62”). (ECF No. 165.) Plaintiff Daniel
Rivera (“Rivera” or “plaintiff”)
opposed that motion on June 4, 2018 (ECF No. 175), and Home
Depot replied on June 11, 2018 (ECF No. 179).
reasons stated below, the Court hereby GRANTS Home
Depot's motion for a stay of enforcement, and STAYS this
action pending resolution of the appeal.
purposes of the pending motion, the Court assumes the
parties' familiarity with the facts underlying this
action as well as the Court's various rulings.
4, 2018, the Court entered two judgments in this action.
First, the Court entered judgment in favor of Rivera and
against Home Depot in the aggregate amount of $8, 669,
126.44. (ECF No. 151.) Second, the Court entered judgment in
favor of Home Depot and against third-party defendant
Bryan's Home Improvement Corp. (“BHIC”) in
the same amount. (ECF No. 152.) Those judgments, though
technically entered separately, operate in unison pursuant to
a series of earlier decisions by the Court concluding that
BHIC-not Home Depot- was ultimately liable for
15, 2018, BHIC filed a notice of appeal from both judgments.
(ECF No. 155.) That appeal is now before the United States
Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (“Second
to Rule 62(d), a district court may stay enforcement of a
final judgment pending appeal. See Fed.R.Civ.P.
62(d). In deciding whether to order a stay pending appeal,
the court must consider the “traditional”
factors, including: “(1) whether the stay applicant has
made a strong showing that he is likely to succeed on the
merits; (2) whether the applicant will be irreparably injured
absent a stay; (3) whether issuance of the stay will
substantially injury the other parties interested in the
proceeding; and (4) where the public interest lies.”
Nken v. Holder, 556 U.S. 418, 426 (2009) (quoting
Hilton v. Braunskill, 481 U.S. 770, 776 (1987));
see also In re World Trade Ctr. Disaster Site
Litig., 503 F.3d 167, 170 (2d Cir. 2007). The Second
Circuit has further held that “the degree to which a
factor must be present varies with the strength of the other
factors, meaning that more of one factor excuses less of the
other.” In re World Trade Ctr. Disaster Site
Litig., 503 F.3d at 170 (internal quotation omitted).
although the plain text Rule 62(d) states that “the
appellant may obtain a stay by supersedeas bond, ” the
district court has discretion to determine whether a
supersedeas bond is, in fact, necessary to secure the stay.
See, e.g., In re Nassau Cty. Strip Search
Cases, 783 F.3d 414, 417 (2d Cir. 2015) (holding that a
district court has discretion to “waive the bond
requirement if the appellant provides an acceptable
alternative means of securing the judgment”) (internal
quotation omitted); Fed. Prescription Servs., Inc. v. Am.
Pharm. Assoc., 636 F.2d 755, 757-760 (D.C. Cir. 1980)
(holding that Rule 62(d) allows appellant to obtain a stay as
a matter of right by posting a supersedeas bond, but does not
prohibit district court from authorizing unsecured stays). In
determining whether to waive the supersedeas bond
requirement, the district court may consider, inter
alia, “the degree of confidence that the district
court has in the availability of funds to pay the judgment .
. . [and] whether the defendant's ability to pay the
judgment is so plain that the cost of the bond would be a
waste of money.” In re Nassau Cty. Strip Search
Cases, 783 F.3d at 417-418 (quoting Dillon v.
Chicago, 866 F.2d 902, 904-05 (7th Cir. 1988)).
carefully reviewed the parties' respective submissions,
the Court concludes that a stay pending appeal is warranted
under the circumstances.
initial matter, it makes no difference that BHIC, and not
Home Depot, is currently appealing the underlying judgments.
Rivera argues that because the text of Rule 62 states that
“the appellant may obtain a stay by
supersedeas bond, ” Home Depot lacks standing to pursue
a stay. (See Mem. of Law in Opp'n to Mot.
(“Pl.'s Mem.”) at 3-5, ECF No. 175.) But as
Home Depot correctly notes, the cases cited by plaintiff do
not support that proposition. And the Second Circuit has held
that one of the “primary purpose[s]” of a stay
under Rule 62(d) is “to protect the judgment debtor
from the risk of losing the money if the decision is
reversed.” In re Nassau county Strip Search
Cases, 783 F.3d 414, 418 (2d Cir. 2015). Therefore, the
relevant factor is not whether the party seeking a stay is an
“appellant, ” per se, but instead whether they
are a judgment debtor or have some other substantial interest
in the outcome of the appeal. Holding otherwise would place
form over substance, and would conflict with corresponding
rules in the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure.
See Fed. R. App. P. 8 (stating that a
“party” may move for a stay in the district
the Court concludes that a stay is warranted. First, Home
Depot faces a high risk of irreparable harm if the
Court's judgments are reversed on appeal. Plaintiff has
extremely high medical expenses, is currently unemployed, and
is not a U.S. citizen. As such, there is a strong possibility
that Home Depot would be unable to recoup the majority of
funds it would pay if the judgment is reversed down the road.
And although quantifiable money damages generally cannot