United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, South Bend Division
PRESS GANEY ASSOCIATES., INC. and PG HOLDCO, LLC, Plaintiffs/Counterdefendants,
REGINALD W. DYE, Defendant/Counterclaimant,
VESTAR CAPITAL PARTNERS V, L.P., Counterdefendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
CHRISTOPHER A. NUECHTERLEIN, Magistrate Judge.
On March 19, 2014, this Court issued an opinion and order granting summary judgment and directing the Clerk to enter judgment in favor of Plaintiffs/Counterclaim Defendants, Press Ganey Associates, Inc. ("Press Ganey") and PG Holdco, LLC (" PG Holdco"), and Counterclaim Defendant, Vestar Capital Partners V, L.P. ("Vestar"). Since then, Defendant/Counterclaimant, Reginald W. Dye ("Dye") has filed two motions related to enforcement of the judgment. First, on March 31, 2014, Dye filed his Motion to Stay the Court's 3/19/14 Order and 3/20/14 Judgment Pending Appeal. On April 2, 2014, Press Ganey and PG Holdco filed their objection to Dye's motion for stay. Dye filed no reply. Second, after Press Ganey and PG Holdco filed their Bill of Costs on April 3, 2014, Dye filed his Motion for the Court to Review the Clerk's Notice of Costs and in Opposition to Plaintiffs' Bill of Costs, Declaration and Brief in Support on April 8, 2014. Press Ganey and PG Holdco filed no response to Dye's motion to review of costs. On April 14, 2014, Dye filed his Notice of Appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Because Dye's motions only affect the enforcement of the judgment issued by this Court and not the substantive matters on appeal, the Court now resolves Dye's motions. See United States v. Woodard, 744 F.3d 488, 495 (7th Cir. 2014); United States v. Brown, 732 F.3d 781, 787 (7th Cir. 2013) (citing Griggs v. Provident Consumer Disc. Co., 459 U.S. 56, 58 (1982)); see also Grube v. Lau Indus., Inc., 257 F.3d 723, 731 (7th Cir. 2001).
I. MOTION TO STAY JUDGMENT PENDING APPEAL, DOC. NO. 116
Under Rule 62(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, an appellant may obtain a stay of the execution of a judgment pending appeal through a supersedeas bond. Dillon v. City of Chicago, 866 F.2d 902, 904 (7th Cir. 1988). A court, however, may waive the supersedeas bond requirement after considering the following factors:
(1) the complexity of the collection process; (2) the amount of time required to obtain a judgment after it is affirmed on appeal; (3) the degree of confidence that the district court has in the availability of funds to pay the judgment...; (4) whether the defendant's ability to pay the judgment is so plain that the cost of a bond would be a waste of money; and (5) whether the defendant is in such a precarious financial situation that the requirement to post a bond would place other creditors of the defendant in an insecure position.
Id. at 904-05 (internal quotations and citations omitted). Even when a notice of appeal is filed, "divest[ing] the district court of jurisdiction over any matters dealing with the merits of the appeal, ... the district court retains jurisdiction over any issues relating to the enforcement of the judgment or the supersedeas bond." Sheldon v. Munford, Inc., 128 F.R.D. 663, 665 (N.D. Ind. 1989).
In this case, Dye has neither sought Court approval of a supersedeas bond nor provided the Court with any information about the complexity of the collection process, the amount of time required to obtain a judgment if affirmed on appeal, the availability of funds to pay the judgment, or his financial situation to suggest that a waiver of the bond requirement would be appropriate. Therefore, Dye has failed to demonstrate that he will have the resources to satisfy the judgment should the Court of Appeals affirm it. Moreover, Dye's argument that a stay of the judgment pending appeal would be in the best interest of judicial economy is unpersuasive. Dye implies that Press Ganey and PG Holdco would benefit from the additional time afforded by a stay to prepare any bill of costs. By filing their Bill of Costs on April 3, 2014, however, Press Ganey and PG Holdco have shown that they do not require the additional time. In addition, any economy gained by the Court should a stay delay a ruling on the Bill of Costs is minimal and outweighed by the prejudice to Press Ganey and PG Holdco arising from the delay in seeking satisfaction of the judgment amount of $92, 685.06 that a stay would create.
Therefore, because Dye has failed to meet the supersedeas bond requirement of Rule 62(d) and because Press Ganey and PG Holdco could be prejudiced by a stay without a bond in place, the Court DENIES WITHOUT PREJUDICE Dye's motion for stay pending appeal. [Doc. No. 116].
II. MOTION FOR REVIEW OF PLAINTIFFS' BILL OF COSTS, DOC. NO. 121
In the instant motion, Dye raises two arguments for rejecting Press Ganey and PG Holdco's Bill of Costs and ordering the parties to bear their own costs in this action. First, Dye contends that Press Ganey and PG Holdco's only qualify as prevailing parties related to $0.75 of the costs reflected on their Bill of Costs. In particular, Dye argues that Press Ganey and PG Holdco did not prevail on the issue of whether Press Ganey and Intellimed were direct competitors, an issue that was the subject of substantial discovery among the parties generating most of the costs reflected on the instant Bill of Costs. As a result, this case resulted in a mixed judgment for which costs should not be awarded. Second, Dye argues alternatively that Press Ganey and PG Holdco's cited costs are unreasonably high in light of the ultimate irrelevance of the direct competion issue, excessive transcription, video, and copying charges, cost limits on transcription within the Northern District of Indiana, and the alleged hearsay testimony of Press Ganey and PG Holdco's counsel in his affidavit.
A. Standard of Review
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d) states, "except when express provision therefore is made either in a statute of the United States or in these rules, costs shall be allowed as a matter of course to the prevailing party unless the court directs otherwise." Congress has established that
[a] judge or clerk of any court of the United States may tax as ...