771 F.3d 301 (5th Cir. 2014), 14-20267, MM Steel, L.P. v. JSW Steel (USA) Inc.
|Citation:||771 F.3d 301|
|Opinion Judge:||PER CURIAM:|
|Party Name:||MM STEEL, L.P., Plaintiff-Appellee v. JSW STEEL (USA) INCORPORATED; NUCOR CORPORATION; RELIANCE STEEL & ALUMINUM COMPANY; CHAPEL STEEL CORPORATION; ARTHUR J. MOORE; AMERICAN ALLOY STEEL, INCORPORATED, Defendants-Appellants|
|Attorney:||For Mm Steel, L.P., Plaintiff - Appellee: Reagan William Simpson, Esq., J. Campbell Barker, Marc S. Tabolsky, Esq., Richard Paul Yetter, Yetter Coleman, L.L.P., Houston, TX; Mo. Taherzadeh, Taherzadeh Law Firm, Houston, TX. For Jsw Steel (Usa) Incorporated, Defendant - Appellant: Gregory S. C. Hu...|
|Judge Panel:||Before JONES, CLEMENT, and PRADO, Circuit Judges. JONES, Circuit Judge, dissenting. JONES, Circuit Judge, dissenting.|
|Case Date:||October 01, 2014|
|Court:||United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit|
Appeals from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.
Before the Court is Defendant--Appellant JSW Steel (USA) Inc.'s (" JSW" ) Motion for Stay of Execution of Judgment Pending Appeal, filed June 20, 2014. JSW also moves to seal the appendix attached to its motion. We deny the motion for stay, and grant the motion to seal.
In this antitrust case, Plaintiff--Appellee MM Steel, L.P. (" MM Steel" ), obtained a judgment for over $150 million jointly and severally against multiple defendants, including JSW. JSW now seeks to stay the judgment pending appeal pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (" Rule" ) 62(f). According to JSW, Rule 62(f) limits a supersedeas bond to $25 million under Texas law. JSW therefore asks this Court to approve a supersedeas bond in the amount of $25 million jointly for all defendants or, alternatively, to approve a supersedeas bond in the amount of $25 million for JSW individually.
Resolving JSW's motion requires this Court to determine whether (1) under Rule 62(f), Texas law limits the required amount of the supersedeas bond to a maximum of $25 million, and (2) if so, whether the defendants are individually or jointly subject to that limit. For the reasons below, we answer the first question in the negative and therefore do not reach the second question.
II. LEGAL STANDARD
Rule 62 governs the stay of proceedings to enforce a judgment. " Rule 62(d) establishes a general rule that losing parties in the district court can obtain a stay pending appeal only by giving a supersedeas bond." Enserch Corp. v. Shand Morahan & Co., 918 F.2d 462, 463-64 (5th Cir. 1990). Rule 62(f) provides a separate ground for a stay: " If a judgment is a lien on the judgment debtor's property under the law of the state where the court is located, the judgment debtor is entitled to the same stay of execution the state court would give." Under the prevailing view of Rule 62(f), a judgment is a lien if a judgment creditor is only required to perform mere " ministerial acts" to transform the judgment into a lien.1
Absent a stay under Rule 62, a prevailing party may seek to enforce a judgment pursuant to Rule 69.2
Although this Court has not previously addressed whether " a judgment is a lien on the judgment debtor's property" under Texas law, this Court has addressed the same question under Louisiana law in Castillo v. Montelepre, Inc., 999 F.2d 931 (5th Cir. 1993). After Castillo, our district courts have had occasion to address the issue under Texas law, but have drawn differing conclusions. See EEOC v. Serv. Temps, Inc., 782 F.Supp.2d 288, 291-93 (N.D. Tex. 2011) (noting disagreement among district courts). These decisions guide us today.
A. Castillo and the District Court Holdings
In Castillo, this Court affirmed the district court's decision to stay its judgment pursuant to Rule 62(f) and Louisiana law. 999 F.2d at 941-43. We noted that Rule 62(f)'s " obvious purpose . . . is to allow appealing judgment debtors to receive in the federal forum what they would otherwise receive in their state forum." Id. at 942. Indeed, " great deference must be given to the manifest desire of the [state] legislature to allow [a losing party] to appeal without bond." Id. Nevertheless, the purpose of Rule 62(f) " is qualified by the requirement that the state forum treat judgments as a lien, or encumbrance, on
the property of judgment debtors." Id. In that regard, the Court noted that in Louisiana, " the filing of a judgment with the recorder of mortgages creates a 'judicial mortgage'" that burdens certain real and immovable property. Id. at 942 n.10 (quoting La. Civ. Code Ann. art. 3300). Thus, Rule 62(f) operates to apply Louisiana law to stays of execution in federal courts located in Louisiana. See id. at 942 & n. 2.
Applying Castillo, the district court in Umbrella Bank, FSB v. Jamison, 341 B.R. 835 (W.D. Tex. 2006), found that Rule 62(f) also operated to apply Texas law. It " observe[d] that the Louisiana process for creating a judicial mortgage is similar to the Texas process for creating a judgment lien." Id. at 842. And, as noted above, this Court in Castillo strongly implied that a judgment operated as a lien in Louisiana for Rule 62(f) purposes. 999 F.2d at 942 & n. 10...
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