In court filings today, Scruggs and Scruggs Law Firm moved the court to release the security to satisfy the civil contempt charges.
In order to prevent the accumulation of any additional interest on the judgment, without waiver of the pending appeals and solely to pay the civil contempt sanction awarded in this action, Scruggs requests that the Court direct the Clerk to release to Renfroe the amount of $65,000, plus the interest having already accrued at the interest rate of 2.15% per year (as set out by this Court in the June 27, 2008 Order) from the date of the judgment until today, and release the remainder of the funds back to the Bainbridge, Mims, Rogers & Smith, LLP Trust Account.
But they are not waiving their right to appeal nor their right to recover the money if he wins on appeal.
Although Scruggs will comply with the Court’s order that the civil contempt judgment be satisfied immediately, Scruggs expressly reserves the right to prosecute its pending appeals of the civil contempt judgment to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and does not waive any of its defenses. See, e.g., Graddick v. Newman, 453 U.S. 928, 945 n.1 (1981) (“Since property transferred or money paid involuntarily pursuant to a judgment can be recovered, execution of the lower court’s
judgment pending appeal normally does not render the case moot. These cases represent merely a particularization of the rule that issuance of a court’s mandate or obedience to its judgment does not bar timely appellate review.”); County of Dakota v. Glidden, 113 U.S. 222, 224-25 (1885) (“There can be no question that a debtor against whom a judgment for money is recovered, may pay that judgment, and bring a writ of error to reverse it, and if reversed can recover back his money.”); Ferrell v. Trailmobile, Inc., 223 F.2d 697, 698 (5th Cir. 1955) (“We think that the rule has long been established in the federal courts that payment of a judgment, of itself, does not cut off the payor’s right of appeal.”).
Since this release of the money would satisfy the contempt sanctions, I would think that the Rigsbys are off the hook from the court’s latest order on the matter.
Unless the judgment is paid within fourteen (14) days, the court will consider denying
defendants’ motions for summary judgment as a sanction.
Good job, Mr. Scruggs! Good job!