Renfroe wants satisfaction, opposes Scruggs attempt to pay

Bellesouth’s Wednesday morning post reported Scruggs’ motion to release security and settle the fine for civil contempt – an effort Renfroe calls illusory in a response in opposition that shows about as much class as a Christi Brinkley divorce.

In his Motion Scruggs seeks to satisfy the joint and several judgment against him and Defendants Cori Rigsby (Moran) and Kerri Rigsby (“Defendants”) for civil contempt sanctions by the conditional and non-final release of $65,000 plus interest held by this Court as security against Scruggs’ pending appeal of those civil contempt sanctions.

Defendants did not appeal the contempt sanctions, and the judgment against them for $65,000 plus interest became final against them on July 5, 2008.

On July 10, 2008, this Court ordered Defendants to pay the contempt sanctions that were final against them by July 24, 2008 or face additional sanctions.

On July 24, 2008, Scruggs filed this Motion purportedly seeking to satisfy the joint and several judgment on the conditionthat he gets his money back ifhe wins his appeal.

Scruggs’ carefully timed attempt to satisfy the judgment by releasing the deposited funds to Renfroe is illusory because it is conditional. The illusory, temporary payment by Scruggs would not satisfy the Defendants’ judgment because it is conditional and not a permanent payment to which Renfroe is entitled. Should, arguendo, Scruggs win his appeal, Renfroe would have no satisfaction from the Defendants, against whom the judgment is final and owing. Renfroe would be unfairly deprived of its justly won award against the Defendants. (emphasis added)

Whether or not Scruggs prevails on his appeal.of the civil contempt sanctions, the Defendants’ obligation to pay 100% of the sanction is final. Defendants’ payment of the sanctions in full is due and owing without conditions on July 24, 2008. That is today. Scruggs’ conditional release of the deposited funds while preserving the option to take the money back at some future date does not satisfy the judgment against the Defendants.

The judgment as to the Defendants would only be satisfied if Scruggs releases the deposited funds to Renfroe today without any conditions or strings attached. (emphasis added)

Sounds like Jana had her purse and was headed to the mall just as soon as she stopped by Judge Acker’s to pick up her check. Whatever. Here’s the Order he issued following the Renfroe response.

…The motion filed today by non-parties, Richard F. Scruggs and The Scruggs Law Firm, P.A., to release security and to satisfy the contempt judgment is hereby SET for oral hearing before the undersigned at 10:00 a.m., on July 28, 2008.

In the meantime, this court’s order entered on July 10, 2008, giving defendants, Cori Rigsby and Kerri Rigsby, until today to pay the judgment without its non-payment being a factor in considering their motions for summary judgment, is AMENDED to extend their time to satisfy the judgment until one day after this court rules on the pending motion of the non-parties…

From what I gather reading around, the opinion in the blogosphere is that appeal filed by Scruggs only addresses his liability and not the “joint and several” liability of the Rigsby sisters.

How could that be given there are 67 documents in the record on appeal? Somehow that suggests there’s a lot more at stake here than $65,000 – but, I’m not a lawyer so maybe so, maybe not.

8 thoughts on “Renfroe wants satisfaction, opposes Scruggs attempt to pay”

  1. I would think the appeal if granted would apply to both Scruggs and the Rigsbys, but evidently Scruggs is the only one appealing and I guess the judge could just rule with regards to Dickie on appeal. But I don’t know why he doesn’t enjoin the sisters in his appeal.

  2. I would have though that Scruggs would have filed the appeal on behalf of both himself and the sisters, but it appears he didn’t and they didn’t file their separate appeal. If that is the case, with this being joint and several Renfroe can probably go after the sisters for the full amount, which would make Scruggs appeal moot and the Renfroe’s wouldn’t have to spend $ in opposition of the appeal. I would also think that if Scruggs gives the sisters the 65k for the fine, they are going to have to declare that $ as taxable income as it is a gift. Has anyone read the Scruggs appeal to this civil contempt to see if it is only appealing on behalf of himself? If he is using the defense that he it not a party to the action it would make sense, but he should have known it would leave the sisters hanging that way.

  3. I don’t believe the Rigsbys had the documents to turn over in the first place and the court knows that. I think the contempt is between Acker and Scruggs, while Acker continues to use the Rigsbys to hold Scruggs feet to the fire. Will Scruggs be able to recoup attorneys fees if he wins the appeal.

  4. Sooner or later the sistas will sing and roll on Scruggs. Its just a matter of time. Jim Hood’s worst nightmare come true.

  5. I haven’t seen a copy of the actual appeal – just notices of the appeal and the record, have you Belle?

  6. I haven’t been able to locate the documents, but my recollection is that the appeal is only by Scruggs, so even if he wins the judgment still stands against the Rigsbys. Don’t know if that is covered by the “indemnity agreement” he has with them or if he would again take the position its SKG that owes indemnity to Rigsbys.

    Whether the Rigsbys had documents to turn over is a little less than clear given the activity last month with respect to court having experts pull & review their hard drives and the submissions to the court by their counsel about wanting to make sure that providing any of that info didn’t violate prior court order.

    As far as what the Rigsbys could have on Scruggs, the first possibility is that they will say they had been in touch with and working for Scruggs at an earlier time than anyone has admitted to date. That would be further ethical violations (that might not be that important given his disbarrment) as well as more contempt charges with possible criminal penalties. Beyond that, I think some people suspect they may have some information about Scruggs interaction with Hood, the other attorneys implicated in the case or relative to further improprieties in handling other cases – the whole “know where the bodies are buried” thing. I’m not sure the Rigsbys would actually know any of that even if it exists, but who knows

  7. Thanks, justme, all that I’ve found on PACER are the notices of appeal on the docket and the itemized list of the record submitted for appeal. I’ve been told the 11th only posts opinions but that was some time ago and I can’t remember other details but I’ve looked and not found what was filed.

    It seems to me that its possible he could have appealed the civil contempt broadly enough to have the decision overturned as opposed to a more narrow focus on his being cited – but for all I know, it may be usual to submit such an extensive record.

    At one point as all the activity over the hard drive was coming to a close, I did a tracking chart trying to better understand what was taking place. As I recall, there was just a single document found by the last expert that was cause for concern and it was one that was actually produced by the first expert but not removed from the hard drive.

    As to what the sisters might know, I think you’ve covered all the guessing going on but there’s a pretty complete and consistent account of how they met and worked with Scruggs that can be pieced together from all the documents. I’m hopeful they will have legal representation on the qui tam case soon that can get a handle on all of this.

    Thanks for your very helpful comment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *