Friday, September 30, 2005

Losing Plaintiff in a Civil Rights Case May Be Required to Post a Rule 7 Bond Including Defendant's Anticipated Attorney Fees

Last month, in Young v. New Process Steel, LP, 419 F.3d 1201 (11th Cir. Aug. 9, 2005), the Eleventh Circuit held, in a matter of first impression, that a district court may require, as condition for appealing judgment, that a losing plaintiff in civil rights case post a Fed. R.App. P. 7 bond that includes defendant's anticipated appellate attorney fees, if it finds that the would-be appeal is frivolous, unreasonable, or groundless:

"[A] plaintiff who is unsuccessful in a civil rights suit at trial should not be freed from the burden of an appellate bond that includes anticipated attorney's fees where the appeal is likely to be frivolous, unreasonable, or without foundation. On appeal, as at trial, applying full cost disincentives in those circumstances is consistent with the intent of Congress to protect defendants from burdensome litigation having no legal or factual basis." (citation and internal quotation marks omitted)


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