Jimenez v. Franklin

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Civil Procedure
  • Date Filed: 05-22-2012
  • Case #: 10-56294
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Clifton for the Court; Circuit Judges Farris and Ikuta
  • Full Text Opinion

Where a defendant is held jointly and severally liable for the whole amount of a judgment, the defendant may not be granted satisfaction of judgment for a payment made in accordance with 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(d)(2), a statute limiting liability of prisoners, when the defendant failed to raise the issue on appeal.

Jimenez appealed the district court order granting satisfaction of judgement as to defendants Franklin, Duron, Bergner and Gonzalez ("Defendants"). Previously the Defendants had appealed the lower court's award of damages, which included compensatory damages, attorney's fees, and costs, because the lower court held the Defendants jointly and severally liable. Defendants appealed the on the grounds that 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(d)(2) limits a defendant's attorney's fees liability to 150% of that specific defendant's compensatory damages. Defendant Franklin was only ordered to pay $1.00 in compensatory damages, and argued that under 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(d)(2), his liability for the plaintiff's attorney's fees should be capped at $1.50. Upon Franklin's payment of $2.50, the district court granted Franklin's motion for satisfaction of judgment. The Ninth Circuit overruled the lower court's decision, stating that the proper time for Franklin to have challenged the award was on the first appeal of the order. The court held that since defendants did not include the issue in their first appeal, they are not permitted an opportunity to re-litigate, and are liable for the entire award. Furthermore, the court interpreted the statute to mean that 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(d)(2) limits the actual award, not solely payment. VACATED.

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