Civil Procedure Keyed to Marcus
Marek v. Chesny
Alfred Chesney (Plaintiff) on his own behalf and as administrator of his son’s estate, filed suit under 42 U.S.C. Section: 1983 and state tort law against three police officers (Defendants) for killing his adult son. Defendants made a timely offer to settle for $100,000, but Plaintiff did not accept the offer. The case went to trial and Plaintiff was awarded $5,000 on the state law wrongful death claim, $52,000 for the Section: 1983 violation and $3,000 in punitive damages. Plaintiff filed a Request for $171,692.47 in costs, including attorney’s fees. This request for attorney’s fees included costs incurred after the settlement offer. Defendant opposed the claim relying on Rule 68 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which shifts the post-offer costs to the Plaintiff. Post-offer costs are all costs incurred subsequent to an offer of judgment when not exceeded by the recovery amount. The district court agreed with Defendants and declined to award Plaintiffs costs incurred after the settlement offer. Plaintiffs appealed and the court of appeals reversed. The Supreme Court of the United States granted certiorari.
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