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Dorian Cephas v. Dupron

United States District Court, D. Delaware

December 14, 2018

VERNON ERNEST DORIAN CEPHAS Plaintiff,
v.
C/O DAVE DUPRON, Defendant.

          Vernon Ernest Dorian Cephas, James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, Smyrna, Delaware. Pro Se Plaintiff.

          MEMORANDUM

          ANDREWS, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Vernon Ernest Dorian Cephas, an inmate at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, Delaware, proceeds pro se. He filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in 1993 and was awarded monetary damages following a bench trial in 1996. The Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Before the Court is Plaintiff's motion for a writ of execution. (D.I. 72).

         II. BACKGROUND

         On December 5, 1996, the Court found in favor of Plaintiff and against Defendant C/O Dave Dupron and entered judgment in the sum of $250.00. (D.I. 61, 62, 63). On May 23, 2001, Plaintiff asked the Court to issue a writ of execution in his favor pursuant to the December 5, 1996 judgment. (D.I. 67). The Court issued a deficiency notice and advised Plaintiff that service must be made upon counsel for Defendant. (D.I. 68).

         On January 3, 2018, Plaintiff requested a copy of the court docket, and it was mailed to him on January 5, 2018. (D.I. 69, 70). On August 27, 2018, the Court received Plaintiffs letter stating that he did not believe he had received payment of the judgment and asking for assistance. (D.I. 71). On September 25, 2018, almost twenty-two years after entry of judgment, Plaintiff filed the instant motion for writ of execution to compel payment of the judgment plus interest.[1] (D.I. 72).

         Plaintiff indicates that opposing counsel is Susan P. Tussey with the Delaware Department of Justice. The court docket indicates that Tussey was terminated as the attorney of record on October 24, 1994. In addition, the Court takes judicial notice that Tussey is now a Family Court Commissioner in the Family Court of the State of Delaware in New Castle County. See https://courts.delaware.gov/family/judges.aspx. The court docket indicates that Cathy Ann Johnson (formerly Cathy Ann Jenkins), now a deputy public defender with the Office of Defense Services in New Castle County, Delaware, represents Dupron. However, when this case was being litigated Dupron was a Department of Correction employee and Johnson, as a deputy attorney general with the Department of Justice of the State of Delaware, represented him. (See D.I. 61). Therefore, neither Commissioner Tussey nor Attorney Johnson are now deputy attorneys general for the State of Delaware. The Court will therefore order that a copy of the memorandum and order be served upon the Attorney General of the State of Delaware so that the State has notice of this motion.

         III. LEGAL STANDARDS

         Rule 69(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides as follows:

(a) In General.
(1) Money Judgment; Applicable Procedure. A money judgment is enforced by a writ of execution, unless the court directs otherwise. The procedure on execution-and in proceedings supplementary to and in aid of judgment or execution-must accord with the procedure of the state where the court is located, but a federal statute governs to the extent it applies.
(2) Obtaining Discovery. In aid of the judgment or execution, the judgment creditor or a successor in interest whose interest appears of record may obtain discovery from any person-including the judgment debtor-as provided in these rules or by the procedure of the state where the court is located.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 69. This Court's Local Rules provide that, "[proceedings on executions shall be in accordance with Fed.R.Civ.P. 69. In all cases in which a party seeks a writ of execution, the parties shall submit the completed proposed ...


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