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Supersedeas, Appeal Bonds, Stay of Execution

If someone obtains a favorable verdict and/or a judgment for money against you, and you decide to appeal, is there anything stopping the other side from trying to collect the money judment while the appeal is pending? In Missouri, you may be surprised to know that simply filing an appeal does not legally stop the other side from trying to collect on the judgment that is being appealed (though, practically, the other side may have to return anything collected if they lose on appeal and thus may be reluctant to try to collect). 

Aside from this practical impediment, the legally correct way to stop collection while an appeal is pending is to file a motion for a supersedeas bond in the trial court. “The purpose of a supersedeas bond is to stay [or put on hold] execution pending the appeal, of an order commanding some act to be done, where the case is not within the class of cases in which the appeal itself operates as a supersedeas.” Roussin v. Roussin, 792 S.W.2d 894, 898 (Mo. Ct. App. 1990). Rule 81.09(b) discusses what should be considered when determining the amount of the bond: costs, interest, damages for delay, principal amount of the judgment, etc. For example, if there is a $100,000 breach of contract or breach of trust claim against you, it would not be surprising for the court to order you to post a bond (cash or surety/insurace) in the amount of $115,000 for the Judgment to be legally stayed from execution while the appeal is pending. The Judge may include the additional $15,000 as costs on appeal and interest on the amount that accrues on the $100,000 judgment (appeals often last a year). If you lose on the appeal, then the other side would have the bond to collect against. 

In certain circumstances, particularly cases relating to non-monetary judgments, the amount of what the bond should be is less clear. In all cases, though, the party defending the appeal seemingly always wants as high of a bond as possible for practical, strategic and legal reasons. 

Contact with questions relating to supersedeas/appeal bonds, appeals and stays of execution.