Circuit Amends Mandate| In Pro-Life Activist Ruling

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – The 9th Circuit clarified that the post-judgment interest on a $4.7 million punitive damage award against anti-abortion activists in 1999 accrued after the district court’s original judgment.

     Four physicians and two abortion clinics, including Planned Parenthood of Columbia/Willamette, won a $108.5 million punitive damage award in their lawsuit accusing abortion protesters of violating the Freedom Access to Clinic Entrances Act. The court found the award for damages excessive, reduced it to $4.7 million and remanded the case.
     But the circuit failed to specify whether post-judgment interest should accrue from the date of the lower court’s original judgment, as modified in its final judgment, or only from the final judgment.
     It recalled and amended its mandate to state that “post-judgment interest is to run from Feb. 22, 1999, the date of the original judgment.”
     The judges cautioned that they “expect that litigants in this circuit will clearly understand that … our mandate must contain instructions about the allowance of post-judgment interest. If our mandate omits such instructions, a party that believes it is entitled to interest from a date other than the date of entry of judgment on remand must expeditiously seek reform of the mandate.”

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