The opinion of the court was delivered by: Richard Mills, District Judge:
A case of contempt on contempt.
The Manville Trust moves for execution of its New York
judgment against a supersedeas bond posted with this Court by
Attorney James Walker.
On October 21, 1991, the Manville Trust registered the New
York judgment in this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1963 and
began collection proceedings against Mr. Walker.
When Mr. Walker — after many attempts to stall the
proceedings in this Court — eventually refused to cooperate at
the citation to discover assets hearing, Magistrate Judge Evans
referred the matter to United States District Judge Richard
Mills for Mr. Walker to show cause for his obstruction of the
citation proceedings. On Tuesday, September 14, 1993, Mr.
Walker appeared before Judge Mills and reiterated his refusal
to comply with the citation proceedings. Consequently, this
Court sentenced Mr. Walker to imprisonment conditioned on
cooperation with the Manville Trust in the discovery of Mr.
Walker's assets. Being remedial in nature, this was a civil
sanction. See Securities and Exchange Commission v. Simpson,
885 F.2d 390, 395 (7th Cir. 1989). Mr. Walker immediately
appealed the decision of this Court, and the Court stayed Mr.
Walker's imprisonment upon the posting of a $100,000
On May 2, 1994, the Court of Appeals dismissed Mr. Walker's
appeal of this Court's contempt finding and an earlier appeal
filed by Mr. Walker challenging this Court's denial of a motion
to dismiss the collection proceedings in the Central District
of Illinois. In re Joint Eastern & Southern Districts Asbestos
Litigation, 22 F.3d 755 (7th Cir. 1994). The Manville Trust now
requests that this Court apply the $100,000 supersedeas bond
toward satisfaction of the New York judgment, which, as of June
16, 1994, amounts to $97,760.90.
Mr. Walker objects to the motion of the Manville Trust on the
ground that the New York judgment is void and unenforceable in
this Court because it was imposed by a federal magistrate judge
instead of a district court judge. However, Mr. Walker is
incorrect in his factual and legal assertions. 28 U.S.C. § 636(e)
applies to situations in which a person commits an act
of contempt before a magistrate judge. That is not what
happened in this case. Here, Mr. Walker had violated two
injunctive decrees of the Rendering Courts prohibiting further
litigation against the assets of the Manville Trust, and the
Rendering Courts directed Mr. Walker to appear at a show cause
hearing to explain his disobeyance of those courts' orders.
On April 24, 1991, Mr. Walker failed to appear at the
scheduled hearing, and as a result, United States District
Judge Jack B. Weinstein adjudged Mr. Walker to be in civil
contempt. Judge Weinstein then referred the matter to U.S.
Magistrate Judge John L. Caden for a determination of the
amount of sanctions to be assessed against Mr. Walker for his
civil contempt. Magistrate Judge Caden subsequently determined
that the Manville Trust was entitled to recover $81,655 plus
interest from Mr. Walker for his contempt. (See footnote 1 of
the May 2, 1994 opinion of the Seventh Circuit for a more
detailed summary of the proceedings before the New York
Thus, the contempt judgment sought to be enforced in this
Court is the valid judgment of a district court judge, and
there is no reason why the supersedeas bond posted by Mr.
Walker cannot be applied in satisfaction of the judgment
rendered in favor of the Manville Trust by the Eastern and
Southern Districts of New York.
Ergo, the Clerk of the Court is hereby directed to disburse
$97,760.90 of the $100,000 bond deposited with this Court by
Mr. Walker on September 16, 1993, to the Manville Trust, in
care of the attorney of record for the Manville Trust, with the
balance of the bond to be remitted to Mr. Walker.