City of Riverside v. Rivera - 473 U.S. 1315 (1985)
U.S. Supreme Court
City of Riverside v. Rivera, 473 U.S. 1315 (1985)
City of Riverside v. Rivera
Decided August 28, 1985
473 U.S. 1315
An application by the city of Riverside and five of its current or former police officers to stay, pending disposition of their petition for certiorari, the Court of Appeals' mandate requiring applicants to pay respondents $245,456.25 in attorney's fees, is granted. The Court of Appeals had affirmed the fees award made by the District Court, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1988, following a trial in which respondents recovered from applicants a total of $33,350 in damages based on, inter alia, violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 arising from the conduct of the police in forcibly breaking up a private party that respondents were attending and in arresting some of the respondents. Applicants' petition for certiorari, as well as the petition for certiorari in another case before this Court, raises a significant question as to whether, in determining the amount of "a reasonable attorney's fee" under § 1988, the disproportionality between a large attorney's fee award and the amount of monetary damages recovered should be considered. It is likely that four Members of the Court will vote to grant certiorari in one of the cases and to postpone consideration of the petition in the other pending plenary review of the first. Moreover, the probability of applicants' succeeding on the merits is substantial.