NY Judge Engoron rejects Trump request for 30-day stay on enforcement of nearly half-billion-dollar civil fraud judgment

 February 24, 2024

New York Judge Arthur Engoron summarily rejected on Thursday a request by former President Donald Trump's attorneys to delay by 30 days the enforcement of his $350+ million civil fraud judgment, The Hill reported.

In a series of emails between Engoron and defense attorney Clifford Robert, the judge said, "You have failed to explain, much less justify, any basis for a stay," and added, "I am confident that the Appellate Division will protect your appellate rights."

AG James wants immediate enforcement of a nearly half-billion-dollar judgment

The Associated Press reported that the request for a 30-day stay on the enforcement of Judge Engoron's ruling came in response to efforts launched by Democratic New York Attorney General Letitia James to immediately begin the collections enforcement process for the $350+ million judgment, which with interest added is more like $450+ million, and that total is increasing by more than $87,500 every day since the judgment was issued.

In addition to demanding an immediate start to the enforcement procedures, James also indicated that she fully intends to begin seizing and liquidating former President Trump's assets in the state if he is unable to pay off what he owes right away.

In an interview this week, James told a reporter of Trump, "If he does not have funds to pay off the judgment, then we will seek judgment enforcement mechanisms in court, and we will ask the judge to seize his assets."

Further, this is occurring before Trump has had an opportunity to file an appeal against Engoron's judgment and earn an automatic stay, which in itself is extremely costly as state law requires that he post a bond for essentially the entire amount of the judgment to proceed.

Rush to enforce judgment "violates all accepted practice" in NY courts

ABC News reported that Trump's attorney Robert sent a letter to Judge Engoron on Thursday to complain about the one-sided acceptance of AG James' draft proposal for immediate judgment enforcement on Tuesday, and wrote, "To deprive Defendants of the opportunity to submit a proposed counter-judgment would be contrary to fundamental fairness and due process."

After being instructed to inform the court of how the defense's counter-proposal might differ from the AG's, Robert pointed to a couple of errors on James' part and accused her of violating standard practices and procedures, and said, "The Attorney General has not filed any motion on notice, nor moved to settle the proposed Judgment. Her unseemly rush to memorialize a 'judgment' violates all accepted practice in New York state court."

"Given that the court-appointed monitor continues to be in place, there is no prejudice to the Attorney General in briefly staying enforcement to allow for an orderly post-judgment process, particularly given the magnitude of Judgment," the defense attorney added.

According to NBC News, one of the prosecutors in AG James' office, Andrew Amer, interjected himself into the back-and-forth between Judge Engoron and defense attorney Robert with a letter of opposition that urged the judge to reject the request for a 30-day delay in the judgment enforcement process.

Amer alleged that the defense failed to "provide any basis for staying enforcement of the judgment" and further noted that the defendants had already "requested such relief in their post-trial brief, which the Court declined to grant."

Engoron's "corporate death penalty" for Trump

According to the AP, the nearly half-billion dollar judgment against former President Trump, which is increasing every day, is believed to total more than the estimated cash on hand or easily liquidated reserves Trump has claimed, all of which and then some could be tied up in either paying off the judgment or as an appeals bond to challenge Judge Engoron's decision.

That is far from the only punitive measure included in Engoron's judgment that some have likened to a "corporate death penalty," as the judge also extended the tenure of a court-appointed monitor to oversee Trump's business empire -- a monitor who has the authority to seize and liquidate any and all assets to satisfy the judgment and who has the final say over any and all business decisions that are made.

Further, none of those business decisions will be made by Trump, who is banned from holding any leadership position in his own family company for three years, or by his eldest sons, Don Jr. and Eric, who were also fined $4+ million by Engoron and banned from doing business in the state for two years.

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