Unpublished Disposition, 931 F.2d 60 (9th Cir. 1991)

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U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit - 931 F.2d 60 (9th Cir. 1991)

Eduardo RIVERA, Plaintiff-Appellant,v.Mitchell SIMMONS and Carl Wayne Johnson, et al., Defendants-Appellees.

No. 90-15999.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

Submitted April 19, 1991.* Decided April 23, 1991.

Before POOLE, D.W. NELSON and NOONAN, Circuit Judges.


Eduardo Rivera appeals pro se the district court's judgment in his favor, following a bench trial, in this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action. Rivera contends that the district court erred by awarding only $100 in damages after finding that defendants Simmons and Johnson, Maricopa County Sheriff Officers, violated his fourth amendment rights. We affirm in part and reverse and remand in part.

* Damage Award

Damages are awarded in section 1983 actions to compensate individuals for injuries resulting from the deprivation of their constitutional rights. Carey v. Piphus, 435 U.S. 247, 254-55 (1978). The district court's determination of the amount of damages necessary to compensate for such injuries is a finding of fact, which will not be upset on appeal unless it is clearly erroneous. Woods v. United States, 724 F.2d 1444, 1451 (9th Cir. 1984); Fed. R. Civ. P. 52(a). We can find a factual determination clearly erroneous only if, after reviewing the record, we are "left with the definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been committed." United States v. United States Gypsum Co., 333 U.S. 365, 395 (1948).

Based on the trial testimony of Rivera, Simmons, and Johnson the district court found that the defendants had violated Rivera's fourth amendment rights by making a warrantless entry onto his family's property. Nevertheless, the court awarded only $100 in damages because it concluded that Rivera's "actual injuries stemming from this violation were slight, and as such, ... only nominal damages are appropriate." We affirm the damage award because the record presents no basis on which this court could find the district court's determination clearly erroneous. See id.



In preparing this appeal, Rivera requested production of the trial transcripts at government expense. Although Rivera had been granted in forma pauperis status, the district court erroneously found that he was not proceeding in forma pauperis and therefore denied the request. The court later recognized its error, but denied Rivera's second request for production of the transcripts at government expense because, in the interim, Rivera had ordered and paid for the transcripts.

As the prevailing plaintiff in this civil rights action, Rivera is entitled to recover all actual costs reasonably incurred in prosecuting this litigation, including the cost of the trial transcripts, and all costs on appeal. See Burt v. Hennessey, No. 86-2651, slip op. 2949, 2953 (9th Cir. March 21, 1991). Accordingly, we reverse and remand the district court's order denying Rivera's motion for production of the transcripts at government expense. Rivera shall submit proof of payment for all actual costs incurred in prosecuting this action, and the district court shall enter judgment of reasonable costs.



This disposition is not appropriate for publication and may not be cited to or by the courts of this circuit except as provided by 9th Cir.R. 36-3


The panel unanimously finds this case suitable for disposition without oral argument. Fed. R. App. P. 34(a); 9th Cir.R. 34-4


The appellees' request for attorney's fees is denied