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High court rules on post-judgment interest

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The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer to a case in order to clarify precedents on post-judgment interest in dissolution cases. The high court held that the dissolution statutes give a court the option to either assess interest or not in the course of fashioning a just division of assets.

The issue the high court decided in Robert Rovai v. Ann Marie Rovai, No. 45S03-0812-CV-628, was whether the statute directing interest on money judgments compels that post-judgment interest must be paid whenever money changes hands pursuant to a dissolution decree, or whether the dissolution statutes give the court discretion on whether to impose interest.

"We see little reason for transporting the post-judgment interest statute into the equitable world of dissolutions, where some court orders look a good deal like civil judgments and others bear no resemblance," wrote Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard.

Judicial decrees that assign debts, personal property, and real estate represent a more complex allocation of economic values, and orders that reflect social objectives are added to these.

"In such judicial decrees (and we rate the one before us as quite typical), where courts allot everything from physical objects to responsibility for debts of differing character to conditional rights of residence, the time value of money acquires a much more nuanced meaning than it does when a court hears a credit card collection case and says, 'Judgment for $5,800,'" he wrote.

In the distribution of assets following the dissolution of the Rovais' marriage, Ann Marie was ordered to pay more than $36,000 to Robert when their children became emancipated, she voluntarily sold the marital home, or lived with someone else in the home. Robert argued he was entitled to post-judgment interest running from the date of the dissolution decree.

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  2. Fiat justitia ruat caelum is a Latin legal phrase, meaning "Let justice be done though the heavens fall." The maxim signifies the belief that justice must be realized regardless of consequences.

  3. Indiana up holds this behavior. the state police know they got it made.

  4. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

  5. Agreed on 4th Amendment call - that was just bad policing that resulted in dismissal for repeat offender. What kind of parent names their boy "Kriston"?

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