ILNews

High court rules on post-judgment interest

Back to TopE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

ADVERTISEMENT