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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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  1. Oh yes, lifetime tenure. The Founders gave that to the federal judges .... at that time no federal district courts existed .... so we are talking the Supreme Court justices only in context ....so that they could rule against traditional marriage and for the other pet projects of the sixties generation. Right. Hmmmm, but I must admit, there is something from that time frame that seems to recommend itself in this context ..... on yes, from a document the Founders penned in 1776: " He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good."

  2. Payday loans take advantage of people in many ways. It's great to hear that the courts are using some of their sins to pay money back to the community. Hopefully this will help change the culture of many loan companies, and make lending a much safer endeavor for those in need. http://lawsuitlendingnow.com/lawsuit-loans-post-settlement.html

  3. A traditional parade of attorneys? Really Evansville? Y'all need to get out more. When is the traditional parade of notaries? Nurses? Sanitation workers? Pole dancers? I gotta wonder, do throngs of admiring citizens gather to laud these marching servants of the constitution? "Show us your billing records!!!" Hoping some video gets posted. Ours is not a narcissistic profession by any chance, is it? Nah .....

  4. My previous comment not an aside at court. I agree with smith. Good call. Just thought posting here a bit on the if it bleeds it leads side. Most attorneys need to think of last lines of story above.

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