Interest on Judgment Against State

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Civil Procedure—Interest on Judgment Against the State

Minjares v. State, __Az. Adv. Rep. __, 1 CA-CV 08-0713 (Ct. App. Div. I, October 29, 2009)(J. Weisberg)

INTEREST ON JUDGMENT AGAINST STATE ON APPEAL TO BE PAID OUT OF STATE REVOVLING FUND TO BE BASED ON AVERAGE YIELD OF U.S. TREASURY BONDS NOT 10%

Plaintiff was involved in an auto accident and sued the State for the defective road design and obtained a $1,023,000 judgment. Plaintiff prevailed on appeal. Then the State argued with the trial court and ultimately the Court of Appeals that it did not have to pay 10% interest on the judgment per ARS sec. 44-1201(A) but rather the “interest on any judgment against this state paid for out of the risk management revolving fund shall accrue at the average yield offered by United States treasury bills during the course of the appeal” based upon ARS sec. 41-622 (F).

The Arizona Court of Appeals agreed with the State and held that interest shall be 10% from the date the judgment is entered until paid unless an appeal is filed. If an appeal is filed than from the date of that filing until the appeal is concluded shall be the US treasury bond rate and not 10%.

Attorneys' Fees Must be Sought in Pleadings
Civil Procedure—Must Seek Attorneys' Fees in Pleading to Receive Them

King v. Titsworth, 221 Ariz. 597, 212 P.3d 935 (App. Div. I, June 4, 2009)(J. Barker)

ATTORNEYS' FEES NOT RECOVERABLE WHEN FIRST ASKED FOR IN A MOTION WHICH IS NOT A PLEADING

Seller of real property seeking alleged promised payment for the property. Purchaser defended pro per and failed to seek attorneys' fees in his Answer. After the trial court ruled in purchaser's favor, purchaser filed a claim for attorneys' fees which was granted.

On appeal the Court of Appeals overturned the trial court's award of attorneys' fees finding that Arizona Rule of Civil Procedure 54(g)(1) requires such relief be sought “in the pleadings.” A motion is not a pleading as defined in the rules and hence the request for fees here was untimely and not allowed.

Schmidt, Sethi & Akmajian

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