H. B. 2775
(By Delegates Amores and Craig)
(Originating in the Committee on the Judiciary)
[March 15, 2005]
A BILL to amend and reenact §48-1-302 and §56-6-31 of the Code of
West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to the rate of
interest allowed for prejudgment and post-judgment interest.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §48-1-302 and §56-6-31 of the Code of West Virginia,
1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
CHAPTER 48. DOMESTIC RELATIONS.
ARTICLE 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS; DEFINITIONS.
PART 3. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS RELATING
TO DOMESTIC RELATIONS.
§48-1-302. Calculation of interest.
(a) If an obligation to pay interest arises under this
chapter, the rate of interest
is that specified in section 56-6-31
of this code. shall be ten dollars upon one hundred dollars per
annum, and proportionately for a greater or lesser sum, or for a
longer or shorter time, notwithstanding any other provisions of law.
Interest accrues only upon the outstanding principal of such
obligation. On and after the ninth day of June, one thousand nine
hundred ninety-five, this section will be construed to permit the
accumulation of simple interest and may not be construed to permit
the compounding of interest. Interest which accrued on unpaid
installments accruing before the ninth day of June, one thousand
nine hundred ninety-five, may not be modified by any court,
irrespective of whether such installment accrued simple or compound
, That unpaid installments upon which interest
was compounded before the effective date of this section shall
accrue only simple interest thereon on and after the ninth day of
June, one thousand nine hundred ninety-five.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no court may
award or approve prejudgment interest in a domestic relations
action against a party unless the court finds, in writing, that the
party engaged in conduct that would violate subsection (b), rule
eleven of the West Virginia rules of civil procedure. If
prejudgment interest is awarded, the court shall calculate
prejudgment interest from the date the offending representation was
presented to the court. In computing prejudgment interest, the
court shall apply the rate of interest prescribed in subsection (a)
of this section, without regard to the provisions of section 56-6-
31 of this Code.
(c) Upon written agreement by both parties, an obligor may
petition the court to enter an order conditionally suspending the
collection of all or part of the interest that has accrued on past-due child support prior to the date of the agreement:
That said agreement shall also establish a reasonable
payment plan which is calculated to fully discharge all arrearages
within twenty-four months. Upon successful completion of the
payment plan, the court shall enter an order which permanently
relieves the obligor of the obligation to pay the accrued interest.
If the obligor fails to comply with the terms of the written
agreement, then the court shall enter an order which reinstates the
CHAPTER 56. PLEADING AND PRACTICE.
ARTICLE 6. TRIAL
§56-6-31. Interest on judgment or decree.
Except where it is otherwise provided by law, every
judgment or decree for the payment of money entered by any court of
this state shall bear interest from the date thereof, whether it be
so stated in the judgment or decree or not: Provided,
That if the
judgment or decree, or any part thereof, is for special damages, as
defined below, or for liquidated damages, the amount of such
special or liquidated damages shall bear interest from the date the
right to bring the same shall have accrued, as determined by the
court. Special damages includes lost wages and income, medical
expenses, damages to tangible personal property, and similar out-
of-pocket expenditures, as determined by the court.
The rate of
interest shall be ten dollars upon one hundred dollars per annum,
and proportionately for a greater or lesser sum, or for a longer or
shorter time, notwithstanding any other provisions of law.(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of section five, article
six, chapter forty-seven of this Code, the rate of interest on
judgments and decrees for the payment of money, including
prejudgment interest, is three percentage points above the Fifth
Federal Reserve District discount rate in effect on the second day
of January of the year in which the judgment or decree is entered.
The Administrative Office of the Supreme Court of Appeals shall
annually determine the interest rate to be paid upon judgments or
decrees for the payment of money, and shall take appropriate
measures to promptly notify the Courts and members of the West
Virginia State Bar Association of the rate of interest in effect
for the calander year in question. Once the rate of interest is
established by a judgment or decree as provided for in this
section, that established rate shall thereafter remain constant for
that particular judgment or decree, notwithstanding changes in the
Federal Reserve District discount rate in effect in subsequent