H. B. 3170
(By Delegate Michael)
[Introduced February 21, 2003; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact section thirty-one, article six,
chapter fifty-six of the code of West Virginia, one thousand
nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to changing the
rate of interest due on judgments entered by the judiciary.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section thirty-one, article six, chapter fifty-six of the
code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 6. TRIAL.
§56-6-31. Interest on judgment or decree.
(a) 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
as prescribed in subsection (b) of this section, and
proportionately for a greater or lesser sum, or for a longer or
shorter time, notwithstanding any other provisions of law.
(b) Rate of interest in general. -- The annual rate of
interest established under this section shall be such adjusted rate
as is established by the administrative officer of the supreme
court of appeals under subsection (c) of this section: Provided,
That the annual rate shall never be less than six percent per
(c) Adjustment of interest rate. --
(1) Establishment of adjusted rate.--If the adjusted prime
rate charged by banks (rounded to the nearest full percent):
(A) During the six-month period ending on the thirtieth day of
September of any calendar year; or
(B) During the six-month period ending on the thirty-first day
of March of any calendar year, differs from the interest rate in
effect under this section on either such date, respectively, then the administrative officer of the supreme court of appeals shall
establish, within fifteen days after the close of the applicable
six-month period, an adjusted rate of interest equal to such
adjusted prime rate.
(2) Effective date of adjustment. -- Any such adjusted rate of
interest established under subdivision (1) of this subsection shall
(A) On the first day of January of the succeeding year in the
case of an adjustment attributable to paragraph (A), subdivision
(1) of this subsection; and
(B) On the first day of July of the same year in the case of
an adjustment attributable to paragraph (B), subdivision (1) of
(d) Definition of "adjusted prime rate." -- For purposes of
subsection (c) of this section, the term "adjusted prime rate
charged by banks" means the average predominant prime rate quoted
by commercial banks to large businesses, as determined by the board
of governors of the federal reserve system.
(e) Application of change in interest rate. --
Prejudgment interest. -- The interest rate in effect on the
date of the judgment or decree shall not be applied retroactively
to the date the right to bring the action for special or liquidated
damages accrued. Interest on moneys owed under a judgment or
decree shall be the sum of the interest amounts calculated for each year or part thereof from the date the right to bring the action
accrued to the date the payment is made using the interest rate in
effect for each respective year or part thereof.
(f) Prior rate of interest. -- The rates of interest provided
by this section prior to the amendment and reenactment of this
section in the year two thousand three shall apply to the money or
portion of money awarded under a judgment or decree for the period
or periods during which those rates were applicable.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide an adjustable
interest rate for prejudgment and post-judgment awards.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would