WFU Law School
Law & Valuation
1.4.1 Pre-judgment interest

1.4.2 Post-judgment Interest

Even after winning a judgment, payment (and justice) may be further delayed. “Post-judgment interest” compensates the successful party for the loss of use of money from the trial court’s original judgment until the time the judgment is actually paid—including the period during which appeals are pending. Post-judgment interest compensates the successful party for the delay in receiving the judgment owed.

Unlike pre-judgment interest, post-judgment interest is governed exclusively by statute. Many states have adopted a fixed rate of postjudgment interest. However, these statutory prescriptions do not necessarily mean that post-judgment interest is always a straightforward affair—as shown in the example below.

Here are some states' approaches to the question of awarding post-judgment interest:

  • California provides for a fixed interest rate of 10% per annum for postjudgment interest. Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 685.010 (2001).
  • North Carolina applies a statutory rate of 8%. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 24-4 to -5.
  • Massachusetts provides that post-judgment interest shall be the same rate as the prejudgment interest rate set by the trial court. Mass. Ann. Laws ch. 235, § 8 (2002).
  • Under federal law, postjudgment interest is set at the 52 week Treasury Bill rate. 28 U.S.C. 1961 (2001).


Plaintiff wins a jury verdict in her favor on an employment discrimination suit. The district court enters judgment, awarding plaintiff $90,000 in damages.The court also awards attorney’s fees, but postpones setting the fees until a later time (presumably after the court reviews the attorneys’ billing records). Because of court backlog and delay, the court determines the fees and related expenses 16 months after the judgment date. (More>>)




1.4.1 Pre-judgment interest

©2003 Professor Alan R. Palmiter

This page was last updated on: April 2, 2004