Judgments accrue interest after entry. R.S.Mo. §408.040.1. Normally, post-judgment interest runs on all amounts due under a judgment, including pre-judgment interest and costs. Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church v. St. Louis Alarm Monitoring Co., Inc., 358 S.W.3d 528, 535 (Mo. App. 2012); Boatmen’s First Nat. Bank of Kansas City v. Bogina Petroleum Engineers, 794 S.W.2d 703, 706 (Mo.App. W.D. 1990).
However, a judgment is statutorily required to state the rate for post-judgment interest:
Interest shall be allowed on all money due upon any judgment or order of any court from the date judgment is entered by the trial court until full satisfaction. All such judgments and orders for money shall bear a per annum interest rate equal to the intended Federal Funds Rate, as established by the Federal Reserve Board, plus five percent, until full satisfaction is made. The judgment shall state the applicable interest rate, which shall not vary once entered…
R.S.Mo. §408.040.3(bold added). Post judgment interest is not automatic based on the statute – where the judgment fails to state an award of statutory interest or set its rate, a plaintiff is not entitled post-judgment interest on that judgment. See, McGuire v. Kenoma, LLC, 447 S.W.3d 659, 666-67 (Mo. banc 2014); Peterson v. Discover Prop & Cas. Ins. Co., 2015 WL 161013 (Mo.App. W.D. 2015).
The means to fix a judgment’s failure to state post-judgment interest or set a rate is to file a timely post-judgment motion. McGuire, 447 S.W.3d at 667. A nunc pro tunc cannot be used to rectify the absence unless there was manifest intent to award post-judgment interest. Id. at 666-67. Thus, one only has 30 days from the entry of judgment to file a timely post-judgment motion to correct the error. See, Rule 78.07.
This new line of cases creates practical changes for both defendants and plaintiffs. A defendant should not pay post-judgment interest unless the judgment expressly orders it. For a plaintiff, one must ensure that one’s judgment states the award of post-judgment interest and affixes its interest rate. If the judgment fails to award the interest, file a post-judgment motion within 30 days of the date the judgment was entered.
By: Michael L. Belancio