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Chase and Chase

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 02-13-2014
Case #: S061222
Brewer, J. for the Court; En Banc
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/S061222.pdf

Family Law: After an initial judgment is entered requiring payment of child support in future recurring installments, interest on unpaid installments is postjudgment, not prejudgment interest, and is governed by paragraph (2)(b), not paragraph (2)(c), of ORS 82.010.

Father appealed judgment of the circuit court imposing postjudgment interest on his entire amount of unpaid child support including previously accrued interest. ORS 82.010(2)(b) states that "[i]interest on a judgment under this subsection is simple interest, unless otherwise provided by contract." ORS 82.010(2)(c) states that "[i]interest accruing from the date of the entry of a judgment shall also accrue on interest that accrued before the date of entry of a judgment." After an initial judgment is entered requiring payment of child support in future recurring installments, interest on unpaid installments is postjudgment, not prejudgment interest, and is governed by paragraph (2)(b), not paragraph (2)(c), of ORS 82.010. The arrearage judgment that the circuit court entered in this case should have established the unpaid past child support amounts that father owed, including accrued interest on those amounts, as of the date that the arrearage judgment was entered. Postjudgment interest on the arrearage judgment would then accrue on the unpaid child support amounts, but not on previously accrued interest on those amounts as simple interest under ORS 82.010(2)(b). The decision of the Court of Appeals is reversed. The judgment of the circuit court is reversed, and the case is remanded to that court for further proceedings.