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UNITED STATES EX REL. BILLOWS ELEC. SUPPLY CO. V.

February 23, 1983

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA for the Use of BILLOWS ELECTRIC SUPPLY COMPANY, INC.
v.
E.J.T. CONSTRUCTION CO., INC. and NATIONAL FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY OF HARTFORD and AMERICAN CASUALTY COMPANY OF READING and B.D. THOMAS COMPANY. (Three Cases)



The opinion of the court was delivered by: BRODERICK

 BRODERICK, J.

 Plaintiff, in whose favor judgment was entered on July 9, 1981 in a cause of action arising under the Miller Act, 40 U.S.C. § 270a, et seq., has filed a motion seeking increased interest on the judgment, claiming it is entitled to such increased interest pursuant to the Federal Courts Improvement Act of 1982 ("the Act"), P.L. 97-164, 96 Stat. 25, Section 302, which amended 28 U.S.C. § 1961, which governs the rate of interest awarded on federal court judgments. For the reasons hereinafter set forth, the Court finds that the Act's provisions for a higher rate of interest do not apply to this case because the Act did not become effective until after the entry of judgment in this case and will enter an Order denying plaintiff's motion.

 As heretofore noted, plaintiff has filed a "motion for imposition of additional interest." It appears to the Court that this motion is not the best vehicle for raising the issue of the appropriate rate of post-judgment interest. In effect, the motion asks the Court to issue a declaratory judgment concerning the proper rate of post-judgment interest. Despite the unusual form of plaintiff's motion, the Court will consider the motion to be an appropriate pleading asking this Court to issue an Order declaring the rights and other legal relations of the parties to an actual controversy in the nature of a declaratory judgment. (See 28 U.S.C. § 2201).

 Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Judicial Code, remedies for the purpose of securing satisfaction of a judgment are available under the circumstances and in the manner provided by the law of the state in which the district court sits (See Fed.R.Civ.P. 64; 28 U.S.C. § 1962). Pennsylvania's judicial statutes specifically provide

 
(a) A judgment creditor who has received satisfaction of any judgment . . . shall, at the written request of the judgment debtor, . . . enter satisfaction in the office of the clerk of the court where such judgment is outstanding, which satisfaction shall forever discharge the judgment.
 
(b) A judgment creditor who shall fail or refuse for more than 30 days after written notice in the manner prescribed by general rules to comply with a request pursuant to subsection (a) [quoted above] shall pay to the judgment debtor as liquidated damages 1% of the original amount of the judgment for each day of delinquency beyond such 30 days, but not less than $250 nor more than 50% of the original amount of the judgment. Such liquidated damages shall be recoverable pursuant to general rules, by supplementary proceedings in the matter in which the judgment was entered.

 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 8104. It appears to this Court that a better way of addressing the issue currently before the Court would have been for the judgment debtor to request entry of a satisfaction of judgment, for the judgment creditor to have refused such satisfaction, and for the judgment debtor to pursue its statutory remedy of liquidated damages, thereby more clearly delineating the actual controversy between the parties. However, the facts of this litigation establish the current existence of actual controversy and the Court will accordingly treat plaintiff's motion as one for a declaratory judgment.

 Defendants appealed the Court's verdict to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which affirmed this Court's decision in an Order dated May 3, 1982, 688 F.2d 827 (1982). Defendants then petitioned for a Writ of Certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. The petition was denied by the Supreme Court on October 4, 1982 (459 U.S. 856, 103 S. Ct. 126, 74 L. Ed. 2d 109 (1982)).

 In 1982, the United States Congress enacted the Federal Courts Improvement Act of 1982, which, inter alia, amended 28 U.S.C. § 1961 to provide the rate of post-judgment interest received by prevailing parties in federal court litigation be determined according to the market rates concerning the time value of money. Specifically, the Act established a formula for calculating the proper rate of post-judgment interest based on the most recent rates of interest paid to holders of United States Treasury bills. The Act specifically stated that it was to become effective on October 1, 1982. Defendants have paid the amount of the judgment together with post-judgment interest at the rate of 6%. Plaintiff now seeks an award of additional post-judgment interest, contending that the Act applies and that the correct rate of interest to be assessed on this judgment is 13.146% rather than 6%.

 Regarding its effective date, Section 402 of the Act states

 
Unless otherwise specified, the provisions of this Act shall take effect on October 1, 1982.

 Thus, the clear language as to the effective date of the Act compels the conclusion that the new market-based rates of post-judgment interest shall not apply to judgments entered prior to October 1, 1982. In the instant case, plaintiff's only basis for contending that the Act applies is the fact that defendants' petition for certiorari was not denied until October 4, 1982. Thus, ...


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