New Jersey Rules governing pre and post judgment interest

Claims up to $15,000 are filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Special Civil Part.

Claims for more than $15,000 are filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division.

Special Civil Part

For Special Civil Part claims, New Jersey Court Rule 6:6-3(a) permits assessment of pre-judgment interest as follows:

1. If the judgment is “based on a document of obligation that provides a rate of interest, prejudgment interest shall be calculated in accordance therewith….”

2. If the judgment is not based upon a “document of obligation” specifying a rate of interest, prejudgment interest “shall” be calculated in accordance with post-judgment interest rates pursuant to Rule 4:42-11(a)(ii).

Post-judgment interest rates are governed by New Jersey Court Rule 4:42-11(a) and vary from year to year, in accordance with a complex formula specified in the rule.  These rates go into effect on January 1 of each year.

In particular, Rule 4:42-11(a)(ii) provides “the annual rate of [post judgment] interest shall equal the average rate of return, to the nearest whole or one-half percent, for the corresponding preceding fiscal years terminating on June 30, of the State of New Jersey Cash Management Fund (State accounts) as reported by the Division of Investment in the Department of the Treasury.”

  • For 2019, the post judgment interest rate is 1.50% for Special Civil Part cases.

Law Division

For Law Division claims, New Jersey Court Rule 4:43-2(a) permits assessment of pre-judgment interest as follows:

 If the judgment is “based on a document of obligation that provides a rate of interest, prejudgment interest shall be calculated in accordance therewith….”

  • If the judgment is not based upon a “document of obligation” specifying a rate of interest, prejudgment interest may be calculated in accordance with New Jersey Court Rule 4:42-11(a)(ii).

Post-judgment interest rates are governed by New Jersey Court Rule 4:42-11(a) and vary from year to year, in accordance with the same complex formula applicable in the Special Civil Part – with one notable difference. Judgments entered for more than the $15,000 jurisdictional limit of the Special Civil Part accrue interest at the Special Civil Part rate plus an additional 2% per year.

1.  For judgments exceeding the Special Civil Part monetary limit of $15,000 at the time of entry, Rule 4:42-11(a)(iii) specifies that an additional 2% per annum is added to the rate applicable to Special Civil Part cases.

2.  If a judgment in a Law Division case is entered for less than the $15,000 Special Civil Part monetary limit, the 2% interest rate “step up” does not apply, and the judgment accrues interest at the lower Special Civil Part rate.

  • For 2019, the post judgment rate is 3.50% in Law Division cases—provided the Law Division judgment was greater than $15,000 when it was entered.

Miscellaneous

New Jersey Court Rules provide for simple (as opposed to compound) interest on unpaid money judgments.

Interest is allowable on taxed costs and counsel fees.

A schedule of post-judgment interest rates from 2000 thru 2019 is set forth below:

POST-JUDGMENT INTEREST RATES FROM 2000 through 2019

Year SCP Rate: % Law Division Rate: %
2000 5 7
2001 5.5 7.5
2002 6 8
2003 3 5
2004 2 4
2005 1 3
2006 2 4
2007 4 6
2008 5.5 7.5
2009 4 6
2010 1.5 3.5
2011 .5 2.5
2012 .5 2.5
2013 .25 2.25
2014 .25 2.25
2015 .25 2.25
2016 .25 2.25
2017 .50 2.50
2018 .50 2.50
2019 1.50 3.50

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