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United States District Court, S.D. New York

July 1, 2004.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: KEVIN FOX, Magistrate Judge


In this admiralty case, the defendant previously advised the Court that it does not wish to defend itself at a trial and prefers that judgment be entered for the freight that is the subject matter of this action. The parties were directed to confer and to submit a proposed judgment to the Court for its review and endorsement. A controversy has emerged since the plaintiff believes that the judgment should provide for an award of pre-judgment interest and post-judgment interest, and the defendant disagrees.

In this circuit, pre-judgment interest, in an admiralty case, is left to the trial court's discretion. See Central Hudson Gas & Elec. Corp. v. Empresa Naviera Santa S.A., 56 F.3d 359, 372 (2d Cir. 1995). However, the Court is aware that pre-judgment interest is typically allowed in such cases unless there are exceptional circumstances that militate against awarding it. See Larsen v. A.C. Carpenter, Inc., 620 F. Supp. 1084, 1125 (E.D.N.Y. 1985). The court in Larsen, relying on language found in United States v. Peavey Barge Line, 748 F.2d 395, 402 (7th Cir. 1984), explained that exceptional circumstances that warrant barring an award of pre-judgment interest exist where the party seeking pre-judgment interest "has unreasonably delayed in prosecuting its claim, has made a bad faith estimate of its damages which precludes settlement or has not sustained any actual damages." Id.

  The Court finds that the plaintiff in the instant action has not engaged in any of the conduct noted above that would support precluding an award of pre-judgment interest to it. Accordingly, the plaintiff is awarded pre-judgment interest on its claim against the defendant for unpaid freight. The interest shall be calculated at a rate of nine per centum per annum. See New York Civil Practice Law and Rules § 5004.

  28 U.S.C. § 1961, in its most pertinent part, informs that "interest shall be allowed on any money judgment in a civil case recovered in a district court." 28 U.S.C. § 1961(a). Therefore, by the express language of the statute, the plaintiff is entitled to post-judgment interest.

  That statute provides a procedure for calculating post-judgment interest. The statute explains that "[s]uch interest shall be calculated from the date of the entry of the judgment, at a rate equal to the weekly average 1-year constant maturity Treasury yield, as published by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, for the calendar week preceding [] the date of the judgment." Id. Furthermore, the statute directs that interest be computed daily to the date of payment except in certain circumstances that are not relevant to the case at bar. See 28 U.S.C. § 1961(b). Inasmuch as the Court finds no reason to deviate from the procedure for calculating post-judgment interest found at 28 U.S.C. § 1961, post-judgment interest in the instant case shall be calculated in accordance with that statute. The parties shall confer and, thereafter, submit to the Court, on or before July 6, 2004, for its review and endorsement, a judgment that is consistent with the rulings noted above.



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