No. 61438-0-I.The Court of Appeals of Washington, Division One.
January 26, 2009.
Appeal from a judgment of the Superior Court for King County, No. 05-2-40598-8, Kimberley Prochnau, J., entered March 6, 2008.
Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion.
Absent a timely appeal from the underlying judgment, an appeal taken from a postjudgment order disbursing funds does not bring up the unappealed judgment for review. Because Gwen Hall did not timely appeal the judgment in this case, her appeal from a postjudgment order disbursing funds does not bring up the judgment and its award of prejudgment interest for our review. While her challenge to the postjudgment interest awarded in the
order disbursing funds is properly before us, we conclude it lacks merit. Accordingly, we affirm.
In December 2005 Abdikadir sued Hall for injuries and damages resulting from a car accident. The matter proceeded to private arbitration, and in September 2007 the arbitrator awarded Abdikadir $92,400.
In October 2007 Abdikadir moved to confirm the award in superior court and requested $5,786.48 in costs. In an attached declaration, his counsel requested “prejudgment interest from the date of [the] verdict.” Hall objected to a portion of the costs and to the award of prejudgment interest.
Hall then deposited the award amount, $92,400, into the court registry. She requested “that any order entering judgment contemporaneously declares that the judgment has been satisfied and directs the clerk of the court to note for the record that the judgment has been satisfied.” She further requested “that prior to any funds being released to the plaintiff . . . that this court require plaintiff’s counsel to execute a full satisfaction of Judgment.”
On October 23, 2007, the court entered judgment on the award in the amount of $92,400 plus $5,701.48 in costs, $637.94 in prejudgment interest, and postjudgment interest of 12 percent per year. Hall moved for reconsideration, arguing that the court should strike its award of prejudgment interest and reduce its award of costs. Shortly thereafter, Hall deposited $6,339.42 into the court registry to cover the award of costs and interest.
On December 6, 2007, after Hall failed to file briefing the court had requested, the court struck her motion for reconsideration “without prejudice to its being renoted in compliance with the applicable rules.”
Abdikadir subsequently filed a motion seeking disbursement of funds in the court registry, supplemental proceedings, and an injunction precluding any transfer of Hall’s property. Hall resisted these motions, arguing that she had deposited all funds in the court registry, that Abdikadir had simply failed to withdraw those funds for over three months, and that he was therefore not entitled to additional interest on the judgment, supplemental proceedings, or an injunction.
On February 8, 2008, the court entered an order disbursing funds from the court registry to Abdikadir. The court found that the judgment was “accruing interest at the rate of $32.46 per day since October 23, 2007,” and that there was good cause to release the funds in its registry because Hall had “not made payment towards satisfaction of the judgment.” The court separately ordered Hall to appear in supplemental proceedings and to answer all questions pertaining to her assets. Hall moved for reconsideration, challenging the award of postjudgment interest and the order of examination in supplemental proceedings.
On March 6, 2008, the court denied the motion for reconsideration. On March 25, 2008, Hall filed a notice of appeal to this court.
Abdikadir contends Hall did not timely appeal the October 23, 2007, judgment confirming the arbitration award and, therefore, she cannot challenge the judgment’s award of prejudgment interest. We agree.
Under RAP 5.2(a), an appellant has 30 days from the entry of judgment to file its appeal. The filing period is extended, however, by a timely motion for reconsideration. In that instance, RAP 5.2(e) provides that the time for an appeal runs from the entry of the order on the motion, not the earlier date when the court entered the final judgment. Under these rules, Hall had 30 days from entry of the December 6, 2007, order striking her motion for reconsideration to file a notice of appeal. Because she neither filed a notice of appeal within 30 days nor renoted her motion for reconsideration as authorized by the December 6, 2007, order, Hall did not timely appeal the judgment.
Hall argues, however, that her notice of appeal was timely because it was filed within 30 days of the ruling on reconsideration of the February 8, 2008, postjudgment order disbursing funds. We disagree. The order disbursing funds was a separate, postjudgment decision based on a separate motion. Accordingly, Hall’s timely appeal from that order did not bring up the underlying judgment and its award of prejudgment interest for review.
Although Hall timely appealed the order disbursing funds and awarding postjudgment interest, her challenge to the award of postjudgment interest is meritless. Postjudgment interest accrues unless and until the judgment debtor unambiguously and unconditionally directs the court clerk to apply funds in the court registry to the satisfaction of the judgment.
Here, Hall deposited funds in the court registry with a “request that prior to any funds being released . . . this court require plaintiff’s counsel to execute a full satisfaction of Judgment.” This direction is at best ambiguous and at worst conditional. The superior court did not abuse its discretion in awarding postjudgment interest.