Appellate Insights

Jul 16, 2019 Alana H. Rotter
Are You Satisfied?

Can a defendant who plans to appeal only part of a judgment pay the non-challenged portion of the judgment without risk of waiving its right to appeal the rest?  A newly-enacted statute (Code of Civil Procedure 695.215) clarifies the answer:

  • “Payment in satisfaction of a money judgment, including payment of a severable portion of the money judgment, interest thereon, and associated costs, does not constitute a waiver of the right to appeal, except to the extent that the payment is the product of a compromise or is coupled with an agreement not to appeal.”
  • Payment in satisfaction of a severable portion of a money judgment does not waive the right to appeal other portions of the money judgment.
  • Although the new statute does not take effect until January 1, 2020, the act adopting it specifies that the principles it states are “declaratory of[] existing law,” i.e., set forth in appellate opinions.

►  The practical message:  Appellants looking to minimize their exposure to California’s 10% post-judgment interest rate can now do so by paying non-challenged portions of a judgment while the appeal is pending—so long as the payment is not “the product of a compromise” or part of an agreement not to appeal.