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The trial court did not err in a breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing and
unfair and deceptive trade practices case by allowing a motion in the cause filed by defendant to
declare that the judgment issued in this action was satisfied in full, and by determining that
plaintiffs were not entitled to postjudgment interest from 2 December through 16 December
2005, because: (1) N.C.G.S. § 1-239 provides that to satisfy a judgment, partial payments may be
tendered and such payments may be made to either the clerk of court or the judgment creditor;
(2) tender of partial payment stops the accrual on all but the unpaid portion of the judgment; (3)
defendant attempted to tender payment in satisfaction of a judgment and did so to multiple
payees, one of whom was unwilling to endorse such payment; (4) the check for $3,960,960.19,
which represented the original judgment amount plus 8% interest, was a partial payment in
satisfaction of the judgment owed to plaintiffs; and (5) two weeks later, defendant tendered a
check for $3,961,675.19 (the amount owed on 2 December 2005 plus the $715 that was not
included in the 2 December 2005 check).
Herring, McBennett, Mills & Finkelstein, P.L.L.C., by Mark A.
Finkelstein and J. Aldean Webster, III, for plaintiffs.
Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge & Rice, P.L.L.C., by Pressly M. Millen, for defendants.
WMS, Inc. and Cellular Plus of North Carolina, Inc. (Cellular Plus-plaintiffs) appeal from an order entered 22 February 2006 allowing a motion in the cause filed by Alltel Communications, Inc. (defendant). The order declare[d] that the judgment issued in this action is satisfied in full and the Clerk of Superior Court is directed to mark such judgment satisfied in full. Specifically,this appeal addresses whether plaintiffs were owed post-judgment interest. We determine they were not.
On 2 December 2005 defendant tendered a check to plaintiffs as payment for the judgment against defendant for breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing and for unfair and deceptive trade practices. The 2 December 2005 check was for a total of $3,960,960.19, which represented the original judgment amount plus 8% interest. This check stated that it was in full and final payment of such judgment. However, the check was made jointly payable to multiple payees, including WMS, Inc. who refused to endorse the check because of other pending litigation with defendant. On 12 December 2005, plaintiffs informed defendant that plaintiffs would not endorse the check because it was $715.00 less than full payment on the amount of the total judgment and the check was made jointly payable to all plaintiffs. Plaintiffs returned this check to defendant and requested that another check be issued. On 16 December 2005, defendant issued a second check, made payable to the Wake County Clerk of Superior Court, for $3,961,675.19 (the amount owed on 2 December 2005 plus the $715 that was not included in the 2 December 2005 check). On 22 December 2005, defendant filed a motion in the cause and requested that the trial court declare and mark the judgment as being satisfied in full as a result of the tender of the 16 December 2005 check. The trial court allowed defendant's motion. Plaintiffs appeal.
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