Motion to enforce a settlement agreement in California

A motion to enforce a settlement agreement in California is the topic of this blog post.

A motion to enforce a settlement agreement in California can be filed by any party that wants to enforce a settlement agreement entered into in any pending litigation in California.

Law authorizing a motion to enforce a settlement agreement in California.

A motion to enforce a settlement agreement in California is authorized by the provisions of Code of Civil Procedure section 664.6 which states that, “If parties to pending litigation stipulate, in a writing signed by the parties outside the presence of the court or orally before the court, for settlement of the case, or part thereof, the court, upon motion, may enter judgment pursuant to the terms of the settlement. If requested by the parties, the court may retain jurisdiction over the parties to enforce the settlement until performance in full of the terms of the settlement.”

Advantages and scope of motion to enforce a settlement agreement in California.

The importance of Code of Civil Procedure section 664.6 is critical for many parties involved in litigation in California.  This is due to the fact that if a settlement is reached in any pending litigation in California in which the parties have signed a written settlement agreement, or have stipulated to a settlement in open court, if one party to the agreement fails to comply with the terms of the settlement agreement, the other party can file a motion to request that the court enter judgment pursuant to the terms of the settlement agreement under Code of Civil Procedure section 664.6.

The scope of Code of Civil Procedure section 664.6 is very broad in that it applies where any settlement is entered into in any pending litigation in California.

Requirements for motion to enforce a settlement agreement in California.

However there are certain requirements that must be met in order to enforce a settlement agreement in California.

The first requirement is that Code of Civil Procedure section 664.6 specifies that any written agreement entered into outside court must be signed by all parties.  This has been interpreted by the California Appellate Courts to mean that the settlement must be signed by the party seeking to enforce the settlement and the party or parties against whom it is to be enforced.

A published decision from a California Court of Appeal has stated that as long as the terms of any settlement are sufficiently definite to enable a court to give it an exact meaning, the court is authorized to enter judgment on the settlement.   That same California Court of Appeal stated in the same case that any settlement agreement that incorporates other documents can be enforced pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 664.6 provided that there was a meeting of the minds regarding the terms of the incorporated documents.

Another published decision from a California Court of Appeal stated that any disputes regarding the terms of the settlement itself may be adjudicated on a Code of Civil Procedure section 664.6 motion on the basis of declarations or evidence.

Other published decisions from the California Courts of Appeal have stated that the trial judge may receive oral testimony in ruling on a motion filed under Code of Civil Procedure section 664.6, the trial judge may receive oral testimony, documentary testimony or declarations, and that Code of Civil Procedure section 664.6 also authorizes the judge that is hearing the motion to determine any factual issues that are disputed that have arisen regarding the settlement agreement.

A very important advantage of a motion to enforce a settlement agreement in California is that in the event that the terms of the settlement agreement provide that any party seeking to enforce the terms of the settlement agreement who prevails is entitled to attorney fees and costs, the prevailing party on any motion to enforce the settlement agreement is entitled to recover their attorney fees and costs incurred in bringing or defending the motion.

The calculable amount of time spent includes all hours incurred working compensable services, including, but not limited to, investigation, evaluation of claims, drafting and revising pleadings (including the motion for attorney’s fees), research and briefing of factual and legal issues, and conferring with clients and/or other counsel.

One California Court of Appeal ruled in a published decision that the submission of the information contained in the attorney’s declaration constituted prima facie evidence that the costs, expenses, fees and services listed therein were necessarily incurred.

The California Supreme Court has stated in at least two published cases that the hourly rate at which Plaintiff’s attorney is entitled to be compensated is the reasonable market value of their service in the community.

If you entered into a settlement agreement in pending litigation in California and the other party is not complying with the terms of the settlement you should contact an experienced civil litigation attorney as soon as possible.

Schedule a free consultation today.

Call (800) 691-2721 and let’s talk about your options.

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR NATHAN MUBASHER:

Law Offices of Nathan Mubasher
2621 Green River Rd, Ste 105 PMB 403
Corona, CA 92882
tel 1-800-691-2721 | fax 1-310-356-3660
www.mubasherlaw.com

DISCLAIMER:

Thank you for reading. I hope I could have been educational as I endeavor to provide my knowledge as a free public service. Please note that all the materials and information on this blog are general analyses made available for the public’s general informational purposes only. These analyses are not in any way intended to serve as specific legal advice to be applied in your particular situation. Although I am an attorney, absent a signed retention and engagement letter, I am not your attorney. There are no exceptions to this rule. Moreover, you shall not rely on the information I am providing you, as it is only for your general knowledge and educational purposes, since this information would likely change based on any additional facts. Thus the transmission and receipt of information on this blog by anyone does not form or constitute an attorney-client relationship. My knowledge of laws is limited to California. Anyone receiving any information on this blog should not act upon the information provided without first obtaining the services of professional legal counsel licensed in their respective jurisdiction. Best of luck.

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Author: nathanmubasher

Attorney Nathan Mubasher earned a post-doctorate LL.M. in International Financial Transactions with emphasis on Money Laundering and Compliance at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, a J.D. at American College of Law, and his B.A. at University of California, Riverside. He is a member of the State Bar of California and is admitted to practice before all state and federal courts in California. He is also an active member of the American Health Lawyers Association and the California Society for Healthcare Attorneys. He has performed over 1,000 mediations and has Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) training from the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).

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