Motion to enforce settlement agreement in California

Filing a motion to enforce a settlement agreement in California pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure Section 664.6 is the topic of this blog post.

A motion to enforce a settlement agreement is filed by a party seeking to enforce a settlement agreement entered into in any pending litigation in California.

Code of Civil Procedure § 664.6 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.”

This means that if a settlement is reached in a pending civil case in California, and the parties have signed a written settlement agreement, or have stipulated to a settlement in open court, and one party does not 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 § 664.6.

The procedure provided by Section 664.6 applies where settlement is reached in pending litigation. The statute states that any written agreement outside court must be signed by the parties. This has been interpreted by the Courts to mean that the settlement must be signed by the party seeking to enforce the settlement, and the party against whom it is to be enforced.

So long as the terms of the settlement are sufficiently definite to enable the courts to give it an exact meaning, the court is authorized to enter judgment on the settlement. A settlement agreement that incorporates other documents can be enforced pursuant to Section 664.6, if there was a meeting of the minds regarding the terms of the incorporated documents.

Moreover, disputes regarding the terms of the settlement itself may be adjudicated on a section 664.6 motion on the basis of declarations or evidence. And in a ruling on a motion under section 664.6, the trial judge may receive oral testimony, documentary testimony or declarations.

And the judge hearing the motion is empowered to determine disputed factual issues that have arisen regarding the settlement agreement. If 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 settlement agreement is entitled to recover their attorney fees and costs incurred in bringing or defending the motion.

Attorneys or parties in California who would like to view a portion of a sample motion to enforce settlement agreement can view below a portion of a sample motion sold by the author complete with a memorandum of points and authorities with full citations to case and statutory authority, and a sample declaration.

The author of this blog post, Stan Burman, is a freelance paralegal who has worked in California and Federal litigation since 1995. Visit the author’s website at: http://www.legaldocspro.net

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Copyright 2012 Stan Burman. All rights reserved.

DISCLAIMER:

Please note that the author of this blog post, Stan Burman is NOT an attorney and as such is unable to provide any specific legal advice. The author is NOT engaged in providing any legal, financial, or other professional services, and any information contained in this blog post is NOT intended to constitute legal advice.

These materials and information contained in this blog post have been prepared by Stan Burman for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. Transmission of the information contained in this blog post is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, any business relationship between the author and any readers. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.

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About Stan Burman

Freelance paralegal working in California and Federal litigation since 1995.
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