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Ruppersberger v. Ramos

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

March 24, 2017

JOHN SIDNEY RUPPERSBERGER Plaintiff,
v.
ROSARIO MAE RAMOS, Defendant.

          ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S FEDERAL RULE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 60(B) MOTION TO SET ASIDE ORDER ADOPTING MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

          Alan C. Kay Sr., United States District Judge

         For the reasons set forth below, the Court DENIES Defendant Rosario Mae Ramos' Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) Motion to Set Aside Order Adopting Magistrate Judge's Findings and Recommendations.

         BACKGROUND

         On March 8, 2011, Plaintiff John Sidney Ruppersberger (“Plaintiff” or “Ruppersberger”) filed a Complaint in this Court to collect on two promissory notes executed by Defendant Rosario Mae Ramos (“Defendant” or “Ramos”) in favor of Plaintiff in the principal amount of $80, 000. Compl. ¶¶ 9, 14, ECF No. 1.

         On November 4, 2011, the Magistrate Judge held a settlement conference on the record and a settlement was reached. ECF No. 28. Defendant's counsel prepared a Stipulation for Dismissal. ECF No. 34. The Stipulation for Dismissal had an empty signature line for the Court to sign with “so ordered” written above it. ECF No. 34. After the parties filed the stipulation, the Court approved it on January 3, 2012. Stipulation for Dismissal Order, ECF No. 35. “Approved as to Form” was written above the Court's signature. ECF No. 35. The docket entry notes that the stipulation was signed by the Court. ECF No. 35. The stipulation provided, in pertinent part, as follows:

1. The parties hereby agree that the above-captioned action is dismissed and discontinued with prejudice, as to the named defendant, pursuant to Rule 41(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
2. Any and all claims of damages by plaintiff which are the subject of this action or otherwise arise out of any incidents alleged in the Complaint are hereby settled, as against the named defendant, by the terms of the $118, 000 mortgage, promissory note and limited power of attorney (collectively hereinafter the “Settlement Documents”) in full satisfaction of all claims for damages, costs, disbursement and legal fees.
. . . .
4. In consideration for the execution of the Settlement Documents stated in Paragraph #2, above, plaintiff hereby releases the named defendant and her heirs, executors, administrators and assigns, from any and all claims, liabilities and causes of action related to or arising out of any and all of the events set forth in the Complaint in the above-captioned action.
. . . .
6. This Stipulation of Dismissal and any Order entered thereon shall have no precedential value or effect whatsoever and shall not be admissible in any other action or proceeding as evidence or for any other purpose except in an action or proceeding to enforce this Stipulation of Dismissal.

ECF No. 35, at 1-2.

         On February 13, 2015, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Enforce Settlement Agreement. ECF No. 36. At an initial hearing on the Motion, the Magistrate Judge raised a question as to whether the Court had jurisdiction to enforce the settlement. See Pl.'s First Supp. Mem. in Supp. of Pl.'s Mot. to Enforce Settlement Agreement, ECF No. 45, at 2. Plaintiff's Counsel filed a Supplemental Memorandum addressing this issue. Id. at 3-7.

         On July 7, 2015, after holding a hearing, Magistrate Judge Barry M. Kurren issued Findings and Recommendations to Grant Plaintiff's Motion to Enforce Settlement Agreement (“F&R”). ECF No. 51. The F&R found that the Court had “jurisdiction to enforce the settlement agreement, as the Stipulation for Dismissal incorporated the material terms of the settlement, thus granting this Court ancillary jurisdiction to enforce the settlement.” Id. Conclusions of Law (“COL”) ¶ 2 (citing Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co., 511 U.S. 375, 381 (1994)). Additionally, the F&R noted the Court had jurisdiction because ‚Äúthere is an ...


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