United States District Court, D. Hawaii
ORDER OVERRULING PLAINTIFF'S OBJECTIONS AND
ADOPTING THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S FINDINGS AND
RECOMMENDATIONS TO ENFORCE SETTLEMENT
A. OTAKE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
September 25, 2019, Magistrate Judge Rom Trader issued a
Findings and Recommendations to Grant Defendants' Motion
to Enforce Settlement (“F&R”). ECF No. 126.
Plaintiff Mario Cooper (“Plaintiff”) filed
Objections to the Magistrate Judge's Findings and
Recommendations (“Objections”) on October 4,
2019. ECF No. 127. For the reasons set forth below, the Court
OVERRULES the Objections and ADOPTS the F&R.
25, 2019, Magistrate Judge Trader held a settlement
conference, at which the parties reached a settlement that
they placed on the record. ECF No. 107. During the settlement
on the record, Magistrate Judge Trader stated the following
material terms: (1) an $80, 000 payment to Plaintiff; (2) a
non-disparagement provision, which would require the
Department of Taxation and Department of Human Resources to
respond in a neutral manner to any inquiries concerning
Plaintiff's prior employment with the Department of
Taxation, and prohibit any suggestion or confirmation
Plaintiff's termination; (3) Plaintiff's preclusion
from reapplying for employment with the Department of
Taxation or Department of Human Resources but not other
positions in state government or elsewhere; (4) dismissal of
this and all related cases, with the exception of
Plaintiff's worker's compensation case; (5) each
party to bear its own fees and costs. ECF No. 111 at 2-4.
Magistrate Judge Trader also explained that he planned to
retain jurisdiction for the limited purpose of resolving any
disputes relating to the enforcement of the settlement.
Id. at 4:4-8.
Plaintiff and defense counsel assented to these terms.
Id. at 4-5. When Magistrate Judge Trader asked
Plaintiff if the terms were satisfactory to him, Plaintiff
responded in the affirmative. Id. at 4:22-25. In a
subsequent inquiry, Magistrate Judge Trader confirmed that
Plaintiff understood and was agreeable to the settlement
THE COURT: Okay. Now, with that, Mr. Cooper, have you
understood all of the terms that the Court just stated?
MR. COOPER: Yes, I have.
THE COURT: And is that your full and complete understanding
of the terms that you have agreed to in exchange for
resolution of this case and the other related cases, sir?
MR. COOPER: Yes.
THE COURT: All right. And do you consent or agree to resolve
this case and the other cases consistent with those terms?
MR. COOPER: I agree.
Id. at 5:10-20.
10, 2019, Defendants filed a Motion to Enforce Settlement.
ECF No. 109. Plaintiff opposed the motion on the following
grounds: (1) the proposed settlement agreement does not meet
the Lynn's Food Store, Inc. v. United States,
679 F.2d 1350 (11th Cir. 1982) standard because it is not a
fair and reasonable compromise over the issue of damages; (2)
he could not waive his right to backpay and liquidated
damages because Defendants did not dispute that they owed him
the wages; (3) an oral agreement is not a stipulated judgment
under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and
Plaintiff objects to the release; and (4) defense counsel did
not have settlement authority. ECF No. 112.
Judge Trader issued his F&R following a hearing on the
motion. He determined that the parties entered into a valid
and binding settlement agreement. ECF No. 126 at 5-7. He also
found that the settlement of Plaintiff's FLSA claim was a