United States District Court, D. Nevada
STEVEN A. SAMET, Plaintiff,
BAYVIEW LOAN SERVICING, LLC, et al., Defendants.
NAVARRO, DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is Plaintiff Steven A. Samet's
(“Plaintiff's”) Motion to Dismiss, (ECF No.
40). Defendant Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC
(“Defendant”) filed a Response, (ECF No. 42),
Plaintiff filed a Reply, (ECF No. 45).
pending before the Court is Defendant's Motion to Enforce
Settlement, (ECF No. 43). Plaintiff filed a Response, (ECF
No. 51),  and Defendant filed a Reply, (ECF No. 53).
pending before the Court is Defendant's Motion for
Sanctions, (ECF No. 44). Plaintiff filed a Response, (ECF No.
52), and Defendant filed a Reply, (ECF No. 53).
reasons discussed below, the Court GRANTS
Defendant's Motion to Enforce Settlement and
Plaintiff's Motion to Dismiss. Defendant's Motion for
Sanctions is DENIED.
case arises from Defendant allegedly wrongfully reporting
Plaintiff's deed of trust debt to credit reporting
agencies in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15
U.S.C. § 1681 et seq. (See generally
Compl., ECF No. 1). Plaintiff alleges that he surrendered his
real property located at 2331 Peaceful Sky Drive, Henderson,
NV 89044 (“the Property”) to BAC Home Loans
Servicing, LLC (“BAC”) in 2014 pursuant to the
Confirmation Order in his bankruptcy case. (Id.
¶ 19). Defendant, as BAC's successor in interest,
reported an outstanding debt owed on the deed of trust
despite the earlier Confirmation Order allegedly discharging
the debt. (Id. ¶¶ 20, 23-24, 39).
Plaintiff alleges that, in so doing, Defendant violated the
Fair Credit Reporting Act. (Id. 106-08).
September 12, 2018, Plaintiff filed a Notice of Settlement in
this case stating that the parties “have reached a
tentative settlement.” (Notice of Settlement 1:24-25,
ECF No. 35). Defendant alleges that the parties reached a
settlement agreement under which Plaintiff agreed not to
contest foreclosure on the Property. (Def.'s Resp. to
Mot. to Dismiss (“Def.'s Resp.”) 3:3-16, ECF
No. 42). After the purported settlement, Defendant's
counsel discovered that Plaintiff applied for a loan
modification that it argues was inconsistent with the
settlement agreement. (Emails re: Application for Loan
Modification (“Loan Emails”) at 1, Ex. B to Mot.
Enforce Settlement (“MES”), ECF No. 43-2).
Plaintiff also filed a Petition for Foreclosure Mediation
Assistance in state court on October 19, 2018, seeking an
alternative to foreclosure of the Property, and the state
court set a mediation for March 5, 2019. (MES at 4:1-5)
(See also Petition for Foreclosure Mediation
Assistance, Ex. C. to Def.'s Resp., ECF No. 42-3). On
March 11, 2019, after the mediation, Plaintiff filed a Motion
to Dismiss Defendant with prejudice, (ECF No. 40). Defendant
opposes the Motion,  and it filed a Motion to Enforce
Settlement and a Motion for Sanctions, (ECF Nos. 42-44).
Motion to Enforce Settlement
is well settled that a district court has the equitable power
to enforce summarily an agreement to settle a case pending
before it. However, the district court may enforce only
complete settlement agreements.” Callie v.
Near, 829 F.2d 888, 890 (9th Cir. 1987) (citations
omitted). “Whether the parties intended only
to be bound upon the execution of a written, signed agreement
is a factual issue.” Id. at 890-91. “In
addition to the intent of the parties to bind themselves, the
formation of a settlement contract requires agreement on its
material terms.” Id. at 891.
“Because a settlement agreement is a contract, its
construction and enforcement are governed by principles of
contract law.” May v. Anderson, 119 P.3d 1254,
1257 (Nev. 2005) (footnote omitted).
Nevada law, “[b]asic contract principles require, for
an enforceable contract, an offer and acceptance, meeting of
the minds, and consideration.” Id. (footnote
omitted). “A valid contract cannot exist when material
terms are lacking or are insufficiently certain and
definite.” Id. (footnote omitted). “A
contract can be formed, however, when the parties have agreed
to the material terms, even though the contract's exact
language is not finalized until later.” Id.
(footnote omitted). Ordinarily, “[w]here a complete
contract was made orally, the fact that it was expected that
a written contract would afterwards be signed, embodying the
terms of the oral contract, does not prevent the oral
contract from taking effect.” Micheletti v.
Fugitt, 134 P.2d 99, 104 (Nev. 1943).
the case of a settlement agreement, a court cannot compel
compliance when material terms remain uncertain.”
May, 119 P.3d at 1257 (footnote omitted). “The
court must be able to ascertain what is required of the
respective parties.” Id. (footnote omitted).
“[T]he question of whether a contract exists is one of
fact.” Id. A settlement contract is formed
“when the parties have agreed to its material
terms;” accordingly, a party's refusal to later
execute a written settlement agreement containing the agreed
upon terms “does not render the settlement agreement
invalid.” Id. at 1256.