United States District Court, D. Nevada
JAYNE G. SAMET, Plaintiff,
BAYVIEW LOAN SERVICING, LLC, et al., Defendants.
M. NAVARRO, DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is Plaintiff Jayne Samet's
(“Plaintiff's”) Motion to Dismiss, (ECF No.
36). Defendant Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC
(“Defendant”) filed a Response, (ECF No. 41), and
Plaintiff filed a Reply, (ECF No. 44).
pending before the Court are Defendant's Motion to
Enforcement Settlement, (ECF No. 42), and Motion for
Sanctions, (ECF No. 43). Plaintiff filed Responses, (ECF Nos.
48, 49), and Defendant filed a Reply, (ECF No. 51).
reasons discussed below, the Court GRANTS in
part Plaintiff's Motion to Dismiss,
GRANTS Defendant's Motion to Enforce
Settlement, and DENIES Defendant's
Motion for Sanctions.
filed this action on May 18, 2018, alleging Defendant
inaccurately informed credit reporting agencies that
Plaintiff owed a “past due” debt of over $100,
000 based on a loan to purchase real property located at 2331
Peaceful Sky Drive, Henderson, NV 89044 (the
“Property”). (Compl. ¶¶ 19, 39-61, ECF
No. 1). To support Plaintiff's contention that she does
not owe any past-due debt related to the Property, she
alleges that she surrendered her Property to BAC Home Loans
Servicing, LLC (“BAC”) in 2014 pursuant to a
Confirmation Order in bankruptcy court, thereby discharging
the debt. (Id. ¶ 19). Defendant later became
BAC's successor in interest. (Id. ¶¶
19-20). Despite the earlier Confirmation Order, Plaintiff
contends that Defendant continued to report the debt on the
Property as past-due and owing. (Id. ¶¶
20, 23-24, 39). Plaintiff thus argues that Defendant's
inaccurate reporting of debt violated the Fair Credit
Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681. et seq.
(Id. ¶¶ 73-76).
September 12, 2018, Plaintiff filed a Notice of Settlement in
this case stating that the parties “have reached a
tentative settlement.” (Not. Settlement 1:24-26, ECF
No. 27). Defendant alleges that, as part of the settlement
agreement, Plaintiff agreed to not contest foreclosure on the
Property. (Def.'s Resp. to Mot. to Dismiss
(“Def.'s Resp.”) 3:1-4, ECF No. 41). However,
Defendant's counsel later discovered that Plaintiff
applied for a modification of her loan on the Property.
(Id. 3:15-22); (Emails re: Application for Loan
Modification (“Loan Emails”) at 1, Ex. B to Mot.
Enforce Settlement (“MES”), ECF No. 42-2).
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 3:23-4:1-5);
(see also Pet. Foreclosure Mediation Assistance, Ex.
C. to MES., ECF No. 42-3).
March 11, 2019, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Dismiss Defendant
with prejudice, (ECF No. 36). Defendant opposes the Motion
only to the extent that dismissal would occur without
“holding [Plaintiff] to the terms of the settlement
agreement.” (Resp. 2:16-19, ECF No. 41). Defendant thus
seeks enforcement of the settlement alongside sanctions
against Plaintiff. (MES, ECF Nos. 42); (Mot. Sanctions, ECF
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.