and submitted April 5, 2018
Jackson County Circuit Court 15CV09360 Ronald D. Grensky,
Michael E. Rose argued the cause for appellant. With him on
the briefs was Creighton & Rose, P. C.
E. Kellerman argued the cause for respondent. On the brief
was Melisa A. Button.
Hadlock, Presiding Judge, and DeHoog, Judge, and Aoyagi,
appeals from a stipulated judgment entered pursuant to an
oral settlement agreement read into the record in open court.
The trial court entered the judgment on plaintiffs'
motion, over defendant's objection to several of its
specifc terms. Defendant appeals, asserting that the trial
court erred in entering a stipulated judgment that contains
terms materially different than those to which she agreed in
open court. Held: The trial court erred in entering
a stipulated judgment under ORCP 67 F that included terms
that were materially different than those to which defendant
assented in open court.
Or. 302] AOYAGI, J.
civil action, the parties reached a settlement agreement, the
terms of which they read into the record in open court, and
the trial court later entered a judgment based on that
settlement. Defendant objected to the form of the judgment as
containing terms materially different from the settlement
agreement. Defendant appeals the judgment. For the reasons
that follow, we reverse and remand.
relevant facts are undisputed and largely procedural.
Plaintiff Brim is an individual residing in Jackson County.
The other plaintiffs are corporations with which Brim is
affiliated. Defendant is an individual residing in Alaska. In
connection with a personal dispute, defendant began making
negative statements about plaintiffs on the internet and
elsewhere. Plaintiffs brought this action against defendant
for defamation, intentional interference with economic
relations, and false light. Plaintiffs sought both damages
and injunctive relief.
2015, defendant stipulated to entry of a preliminary
injunction that enjoined her from making any new
communications to third parties about plaintiffs and from
publishing any statements about plaintiffs on the internet,
via email, or otherwise. A few months later, plaintiffs filed
a contempt action against defendant, seeking to have her held
in contempt for violating the preliminary
injunction.In December 2015, the parties reached an
oral settlement agreement to resolve both this action and the
contempt matter. They read the terms of their oral agreement
into the record at a hearing in the contempt action. At the
time, they intended to reduce their agreement to writing and
offer a proposed judgment to the court in the near future.
parties were unable, however, to agree on the form of a
written settlement agreement. Meanwhile, defendant engaged in
conduct that plaintiffs viewed as violating the oral
settlement agreement. Plaintiffs took two actions to address
defendant's alleged violation of the oral settlement [292
Or. 303] agreement. First, plaintiffs sought and obtained a
contempt judgment in the contempt action, holding defendant
in contempt for "willfully failing to comply with the
Settlement Agreement." Air Rescue Systems Corp. v.
Lewis, 292 Or.App. 294, ___, ___P.3d___(2018) (reversing
contempt judgment). Second, plaintiffs sought and obtained a
general judgment in this action. In their motion for entry of
that judgment, plaintiffs argued that the parties'
agreement had resolved all disputes between them, yet
defendant "refuses to consummate the transactions agreed
to by the settlement on the record." Plaintiffs offered
to the court a proposed judgment that they described as
"fully consistent" with the parties' settlement
agreement. It included as an attachment a copy of an unsigned
draft written settlement agreement. Defendant filed written
objections to the proposed form of judgment. Defendant
asserted that the proposed judgment and attached unsigned
agreement "depart in material ways from the terms the
parties agreed to."
trial court held a hearing on plaintiffs' motion in March
2016. The court remarked that, given defendant's
"five pages of objections, " it appeared that the
parties did not have a settlement after all, had never
reached a meeting of the minds, and should go to trial. The
court stated that it would not go through each of
defendant's objections to "try to distinguish
between fallacious arguments or not fallacious
arguments." In lieu of "sorting out
[defendant's] objections to judgment, " the court
asked plaintiffs' counsel about the possibility of