Kisling, Nestico & Redick Attorneys Win Appeal Before the Supreme Court of Ohio Clarifying Language Necessary to Retain Jurisdiction to Enforce Settlement After Dismissal

Apr 14, 2015 Injuries    Uncategorized

Posted by: Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC

Kisling, Nestico & Redick (KNR) Attorneys John Reagan, Rob Nestico, and Chris Van Blargan successfully argued before the Ohio Supreme Court in an appeal stemming from a civil suit brought against their client, Karam Properties I & II (Karam).

In Infinite Security Solutions, L.L.C. v. Karam Properties II, Ltd. 2015-Ohio-1101, the lawyers at KNR successfully overturned the trial court ruling which, in the guise of enforcing a settlement agreement after dismissal, decided collateral issues not a part of the litigation in favor of Karam’s insurance carrier, Travelers Indemnity Company. The Supreme Court of Ohio agreed with the Sixth Appellate District in concluding that a trial court must incorporate a settlement, or expressly reserve jurisdiction to enforce it, in the court’s dismissal entry to retain enforcement jurisdiction. Otherwise, a party seeking to enforce a settlement must file a separate action in contract based on the settlement agreement.

The Supreme Court further suggested that courts wishing to clear their dockets after settlement should follow the example of several common pleas courts that have adopted local rules giving litigants a limited time after settlement to submit a proposed dismissal entry as to avoid an involuntary dismissal for want of prosecution.

This decision resolves a longstanding conflict between Ohio’s appellate districts, brings Ohio law in line with the federal courts and the majority of other states, and ensures fair and equal treatment of Ohio litigants attempting to enforce settlements after dismissal. The decision also encourages courts and litigants to work through details of a proposed settlement prior to dismissal as to avoid protracted, post-dismissal enforcement actions.