United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
L.A. INSURANCE AGENCY FRANCHISING, LLC, Plaintiff,
SULEIMAN KUTOB, et al., Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO
ENFORCE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT 
HONORABLE STEPHEN J. MURPHY, III JUDGE
March 31, 2019, the Court dismissed the case without
prejudice because the Court-appointed mediator advised that
the parties had settled, but then they failed to timely
submit documentation. ECF 41. The Court required the parties
to submit a proposed, stipulated order of dismissal with
prejudice by April 10, 2019. Id. at 1149. The
parties failed to comply with the court-imposed deadline and
did not submit the required documentation.
on May 24, 2019, Defendants filed a motion to enforce the
settlement agreement. ECF 43. Plaintiff's response was
due on Friday, June 7, 2019. See E.D. Mich. LR 7.1(e)(2)
(defining nondispositive motions and providing 14 days for a
response). Plaintiff did not file a response. Instead, at 4
p.m. on Friday, June 7, the parties submitted a proposed,
stipulated order to extend the time for Plaintiff to respond.
By filing a late request, the parties ignored the Court's
Practice Guidelines. See Practice Guidelines for Judge
Stephen J. Murphy, III, (notifying parties that it takes one
to two days to review and approve proposed, stipulated
The Court did not enter the proposed, stipulated order, but
Plaintiff nevertheless filed its tardy response. See ECF 44
(Plaintiff's response filed June 10, 2019). The parties
continue to disregard Court-ordered deadlines and deadlines
mandated by the Local Rules. Any future noncompliance with
Court orders, Local Rules, or other deadlines will result in
the Court sanctioning the noncompliant party.
Court has reviewed the briefs and finds that a hearing is
unnecessary. E.D. Mich. LR 7.1(f). For the reasons below, the
Court will grant Defendants' motion.
Court previously detailed the nature of the parties'
underlying legal dispute. See ECF 33, PgID 1119-21. The Court
adopts the description here. Defendants-individuals and the
insurance agencies they operate-are franchisees of Plaintiff,
L.A. Insurance Franchising Agency.
current dispute involves execution of the parties'
Settlement Agreement. Defendants allege that Plaintiff failed
to uphold the Settlement Agreement. The Settlement Agreement
included terms governing Plaintiff's release of certain
commissions earned by Defendants but withheld by Plaintiff
during the legal dispute ("Held Commissions").
Plaintiff distributed 40% of the Held Commissions. Defendants
maintain that Plaintiff did not release the remaining 60% of
Held Commissions owed to them. ECF 43, PgID 1161. Defendants
also allege that Plaintiff did not send letters to Defendant
Suleiman Kutob's insurance carrier clients as required.
Id. Plaintiff responds that Defendants failed to
submit fully executed franchise agreements because the lease
addendums lacked the agencies' landlords' signatures.
ECF 44, PgID 1282. Plaintiff also avers that Defendants did
not install appropriate signage. Id. at 1283.
Plaintiff argues that Defendants' "failure to
provide Plaintiff with those addendums" and
"failure to install approved signage" are
"material breach[es] of the settlement agreement."
Id. at 1279.
possess "inherent authority to enforce settlement
agreements between parties before it." U.S. Olympic
Comm. v. David Shoe Co., 835 F.2d 880, at *2 (6th Cir.
1987) (Table); see also Bamerilease Capital Corp. v.
Nearburg, 958 F.2d 150, 152 (6th Cir. 1992) (citation
omitted). If the parties dispute the settlement
agreement's terms or validity, the Court ordinarily must
conduct an evidentiary hearing. Kukla v. Nat'l
Distillers Prods. Co., 483 F.2d 619, 621-22 (6th Cir.
1973) (citation omitted). If, however, an agreement is clear
and unambiguous, or no issues of fact are present, no
evidentiary hearing is required. Aro Corp. v. Allied
Witan Co., 531 F.2d 1368, 1372 (6th Cir. 1976). Thus,
"summary enforcement of a settlement agreement has been
deemed appropriate [when] no substantial dispute exists
regarding the entry into and terms of an agreement."
RE/MAX Int'l, Inc. v. Realty One, Inc., 271 F.3d
633, 646 (6th Cir. 2001) (citing Kukla, 483 F.2d at
621). The Court "enforce[s] the settlement as agreed to
by the parties and is not permitted to alter the terms of the
agreement." Brock v. Scheuner Corp., 841 F.2d
151, 154 (6th Cir. 1988) (citation omitted).
Settlement Agreement's Terms
Settlement Agreement required Plaintiff to release 40% of
Defendants' Held Commissions within seven days of receipt
of the Settlement Agreement and the new franchise agreements,
or "receipt of the Carrier Verifications,"
whichever occurred later. ECF 43-2, PgID 1227. Plaintiff
released the funds.
release of the remaining 60% of Defendants' Held
Commissions was conditioned on: (1) the receipt of the
Settlement Agreement and the new franchise agreements; (2)
the "receipt of the Carrier Verifications"; and (3)
Plaintiff's "written approval of all L.A. Insurance
signage to be installed at the applicable [Defendant]
Agencies in accordance with the specifications provided"
on February 4, 2019. ECF 43-2, PgID 1227. Plaintiff
"agree[d] to provide written notice to the applicable
[Defendant] Agency whether it approves of the signage within
seven (7) days of the agency providing written notice to
[Plaintiff] that it believes the signage has been
installed" as required. Id. n.2. The funds
needed to be released "within seven (7) days" of
the completion of the three conditions. Id.
Plaintiff also agreed "to provide written notice to the
carriers with whom the [Defendant] Agencies have done or do
business" in the format agreed on by the parties. ECF
43-2, PgID 1227.
the Settlement Agreement stated that, "[i]n the event of
a breach or default, threatened breach or default, or claimed
breach or default of this Agreement by any of the
[P]arties," and a subsequent court proceeding to enforce
the Settlement Agreement, "the prevailing Party shall
recover against the opposing Party all of its reasonable