Chicago, IL asked in Admiralty / Maritime, Civil Litigation and Civil Rights for Michigan

Q: Is there a federal rule or code which prevents altering a settlement agreement that was put on record?

I entered into a settlement agreement, placed on record with a US magistrate judge. The government has written up a proposed stipulation. It has several pages of legal jargon and agreements that are not on record, and I do not agree to. I refuse to sign. He filed a motion to enforce the settlement, I opposed, the judge ruled in his favor to enforce the settlement, yet is ordering me to sign his proposed stipulation. She is not ordering what is simply on the record. I need to know where I can find a case, a rule, or a code which differentiates between a proposed settlement and the actual settlement on record. Or that I cannot be forced to sign something I do not agree to. She has threatened contempt and sanctions if I do not sign his proposed agreement, even though she is capable of enforcing the settlement on record, she will not do so. They need my signature on the document for some reason!

1 Lawyer Answer
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: The issue is whether what was placed on the record and presented in writing is substantively the same. Often times, what is placed on the record is material terms of the agreement; the written agreement will contain the additional "legalise" that make it all work. Unless you can show a material difference, I think the magistrate answered your question: sign or risk sanctions.

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