Jones et al v. West Plains Bank & Trust Company et al
ORDER denying 268 joint motion to dismiss. Signed by Judge Susan Webber Wright on 9/27/2017. (cmn)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
DAVID LYNN JONES
WEST PLAINS BANK AND TRUST
CASE NO. 1:12CV00052 SWW
Before the Court is a joint motion [ECF No. 268] by Plaintiff David Lynn Jones
(“Jones”) and Defendant West Plains Bank (“West Plains”), asking the Court to dismiss
this case with prejudice and to retain jurisdiction to enforce the parties’ settlement
agreement. After careful consideration, and for reasons that follow, the motion is denied.
Jones brought this action against West Plains and Roger Thompson, charging
copyright infringement and conversion. The Court granted Defendants’ motion to
dismiss Jones’s copyright claims, and the conversion claims proceeded to trial. At the
conclusion of day two of the trial, the Court dismissed, as a matter of law and with the
agreement of the parties, Jones’s claim against Thompson. On March 10, 2017, the jury
returned a verdict in Jones’s favor on his conversion claim against West Plains, awarding
him $600,000 in compensatory damages and $1,500,000 in punitive damages. On March
15, 2017, the Court entered a final judgment on the jury verdict, and on August 14, 2017,
the Court entered an order denying West Plains’s post judgment motions.
In support of their present motion, the parties state that they have settled all
matters in this case, and they ask the Court to dismiss the case with prejudice and retain
jurisdiction for the purpose of enforcing the settlement agreement. This Court lacks the
inherent power to enforce the parties’ settlement agreement. Unless an agreement
settling a case is made part of a dismissal order, either by a provision retaining
jurisdiction to enforce the agreement or by incorporating the terms of the agreement into
the order, “enforcement of the settlement agreement is for state courts, unless there is
some independent basis for federal jurisdiction.” Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co.,
511 U.S. 375, 381, 14 S. Ct. 1673, 1677 (1994). Here, the Court lacks jurisdiction to
enforce the parties’ post-judgment settlement agreement.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the joint motion [ECF No 268] is DENIED.
IT IS SO ORDERED THIS 27TH DAY OF SEPTEMBER, 2017.
/s/Susan Webber Wright
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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