Tucker v. Pentrich et al
ORDER Denying Plaintiff's 100 , 108 Motions for Relief From Judgment. Signed by District Judge Nancy G. Edmunds. (KWin)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
Case No. 09-13246
Honorable Nancy G. Edmunds
T. PENTRICH, et al.,
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR RELIEF FROM JUDGMENT [100 &
Pro se Plaintiff L. Tucker has filed multiple motions under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 60(b) seeking the Court to correct or vacate the stipulated order of dismissal
entered in this case on April 9, 2016. (Dkt. 100 & 108). According to Tucker, his consent
to the stipulated order was premised on Defendants’ assurance that he would receive an
award of approximately $7,100 in exchange for executing a general release. In the end,
however, Tucker’s settlement funds were applied to his outstanding prison debt, leaving
him with nothing.
Even if the Court did have jurisdiction to consider Tucker’s motion, which it does not,
his argument lacks merit. Indeed, Tucker appears to be confusing two distinct concepts:
offset under the State Correctional Facility Reimbursement Act, Mich. Comp. Laws §
800.401 et seq, which is excluded under the settlement agreement, and offset for
institutional debt, which is expressly permitted. See (Defs’ Resp. Settlement Agreement,
Ex. A, ¶ 2) (“The Settlement Proceeds may be subject to offset for liens, court costs,
institutional debt . . . .”) (emphasis added); (Settlement Hrg. March 10, 2016, Tr. 3:10-13)
(The settlement proceeds “will first be subject to any payment of the debt on [Tucker’s]
prison account . . . .”) (emphasis added). The funds were applied to Tucker’s prison debt,
not the costs associated with his incarceration.
Nevertheless, the Court lacks jurisdiction to entertain Tucker’s request. Indeed, the
Sixth Circuit, relying on the Supreme Court’s seminal decision in Kokkonen v. Guardian Life
Ins. Co., 511 U.S. 375, 114 S.Ct. 1673, 128 L.Ed.2d 391 (1994), has been clear that “a
federal district court lacks jurisdiction to enforce a settlement agreement terminating
litigation unless the court ‘expressly retained jurisdiction to enforce the settlement
agreement’ or ‘incorporated the terms of the settlement into the dismissal order.’ ” McAlpin
v. Lexington 76 Auto Truck Stop, Inc., 229 F.3d 491, 501 (6th Cir. 2000). Here, similar to
Kokkonen, the dismissal order “did not so much as refer to the settlement agreement.”
Caudill v. North American Media Corp., 200 F.3d 914, 917 (6th Cir. 2000). Nor did the
Court otherwise agree to retain jurisdiction over the settlement agreement. For those
reasons, the Court must, and does, DENY Tucker’s motion. See Kokkonen, 511 U.S. at
378 (“Enforcement of [a] settlement agreement, . . . whether through award of damages or
decree of specific performance, is more than just a continuation or renewal of the
dismissed suit, and hence requires its own basis for jurisdiction.”).
s/Nancy G. Edmunds
Nancy G. Edmunds
United States District Judge
Dated: January 9, 2017
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing document was served upon counsel of record
on January 9, 2017, by electronic and/or ordinary mail.
s/Kelly Winslow for
Carol Bethel, Case Manager
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