United States District Court, D. Delaware
Frederick, WiUiamstown, New Jersey, Pro Se Plaintiff.
Avantix Laboratories, Inc., Linyee Shum, and TDM
Pharmaceutical Research, LLC, Newark, Delaware. Pro Se
U.S. District Judge.
Lynn Frederick ("Plaintiff), who was previously
represented by counsel, filed this employment discrimination
action in 2007. She now proceeds pro se. The Court
has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Presently
before the Court is Plaintiffs unopposed request to enforce
judgment, which is construed as a motion to enforce judgment.
October 13, 2011, the Court was advised that the parties had
reached a settlement in this matter. (See D.I. 99)
The Court entered a stipulation and order of dismissal on
October 14, 2011, which states, "[t]he parties by and
through underlying counsel ¶¶ stipulate to the
dismissal with prejudice of this civil action with each party
to bear their own fees and costs pursuant to the settlement
stipulations and releases executed by the parties on or
before July 1, 2011." (D.I. 100) Plaintiff is referred
to as Releasor in the release and settlement agreement and
Releasees include Avantix Laboratories, Inc.
("Avantix"), Linyee Shum ("Shum"), Daphne
Shum ("D. Shum"), and TDM Pharmaceutical Research
LLC ("TDM Pharmaceutical"). Releasees/Defendants
were represented by counsel.
confidential release and settlement agreement provides for a
$60,000 payment, as follows:
Payment of $25,000 within thirty days of receipt of the fully
executed Settlement Agreement.... Payment of $35,000 in
monthly installments of $600.00 payable to [Plaintiff],
commencing sixty days after receipt of the fully executed
Settlement Agreement. The monthly installments shall be paid
on the first of each month for twenty four months, except
that a balloon payment of $8,400.00 shall be paid on the
12th month and $13,400 on the 24th
month. Interest shall not accumulate during the payment
period.....Plaintiff has agreed to accept less than $60,000
in full settlement of this matter under certain
circumstances. If the aggregate amount of payments made on or
before December 31, 2011 is $50,000, plaintiff shall accept
same in full settlement of all claims and Plaintiff waives
any claim to additional payment. If the aggregate amount of
payments made on or before December 31, 2012 is $55,000,
plaintiff shall accept same in full settlement of all claims
and Plaintiff waives any claim to additional payment.
(D.I. 114 at Ex. A at ¶ 3)
made the initial $25,000.00 payment and made fairly regular
monthly payments of $600.00 from October 1, 2011 through May
1, 2014, totaling $42,400.00. (D.I. 114 at Ex. C) Defendants
did not make either balloon payment. (D.I. 110 at ¶ 7)
No payments have been made since May 2014. (D.I. 114 at Ex.
C) In January 2015, Plaintiff sent letters to Shum and TDM
Pharmaceutical at home and business addresses. (D.I. 110 at
¶ 10) The letter to Shum's home address was returned
as "unclaimed unable to forward." (D.I. 114 at Ex.
D) Plaintiff received a signed receipt of delivery from TDM
Pharmaceutical. (D.I. 110 at ¶ 10) Plaintiffs letter to
TDM Pharmaceutical asked for a written response no later than
February 15, 2015. (Id. at ¶ 12) TDM
Pharmaceutical did not respond to the letter.
filed her first motion to enforce judgment on June 24, 2015.
(D.I. 101) On October 20, 2015, the Court ordered the parties
to submit a joint status report. (D.I. 103) Thereafter, the
Court was advised by Plaintiffs former attorney and the
former attorney for Defendants Avantix and Linyee Shum
("Shum") that they no longer represented Plaintiff
and Defendants. (D.I. 104, 105) Former defense counsel
advised the Court that, "[a]s a courtesy, our office has
forwarded Plaintiffs motion to enforce judgment to Avantix as
well as notified Avantix's last known principal, Mr. Shum
of the status report date and advised that if they intend to
oppose Plaintiffs motion that they seek representation."
(D.I .105) Following Plaintiffs March 2016 correspondence
with the Court regarding the status of her motion, the Court
denied the motion to enforce judgment without prejudice to
renew subject to proper service on Defendants at their last
known addresses. (D.I. 106, 108) Plaintiff filed a renewed
motion to enforce judgment on August 17, 2016, and service
was effected upon Shum as the owner of TDM Pharmaceutical
Research. (See D.I. 110, 111) To date, Defendants
have not responded to Plaintiffs motion.
motion is titled as a motion to enforce judgment but it
appears that she seeks to enforce the settlement agreement
entered into by the parties. A district court has
jurisdiction to enforce a settlement agreement entered into
by litigants in a case pending before it. See Leonard p.
University of Delaware,204 F. Supp. 2d 784, 786 (D.
Del. 2002). "An agreement to settle a lawsuit,
voluntarily entered into, is binding upon the parties,
whether or not made in the presence of the court, and even in
the absence of a writing." Green p. John H. Lewis
& Co.,436 F.2d 389, 390 (3d Cir. 1970). The
validity of settlement ...