Sunday, February 12, 2012

Retaining Jurisdiction over a Settlement Agreement in a Trademark Infringement Case

Vraiment Hospitality, LLC v. Todd Binkowski. No. 8:11-cv-1240-T-33TGW (Mid. Dist. Tampa, Sept. 23, 2011)

Plaintiff Vraiment made a Motion to Enforce Settlement Agreement and Defendants filed a Reply in opposition. The parties had informed the court of the settlement on July 6, 2011m. The court ordered the case dismissed without prejudice, to re-open the action within 60 days, upon cause shown, or to submit to a stipulated form of final judgment. Vraiment so moved within 60 days to enforce the Settlement Agreement. However, the district court stated it is without jurisdiction to enforce the settlement agreement because it did not retain jurisdiction over the settlement agreement and because it did not incorporated the terms of the Settlement Agreement into the order. So enforcement of the Settlement Agreement is in the jurisdiction of the state courts. In its Motion, Vraiment requested to reopen the case for the sole purpose of having an evidentiary hearing on the Defendant’s failure to comply with the terms of the Settlement Agreement. However, the district court construed the Plaintiff’s Motion as one to re-open the case in the alternative. The district court ruled that the Plaintiff’s Motion to Enforce Settlement Agreement is denied. The Clerk was directed to reopen the case. The parties were directed to schedule a continuation of the hearing on the motion for preliminary injunction.

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