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Perez v. Woodland Trace Apartment, LLC

United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, St Joseph Division

February 26, 2019

CHIARA PEREZ, Plaintiff,
v.
WOODLAND TRACE APARTMENTS, LLC, et al. Defendants.

          ORDER

          NANETTE K. LAUGHREY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Defendants Cornerstone Property Investments, LLC, Cornerstone Property Investments, LLC, Woodland Trace, LLC, and Randall Tate (collectively, “Cornerstone”) move to enforce a settlement agreement, seek leave to interplead the settlement funds, and seek a protective order. Doc. 23. As discussed below, the Court grants the unopposed motion for a protective order and the unopposed motion to enforce the settlement agreement, but denies the portion of the motion seeking to interplead the settlement funds.

         Cornerstone and Plaintiff mediated their disputes on December 4, 2018 and reached a confidential settlement. The Court accordingly dismissed the action, but retained jurisdiction to enforce the settlement. Doc. 22.

         There appears to be a dispute between Plaintiff's current counsel, Aldo Dominguez, and Plaintiff's former counsel, James Roswold and others at the firm of Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys (“KCAIA”), as to the amount of and entitlement to attorney fees due them from the sum of money that Cornerstone has agreed to pay Plaintiff.

         Although the time for Plaintiff and her counsel to respond expired on February 7, 2019, (see Local Rule 7.0(c)(2)), to date, Mr. Dominguez has filed no response to the pending motion. KCAIA, on the other hand, filed a response, indicating that it takes no position with respect to the portion of the motion seeking enforcement of the settlement agreement, that it agrees to sign a reasonable confidentiality order to learn the confidential settlement terms, and that it agrees that, if the settlement is enforced, the disputed settlement funds should be interpleaded and deposited into the Court's registry, with the provision that the portion of the settlement proceeds that are not in dispute be paid to Plaintiff as soon as possible. Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys' Response to Defendants Cornerstone Properties Group, Inc., Cornerstone Property Investments, LLC, Woodland Trace, LLC and Randall Tate's Motion to Enforce Settlement and Request Leave to Interplead the Settlement Funds, Doc. 24, pp. 2-3.

         In light of the fact that Cornerstone's motion is unopposed, the Court GRANTS the motion for a protective order and the motion to enforce the settlement agreement. However, the Court DENIES the motion to interplead the settlement funds for want of jurisdiction.

         The Court accordingly enters the following orders:

         PROTECTIVE ORDER

         The terms of the settlement agreement and the amount of settlement are deemed confidential.

         The Cornerstone Defendants are permitted to share information about the settlement with Plaintiff, Mr. Dominguez, and KCAIA.

         Upon entry of this Order, Cornerstone will cooperate with Plaintiff, Mr. Dominguez, and KCAIA to provide, to the extent that each person or firm does not yet possess them, the terms of the settlement, including the amount.

         Plaintiff, Mr. Dominguez, and KCAIA are not permitted to further share any settlement information, except that they may share such information with their attorneys and experts, if necessary, but only after such attorneys and experts agree to be bound by this Protective Order.

         Plaintiff, Mr. Dominguez, and KCAIA are not permitted to publicly file the settlement terms in this case, although, if they wish, they may move for leave to file such information under seal and in redacted form. No. one may file any material under seal or in redacted form unless the filer has first moved for and been granted leave to do so.

         ENFORCEMENT OF THE ...


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