Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, Third Division
from the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri. The
Honorable S. Margene Burnett, Judge
Before: Gary D. Witt, Presiding Judge, Edward R. Ardini, Jr.,
Judge and Thomas N. Chapman, Judge
D. WITT JUDGE.
K&K, Inc. ("K&K), M&L&J, Inc.
("M&L&J"), and Mia Jamison
("Jamison") (collectively "Appellants")
appeal the Circuit Court of Jackson County's entry of an
Amended Judgment finding that the parties had reached a
binding settlement agreement and entering judgment pursuant
to those terms. On appeal, the Appellants raise two
allegations of error. First, they contend that the circuit
court erred in finding the existence of a binding settlement
agreement because there was no sworn testimony on the record,
and thus there was no evidence upon which the court could
find a settlement agreement had been reached. Second, they
contend that the finding that a binding settlement agreement
was entered into was against the weight of the evidence
because it disregarded Jamison's statements to the court
that she had not given authorization for her attorney to
enter into the settlement agreement. We affirm.
is owned in whole or in part by Jamison, and she is the
President of the company. Jamison is the sole shareholder of
M&L&J and is the President of the company. K&K
owns real estate located at 1714-1726 W. 39th Street, Kansas
City, Missouri ("Property"). First Commercial
Properties L.L.C. ("First Commercial") contracted
with K&K to purchase the Property for $1, 250, 000. First
Commercial assigned the contract to purchase the Property to
39 Bell, LLC ("39 Bell"). The sale of the Property
was never finalized, in part because the Appellants had
leased portions of the Property to various tenants and
refused to terminate those leases as required by the purchase
agreement. After failing to complete the sale of the
Property, 39 Bell brought a civil action against the
Appellants for fraud, specific performance, and declaratory
judgment on September 25, 2015. The Appellants initially
failed to file an answer, and a Motion for Default Judgment
was filed by 39 Bell on December 9, 2015. On February 12,
2016, the Appellants were granted leave to file an Answer out
of time. The matter was originally set for trial on June 19,
2017, but was delayed multiple times until January 8, 2018.
The day before trial on January 7, 2018, K&K filed for
bankruptcy protection, which required the trial date to be
continued again. The bankruptcy was dismissed on March 19,
2018, and the matter was set for trial on July 9, 2018.
9, 2018, the parties appeared before the court and stated
that they had reached a settlement agreement that morning
("July 9 Hearing"). The court asked the parties to
place the settlement agreement on the record. Counsel for 39
Bell recited the essential terms of the agreement to the
court including that: (1) the purchase contract would be
specifically enforced with the purchase price being amended
to $915, 000; (2) the leases on the Property in favor of
M&L&J and Sahara Sheesha would be terminated; (3) a
contempt citation issued against Jamison in favor of an
entity owned by 39 Bell in a related case would be released
and marked in the court records as paid and satisfied and the
parties would dismiss their respective claims pending in that
case; and (4) the real estate transaction to transfer the
Property would take place by November 9, 2018
("Settlement"). Counsel for Appellants agreed that
those were the essential terms of the Settlement agreement.
Counsel for Appellants further informed the court that over
the past several days during negotiations with opposing
counsel that all of the specific terms of the settlement
agreement had been agreed to by the parties with the
exception of the final monetary amount to be paid for the
real estate. He then informed the court that:
As of yesterday, I asked Ms. Jamison for authority to settle
based upon the terms and so the only thing left to discuss
was the monetary amount. So this morning, as we were
traveling to the courthouse, Ms. Jamison and I had a
conversation about an evidentiary issue that was of some
concern. And as a result of that, I asked if I could have
authority to settle. She said okay, I will give you a million
dollars authority. And I said do I have authority if they
reject that to accept the 915 and she said yes. We hung up
that conversation. I called [Counsel for 39 Bell]. I proposed
the million dollar monetary portion of the settlement.
[Counsel for 39 Bell] said he had to speak with the client.
He communicated very quickly back that that had been
rejected. And I said then we accept the 915. And that was
when I believe that we had a settlement according to the
outlines that have been given to you.
court then stated that it believed there had been a binding
settlement agreement entered into by the parties. Counsel for
Appellants then stated:
So Ms. Jamison -- after we had reached an agreement, Ms.
Jamison communicated to me that she had difficulty with two
parts of the agreement. Specifically, the portions that
require the Sahara lease to be terminated and the
M&L&J lease to be terminated. And that's what she
expressed to the Court this morning.
Jamison then had a very lengthy interaction with the court
requesting a continuance and stating that "there's
big miscommunication" with herself and her attorney.
The Court: Well, Ms. Jamison, there's no continuance. And
I'm going to tell you, I have reason to have concerns
over your statements that you make to me. I have had numerous
Ms. Jamison: I want to go to trial.
The Court: Well, you the opportunity to not have -- I mean,
actually, you have a settlement right now. At this point, the
only trial you are going to end up having is the enforcement
of this settlement. You need to understand that you gave your
attorney authority to settle the case. And he settled -- they
reached an agreement.
Ms. Jamison: I call him right back. And I told him the liquor
store and the Sahara was not in this deal because I cannot --
I cannot push these poor people --
The Court: Ms. Jamison, those two leases have been part of
the issue with this case since it was filed three years ago.
The case has been set for trial on three separate occasions
in this division. The case has been settled today. And I am
going to accept the settlement today. And, with that, you are
going to need to -- if you need to talk to an attorney about
how to resolve ...