United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
CURTIS L. WESTBROOK, Plaintiff,
DANIEL HAHN, et al. Defendants.
ENTRY ENFORCING SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT AND ENTERING
WILLIAM T. LAWRENCE, SENIOR JUDGE
civil action Plaintiff Curtis L. Westbrook alleges that his
civil rights were violated as a result of his arrest and
subsequent loss of liberty on February 10, 2014. Dkt. 183.
Claims against former Judge Diane Bennington were dismissed
based on judicial immunity on January 25, 2018. The
defendants remaining in this action-City of Muncie, the
Muncie Police Department, Daniel Hahn, Matthew Hollans and
Muncie City Court of Muncie, Indiana-seek dismissal of the
claims alleged against them through the enforcement of a
settlement agreement. Defendants request that the Court issue
an order dismissing this action pursuant to settlement. For
the reasons explained below, the defendants' motion to
dismiss, dkt 215, is granted and final
judgment shall now enter.
30, 2018 the parties appeared for a settlement conference
before the magistrate judge. The conference did not result in
August 8, 2018, defendants' counsel and plaintiff's
counsel had a telephone conference. The defendants'
counsel, with authority from defendants' insurer, made an
offer of $12, 500 in exchange for the release of all
remaining defendants. Plaintiff's counsel accepted the
offer. Plaintiff Mr. Westbook testifies in an affidavit that
he “agreed to the monetary settlement and authorized my
counsel, Mark E. Miller, to accept a settlement of $12, 500,
subject to my review and acceptance of the binding terms and
conditions of a written settlement agreement.” Dkt.
223-1 at ¶4.
defendants' counsel agreed that plaintiff's counsel
could make an ex parte call to the Court to notify
the Court that the parties settled the case. This phone call
was made. See DE 198 (“The Court has been advised by
counsel that a settlement has been reached in this
emails were exchanged between counsel on August 9 and 10,
2018, regarding the language of a stipulation of dismissal
and release agreement, and when plaintiff could expect a
settlement check. The parties' counsel were able to agree
on the language on both the stipulation of dismissal and
release agreement. The settlement agreement negotiated by
counsel was attached to the plaintiff's response brief at
docket number 223-1.
Westbook testified that “[a]fter reviewing the proposed
written settlement agreement and considering those terms in
light of the settlement amount, I rejected the proposed
binding terms and conditions and refused to sign the
document, as the document contained material terms that I had
not already agreed upon.” Dkt. 223-1 at ¶ 6. Mr.
Westbrook gave two related reasons for his refusal to sign
the release document. He testified:
Upon review of the proposed binding terms and conditions, I
first understood that the only compensation that I would
receive from the City Defendants was compensation for each of
the 10 days I was forcibly denied my liberty and incarcerated
in the Delaware County Jail, but not the injuries I received
while incarcerated or any resulting damages from humiliation
and embarrassment of being incarcerated, which injuries and
damages would not have occurred but for the wrongful acts of
Affidavit at ¶ 7
Under the proposed settlement agreement, the Defendants are
accepting no liability or responsibility for any injury I
sustained while incarcerated at the Delaware County Jail past
and/or future. Accepting the proposed binding terms and
conditions of the settlement agreement would not protect me
from the possible dismissal of my claims against the Delaware
County Sheriff's Department.
Affidavit at ¶ 8.
August 21, 2018, plaintiff's counsel notified the Court
and defendants that Mr. Westbrook did not wish to proceed