United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division, Lafayette
TRUSTEES OF THE INDIANA STATE COUNCIL OF ROOFERS HEALTH AND WELFARE FUND and TRUSTEES OF THE UNITED UNION OF ROOFERS, WATERPROOFERS AND ALLIED WORKERS, LOCAL UNION NO. 2 SUPPLEMENTAL PENSION FUND, Plaintiffs,
CMT ROOFING, LLC, Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
P. KOLAR MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court on a Motion to Approve Consent
Judgment [DE 39], filed by the parties on February 15, 2019.
Having stipulated and agreed to the terms of a Consent
Judgment based on a Settlement Agreement they entered into in
May 2018, the parties now ask the Court to approve and enter
their proposed Consent Judgment.
October 31, 2016, Plaintiffs filed this lawsuit against
Defendant to recover delinquent fringe benefit contributions
and other amounts owed by Defendant to Plaintiffs.
proposed Consent Judgment explains in several introductory
“whereas” clauses that, based on documentation
produced by Defendant during the course of the lawsuit, it
was determined that Defendant owed Plaintiffs $54, 489.54 in
contributions to the Health and Welfare Fund and $32, 346.62
in contributions to the Local No. 2 Supplemental Pension
Fund. The proposed Consent Judgment represents that, in May
2018, the parties entered into a Settlement Agreement to
resolve the amounts owed by Defendant.
proposed Consent Judgment then explains that, under the terms
of the Settlement Agreement, Defendant is to repay the full
amount of contributions owed to Plaintiffs, subject to the
following terms: (1) an initial payment of $17, 681.95; (2)
23 consecutive monthly installments of $2, 881.32, and (3) a
final monthly installment of $2, 881.32. As of February 14,
2019, Defendant had paid $40, 733.39 toward the total amount
owed of $86, 836.16.
setting out these facts, the proposed Consent Judgment has
the Court enter judgment against Defendant and in favor of
Plaintiffs in the amount of $46, 102.77-the remaining amount
owed by Defendant under the Settlement Agreement.
proposed Consent Judgment then provides that “the Court
retains jurisdiction of this matter pending compliance with
the Court's orders, ” which is followed by this
Plaintiffs agree to accept and Defendant to pay the amount of
this judgment pursuant to the payment terms of the
parties' Settlement Agreement, the terms of which are
incorporated by reference herein. Plaintiffs shall take
no action in furtherance of executing upon this Judgment
unless and until Defendant fails to make the monthly payments
as specified in the parties' Settlement Agreement.
Plaintiffs further agree to give Defendant notice and an
opportunity to cure a failure to make a monthly payment
before taking action to execute upon the judgment, with such
cure period to be no less than seven days.
(emphasis added). The parties have not filed a copy of the
instant motion, the parties ask the Court to enter their
proposed Consent Judgment, which is based on the parties'
Settlement Agreement and which would enter a judgment in the
amount of the total remaining payments owed by Defendant
under the Settlement Agreement. “The law generally
favors and encourages settlements.” Metro. Hous.
Dev. Corp. v. Vill. of Arlington Heights, 616 F.2d 1006,
1013 (7th Cir. 1980) (citing Airline Stewards and
Stewardesses Ass'n v. Am. Airlines, Inc., 573 F.2d
960, 963 (7th Cir. 1978); Dawson v. Pastrick, 600
F.2d 70, 75 (7th Cir. 1979)); see also Zurich Am. Ins.
Co. v. Watts Indus., Inc., 417 F.3d 682, 689 (7th Cir.
2005). A consent judgment is “a court order that
embodies the terms agreed upon by the parties as a compromise
to litigation.” United States v. Alshabkhoun,
277 F.3d 930, 934 (7th Cir. 2002). A consent judgment is a
final judgment on the merits and prevents relitigation of the
underlying claim. Arizona v. California, 530 U.S.
392, 414 (2000); United States v. Fisher, 864 F.2d
434, 439 (7th Cir. 1988). A court has the authority to
enforce a consent judgment through its contempt power.
Spallone v. United States, 493 U.S. 265, 276 (1990);
Kasper v. Bd. of Election Comm'rs, 814 F.2d 332,
338 (7th Cir. 1987); McCall-Bey v. Franzen, 777 F.2d
1178, 1183 (7th Cir. 1985).
before entering a consent judgment proposed by parties, the
court must satisfy itself “that the decree is
consistent with the Constitution and laws, does not undermine
the rightful interests of the third parties, and is an
appropriate commitment of the court's limited
resources.” Kasper, 814 F.2d at 338
(considering a proposed consent decree intended to reduce the
number of ghost voters in City of Chicago elections); see
also NLRB v. Brooks Indus., Inc., 867 F.2d 434, 436 (7th
Cir. 1989); Local No. 93, Int'l Ass'n of
Firefighters v. City of Cleveland, 478 U.S. 501, 529
(1986); Metro. Life Ins. Co. v. Hanni, No.
1:17-CV-80, 2017 WL 6805318, at *2 (N.D. Ind. Sept. 14, 2017)
(citing Kasper, 814 F.2d at 338).
case, the parties generally followed the proper procedure by
filing a motion, and, from the information contained in the
“whereas” clauses of the proposed Consent
Judgment, it appears that the proposed decree may be
consistent with the Constitution and laws, would not
undermine the rightful interest of third parties, and would
be an appropriate commitment of the Court's resources,
given the simple nature ...