United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER ACCEPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF
MAGISTRATE JUDGE; AND DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO
GONZALEZ ROGERS United States District Judge.
the Court is Plaintiff's motion to enforce settlement in
this closed case, in which he states that he wishes to reopen
this action on the grounds that Defendants have either
breached the settlement agreement, or induced the settlement
by fraud. Dkt. 57.
Court previously referred Plaintiff's motion to enforce
settlement to Magistrate Judge Nandor Vadas (“the
Magistrate”) for a report and recommendation.
Thereafter, the Magistrate issued his report and
recommendation in which he stated as follows:
The undersigned held a settlement conference in this case on
May 23, 2013, at which the case was settled. (Doc. 52.) On
June 28, 2013, the parties filed a Stipulation for Voluntary
Dismissal with Prejudice of this action. (Doc. 53.) On July
15, 2013, Judge Gonzalez Rogers entered an Order Dismissing
Action with Prejudice. (Doc. 54.) The Clerk entered judgment
the same day. (Doc. 55.) Nearly four years later, Plaintiff
filed the present motion for enforcement of the settlement
agreement. (Doc. 57.)
Federal Courts are courts of limited jurisdiction; they
possess only that power authorized by the Constitution and
statue. Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co., 511 U.S.
375, 378 (1994.) [F]ederal courts do not have inherent or
ancillary jurisdiction to enforce a settlement agreement
simply because the subject of that settlement was a federal
lawsuit.” O'Connor v. Colvin, 70 F.3d 530,
532 (9th Cir. 1995) (citing Kokkonen, 511 U.S. at
379). Rather, a motion to enforce the settlement agreement is
a separate contract dispute requiring its own independent
basis for jurisdiction. Id. A federal district court
retains jurisdiction to enforce a settlement agreement only
when there is an independent basis for jurisdiction, or the
district court expressly reserves jurisdiction, or
incorporates the terms of the settlement agreement in the
dismissal. O'Connor, 70 F.3d at 532-33
(explaining that a court's mere awareness and approval of
the terms of a settlement agreement is insufficient to create
None of these exceptions applies here. Plaintiff's motion
claims a breach of contract, which is a matter for state
courts. Kokkonen, 70 F.3d at 382. Additionally, the
court's July 15, 2013 dismissal order does not expressly
retain jurisdiction, nor does it expressly incorporate the
terms of the settlement agreement. (Doc. 54.) The undersigned
finds, therefore, that the court lacks jurisdiction to
enforce the settlement agreement.
Moreover, even if Plaintiff's motion could be construed
as a motion for relief under Federal Rule of Procedure 60(b),
Plaintiff's motion is untimely. A Rule 60(b) motion must
be made within a reasonable time, and no more than a year
after entry of the judgment if the motion is based on fraud,
misrepresentation, or misconduct by an opposing party. Fed.
R. Civ. Proc. 60(c)(1). Here, Plaintiff appears to argue that
Defendants either breached the settlement agreement, or
induced the settlement by fraud by changing the California
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's kosher
meals vendor in April 2013. (Doc. 57 at 3.) But despite
knowing of the vendor change in 2013, and choosing to
withdraw from the kosher food program on May 24, 2014,
Plaintiff did not file the present motion until 2017.
(Id. at 5.) As a result, the undersigned finds that
Plaintiff's motion is untimely under Rule 60(c). For
these same reasons, the undersigned finds that
Plaintiff's motion is untimely under Rule 60(b)(6).
Based on the foregoing, the undersigned recommends that the
court dismiss Plaintiff's motion for lack of
jurisdiction, or alternatively, as untimely under Rule 60(c)
and Rule 60(b)(6). Any party may file objections to this
report and recommendation with the presiding judge within
fourteen days after being served with a copy. See 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B), (C); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b); N.D.
Cal. Civ. L.R. 72-3. Failure to file objections within the
specified time may waive the right to review of the issue by
the presiding judge.
Dkt. 61 at 1-2.
objections to a report and recommendation must be filed
within fourteen days of receipt thereof. Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b);
28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Civ. L.R. 72-2, 72-3. The
district court must “make a de novo determination of
those portions of the report to which objection is made,
” and “may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or
in part, the findings or recommendations made by the
magistrate judge.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); see
also Civ. L.R. 72-3(a) (requiring that any objections be
accompanied by a motion for de novo determination).
to Civil Local Rule 72-2, Plaintiff must title his objections
as a “Motion for Relief from Nondispositive Pretrial
Order of Magistrate Judge.” The Local Rules further
specify as follows:
The motion must specifically identify the portion of the
magistrate judge's order to which objection is made and
the reasons and authority therefor. The motion may not exceed
5 pages (not counting declarations and exhibits), and must
set forth specifically the portions of the Magistrate
Judge[']s findings, recommendation or report to which an
objection is made, the action requested and the reasons
supporting the motion and must be accompanied by a proposed
Civ. L.R. 72-2. In the event the plaintiff fails to comply
with the foregoing, the Court need not consider his challenge
to the magistrate's report and recommendation. See
Tri-Valley CARES v. U.S. Dept. of Energy, 671 F.3d 1113,
1131 (9th Cir. 2012); (“Denial of a motion as the
result of a failure to comply with local rules is well within
a district court's discretion.”); Grove v.
Wells Fargo Fin. Cal., Inc., 606 F.3d 577, 582 (9th Cir.