California Code of Civil Procedure Section 664.6 - Example Case

Code of Civil Procedure section 664.6 provides "If parties to pending litigation stipulate, in a writing signed by the parties outside the presence of the court or orally before the court, for settlement of the case, or part thereof, the court, upon motion, may enter judgment pursuant to the terms of the settlement. If requested by the parties, the court may retain jurisdiction over the parties to enforce the settlement until performance in full of the terms of the settlement." (Code Civ. Proc., 664.6.) In Levy v. Superior Court (1995) 10 Cal.4th 578, the Supreme Court considered whether Code of Civil Procedure section 664.6 --requiring that the "parties" enter into a stipulation for an out-of-court settlement--meant that the litigants themselves (and not simply their attorneys) were required to sign the stipulation. (Levy, supra, 10 Cal.4th at p. 580.) After extended analysis, the court held that, in the context of motions to enforce settlements brought under Code of Civil Procedure section 664.6, because a settlement stipulation affects the client's substantial rights, "in providing for an enforcement mechanism for settlements by 'parties,' the Legislature intended the term to literally mean the litigants personally." (Levy, supra, at p. 584; see also id. at p. 586.)