Petition to Enforce Settlement Without Conducting An Evidentiary Hearing

In Houston-Starr Co. v. Virginia Manor Apartments, Inc., 294 Pa. Super. 571, 440 A.2d 613 (Pa. Super. 1982), a petition to enforce a settlement was filed. The terms of the settlement were denied by the respondent, and the trial court conducted a conference with counsel. Thereafter, without conducting an evidentiary hearing, the trial court entered an order vacating the settlement. The Superior Court reversed the trial court's decision. In doing so, the Superior Court held that the trial court's "intimate knowledge of the details of the settlement agreement" acquired at the prehearing conference did not dispense with the need for an evidentiary hearing. Houston-Starr, 440 A.2d at 615. It explained that the Court cannot review the lower court's actions because there was no testimony or findings of fact. . . . the lower court's recitals in its order are not a substitute for a full record, especially when the parties dispute the very circumstances under which the order was entered. Id.