United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
CELIA J. DUPUS, Plaintiff,
BRECKENRIDGE WIND PROJECT, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, and NEXTERA ENERGY RESOURCES, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, Defendants.
J. CAUTHRON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court are Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss
(Dkt. Nos. 74, 78); Plaintiff’s responses thereto (Dkt.
Nos. 76, 80); Plaintiff’s motions seeking to keep the
case open (Dkt. Nos. 75, 79); and Defendants’ response
thereto (Dkt. No. 81). The Motions are now at issue.
initiated this litigation in June 2017 in state court,
alleging Defendants installed cable on her property without
obtaining permission. (See generally Dkt. No. 1;
see also Dkt. No. 27.) It was thereafter removed to
this Court, where the case proceeded to discovery until the
parties began formal settlement discussions in October 2018,
conducted by Magistrate Judge Bernard B. Jones. At the end of
that month, after multiple settlement conferences with Judge
Jones, the Court entered an administrative closing order on
the representation from Judge Jones’ chambers that the
parties had reached a settlement accord. (See Dkt.
order administratively closed this case without prejudice
“to the rights of the parties to reopen the proceeding
for good cause shown, for the entry of any stipulation or
order, or for any other purpose required to obtain a final
determination of the litigation.” (Id.) The
Court further warned that if the parties failed to move to
reopen the case within 20 days “for the purpose of
dismissal pursuant to the settlement and compromise,
Plaintiff’s action shall be to be deemed
since, Plaintiff has routinely requested that the Court keep
the case open, in order to finalize the settlement agreement.
(See, e.g., Dkt. Nos. 58, 60, 62.) The
Court has generally acquiesced. (See, e.g.,
Dkt. Nos. 59, 61, 63.) But on July 2, 2019, in response to
Plaintiff’s fifth request for an extension of the
administrative closing order, the Court declined to enter
one. (See Dkt. No. 77.) The Court, instead, granted
the parties 45 days to dismiss this case pursuant to a
settlement agreement, and warned them that failure to do so
would result in the Court dismissing the case with prejudice.
(Id.) The case is thus not currently closed pursuant
to any administrative closing order.
now seeks to keep the case open, even though the parties have
already executed a settlement agreement. She seeks to do
so because, in her view, Defendants have not “completed
[their] agreed obligations.” (Dkt. No. 79, p. 2.)
According to Plaintiff, under the settlement agreement,
Defendants were required to “perform certain
reclamation work to Plaintiff’s real property.”
(Id. at 2.) But those efforts allegedly left her
property “in a condition that does not allow it to
properly drain rainfall, thereby creating various issues on
the property.” (Id. at 1-2.) So Plaintiff
urges the Court to keep this case open, apparently in an
effort to force Defendants to comply with the settlement
agreement. Defendants deny these allegations, and believe
that this suit should either be dismissed or litigated on the
the parties have executed a settlement agreement in this
case, the Court finds that Plaintiff’s attempts to keep
the case open pursuant to those terms are improper. The
Court’s orders have repeatedly warned the parties that
they needed to dismiss this case pursuant to a settlement
agreement. In other words, the Court has made clear that this
case would be terminated upon the execution of a settlement
agreement, and it continually kept the case open in order to
ensure this result. (See, e.g., Dkt. Nos.
73, 77.) But the Court has never signaled that it intended to
keep the case open in order to enforce the terms of that
agreement. Accordingly, the Court finds that this is
an improper basis for keeping the case open, and that it
should be dismissed with prejudice pursuant to its previous
these reasons, Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss (Dkt.
Nos. 74, 78) are GRANTED and Plaintiffs motions seeking to
keep the case open (Dkt. Nos. 75, 79) are DENIED. This case
is hereby DISMISSED with prejudice. A separate judgment will
 It appears that Plaintiff signed the
agreement June 10, 2019, and Defendants signed it on July 30,
2019. Plaintiff does not dispute the veracity of these
documents or the existence of an executed settlement
 See Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins.
Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 381 (1994) (Once a federal
suit is dismissed pursuant to a settlement agreement, the
federal district court generally does not retain ancillary
jurisdiction to enforce the terms of that agreement, unless
that court-in its previous orders-expressly reserved
jurisdiction to adjudicate claims arising from the agreement
or incorporated the terms of the settlement agreement.);
see also Cattlco, LLC v. United AG Export Corp., No.
07-CV-2066-BNB-KLM, 2009 WL 973562, (D. Colo. 2009) (Under
Kokkonen, where the district court has
administratively closed the case, but not yet dismissed it,
it is without jurisdiction to enforce the terms of the
settlement agreement unless the Court expressly retained
jurisdiction to do so or incorporated the agreement into any
of its orders.).
 To the extent Plaintiff has further
issues with Defendants’ conformity to the terms of the
agreement, she is free to bring a separate ...