RACHEL B. AKIN, Plaintiff
AUBURN WATER DISTRICT, Defendant.
ORDER ON MOTIONS TO ENFORCE MEDIATION SETTLEMENT
Gay Kennedy, Justice
the Court are Plaintiff Rachel B. Akin ("Akin") and
Defendant Auburn Water District's ("AWD")
cross-motions to enforce a mediation settlement agreement. A
hearing was held on this matter on March 5, 2018. For the
following reasons, both parties' motions are denied.
August 15, 2016, Akin filed a Complaint alleging AWD has
discharged water, water treatment chemicals, and other
pollutants onto Akin's property without permission since
2012. (Pl.'s Compl. ¶ 5.) Akin contends the
discharge has flooded her property, causing damage to the
property and diminishing its value. (Id. ¶ 9.)
Plaintiffs Complaint includes counts for statutory and common
law trespass, negligence, injunctive relief, and inverse
1, 2017, the parties notified the Court that the matter was
fully resolved through mediation on April 24, 2017. The Court
approved the parties' agreement by order dated May 19,
2017. However, on October 30, 2017, AWD filed its motion to
enforce the settlement agreement. In return, on November 20,
2017, Akin filed her motion to enforce the settlement
full text of the parties' Mediation Settlement Agreement
provides as follows:
1) Defendant to pay Plaintiff $20, 000 upon delivery of the
signed easement described below.
2) Plaintiff to grant Defendant an easement for the discharge
of water in the "new discharge area" as located on
the attached map where the southernmost culvert is located.
3) Defendant is to prepare the easement, subject to review of
Plaintiff's counsel, including any surveying at its
4) Defendant agrees to submerge the discharge pipe in an
appropriate amount of rip rap.
5) Plaintiff will sign a release and dismissal of the pending
case with prejudice.
referenced in the agreement is an aerial photograph, marked
with lines that are presumably property lines, and notations
and hand-drawn -arrows of unknown origin, one of which points
to the "new discharge area."
motion to enforce generally alleges that following mediation,
the parties reached an agreement as to the form and language
of the easement and release referenced in the settlement
agreement, but Akin unilaterally changed the language of
these documents without AWD's consent and then demanded
additional monies in return for the execution of AWD's
draft of the easement and release. Akin's motion counters
that AWD's version of the easement does not comply with
the language of the settlement agreement, as it permits AWD
to discharge water in areas other than the "new
discharge area." Akin further argues that the signed
version of the easement drafted by her counsel does comply
with the settlement agreement, and she is therefore entitled
to a $20, 000 payment from AWD.