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Forest v. Estate of Kohl

Florida Court of Appeals, Fourth District

November 20, 2019

YULIA V. FOREST, Appellant,
v.
THE ESTATE OF NORMAN DEAN KOHL, JR., and IRWIN GILBERT, solely in his capacity as curator of the Estate of Norman Dean Kohl, Jr., Appellees.

         Not final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.

          Appeal from the Circuit Court for the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit, Martin County; Michael McNicholas, Judge; L.T. Case No. 432009DR000083.

          James P. Curry of Curry, P.L., Jupiter, for appellant.

          Irwin R. Gilbert of Conrad & Scherer, LLP, Fort Lauderdale, for appellees.

         ON APPELLANT'S MOTION TO CORRECT CAPTION

          GERBER, J.

         On review of appellant's motion to correct caption, and on review of appellees' response to the motion, we grant in part and deny in part appellant's motion to correct caption. We substitute this opinion for our October 23, 2019 opinion, with the corrected caption as shown above.

         The former wife appeals from the circuit court's order denying her "motion for entry of order adopting settlement agreement and release, to enjoin and for protective order." The motion sought to prevent further post-judgment collection actions against the former wife. The former wife argues that the circuit court erred in not construing the settlement agreement as a full resolution of the parties' disputes. We agree with the former wife, and reverse for entry of an order granting the motion and closing the case.

         The Settlement Agreement

         The settlement agreement stated, in pertinent part:

[The former husband] for and in consideration of the sum of Sixty Thousand Dollars ($60, 000.00), in lawful money of the United States of America, received from [the former wife's counsel], receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, does hereby remise, release, acquit and forever discharge the [former wife's counsel], their current and former incorporators, owners, officers, directors, administrators, employees, former employees, counsel, insurers, counsel for insurers, claims handlers, successors, officers, and consultants from any and all motions and orders for sanctions, causes of action, suits, debts, dues, damages, including compensatory, sanction awards, fee awards and punitive damages, sums of money, accounts, reckonings, bonds, bills, covenants, attorney fee an[d] cost awards, contracts, controversies, agreements, promises, claims, sanction awards, consequential damages and demands of whatsoever kind or nature, in law or in equity, which [the former husband] ever had, now has or which any personal representative, successor, family member, heir or assign of said [former husband] now has or may hereinafter acquire against [former wife's counsel] arising out of the facts in the matters presently pending in the 19th Judicial Circuit of Martin County, Florida, CASE NO.: 13-1193-CA and presently pending in the 19th Judicial Circuit of Indian River County, Florida CASE No. 43:2009DR0083 where [the former husband] has sought fee and sanction awards from [the former wife's counsel] and [the former wife]. This Mutual Release is also to apply to any and all claims for costs and attorneys' fees arising or could have arisen out of matters presently pending in the 19th Judicial Circuit of Martin County, Florida CASE NO.: 13-1193-CA and presently pending in the 19th Judicial Circuit of Indian River County, Florida, CASE No. 43:2009DR0083 which is the subject of this Mutual Release as well as any other claims of negligence, sanctions, fees, statutory or otherwise, as well as causes of action arising out of the aforementioned lawsuits.
[The former husband] specifically covenants, warrants, represents and agrees that it will not pursue against [the former wife's counsel] and [the former wife] any motions, orders, petitions, complaints, or any other relief in the matters presently pending in the 19th Judicial Circuit of Martin County, Florida, CASE NO.: 13-1193-CA and presently pending in the 19th Judicial Circuit of Indian River County, Florida, CASE No. 43:2009DR0083. [The former husband] further specifically covenants, warrants, represents and agrees that it will not pursue against [the former wife's counsel] and [the former wife] any relief based upon any motions, orders and complaints currently ongoing and/or filed in the matters presently pending in the 19th Judicial Circuit of Martin County, Florida, CASE NO.: 13-1193-CA and presently pending in the 19th Judicial Circuit of Indian River County, Florida, CASE NO. 43:2009DR0083. [The former husband] hereby covenants, represents, warrants and agrees that all motions against [the former wife's counsel] and [the former wife] currently filed in the matters presently pending in the 19th Judicial Circuit of Martin County, Florida, CASE NO.: 13-1193-CA and presently pending in the 19th Judicial Circuit of Indian River County, Florida, CASE No. 43:2009DR0083 are hereby resolved in their entirety and further relief from the respective courts cannot be sought.
It is the Intent of [the former husband and former wife's counsel] that this agreement will end all matters presently pending in the 19th Judicial Circuit of Martin County . . . and presently pending in the 19th Judicial Circuit of Indian River County. . . . All hearings currently set or presently pending in the 19th Judicial Circuit of Martin County, Florida, CASE NO.: 13-1193-CA and presently pending in the 19th Judicial Circuit of Indian River County, Florida, CASE No. 43:2009DR0083 will be cancelled within 5 days of the execution of this agreement.
[The former husband] hereby declares that the terms of this settlement agreement have been completely read and are fully understood and voluntarily accepted for the purposes of making a full and final compromise, adjustment and settlement of any and all claims, disputes or otherwise, on account of the injuries or damages, costs and/or attorney's fees suffered by the [former husband] and for the express purpose of precluding forever any further or additional matters or claims against [the former wife's counsel] or [the former wife] presently pending in the 19th Judicial Circuit of Martin County, Florida, CASE NO.: 13-1193-CA and presently pending ...

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