Case Caption: Clifton Boynes v. Transportation Services of St. John, Inc.Case Number: S. Ct. Civ. No. 2013-0021Date: 01/17/2014Author: Hodge, Rhys S. Citation: Summary:

In a proceeding to enforce a mediated settlement in an action for conversion and declaratory relief involving ownership of shares in a marine mass transit company, the Superior Court's order enforcing the agreement and ordering the plaintiff to sell his shares of stock to the corporation is affirmed in part and reversed in part. A mediated settlement agreement is an enforceable contract governed by basic contract principles, and a trial court has inherent power to supervise and enforce settlement agreements entered into by parties to a pending action. Thus the Superior Court did not err in concluding that it had the authority to enforce the parties' agreement. However, it erred in ordering plaintiff to sell his shares for $0.00 without the parties having first exhausted the agreed procedure for determining the fair market value of those shares. Because both parties failed to comply with the procedures outlined in the agreement, it was impossible for the two designated accountants to agree upon a firm fair market value for the stock that the parties could accept. The Superior Court should have enforced the terms of the entire agreement by requiring the parties to complete the specified valuation and appraisal process by retaining a third, independent accountant to establish a binding fair market value in light of the fact that the parties disagreed as to a firm value of the stock. The Superior Court's order of February 14, 2013 is reversed and the matter is remanded with instructions that the Superior Court administer the appointment of a third accountant to independently appraise the fair market value of the stock under strict deadlines, as contemplated under the parties' agreement.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion