Georgia Appellate Court decision (June 2, 2017).
In this case, a homeowners association (Association) sought the entry of a judgment based on an agreement it entered into with a homeowner (Owner) in a mediation proceeding that was conducted in an effort to resolve a dispute over unpaid dues owed to Association by Owner.
Association initially filed an action against Owner which sought to collect unpaid assessments on Owner’s property, foreclosure of Association’s lien on Owner’s property for the unpaid assessments, and attorney fees. Rather than go to trial, the parties agreed to participate in mediation and the mediation resulted in a written agreement that set forth terms that were agreed upon by Association and Owner on how Owner would pay unpaid assessments due to Association. Following the mediation, the agreement was presented to the trial court for entry of a consent judgment in favor of Association. The trial court entered a final order and judgment that contained terms that differed from those that had been agreed to by Association and Owner. Association appealed the judgment that was entered by the trial court.
Upon review, the appellate court stated that trial courts must accept settlement agreements that are entered into by the parties when the terms of the agreement are definite, certain, unambiguous and are not denied. The appellate court further stated that is is up to the trial court to determine whether or not the agreement was sufficiently definite, certain, and unambiguous in its terms to become an enforceable judgment. Accordingly, the appellate court reversed the trial court’s judgment and remanded the case back to the trial court for further proceedings in accordance with the appellate court’s decision.
See case decision: Olmstead_Homeowners_Ass’n_Inc._v._Washington_(Ga._App._2017)1