- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Contract Law
- Date Filed: 09-09-2021
- Case #: A170316
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Per Curiam; Lagesen, P.J; James J.; & Hadlock, J. pro tempore.
- Full Text Opinion
Petitioners and Respondents appealed a judgment of contempt based on their violation of a stipulated judgment. Respondents argued the trial court erred when it found that Respondents violated the terms of the settlement agreement with Petitioners. On appeal, Respondents argued that the stipulated judgment unambiguously did not incorporate the settlement agreement and that “their conduct did not violate the settlement agreement.” Courts may consider extrinsic evidence when assessing whether a stipulated judgment is ambiguous. Van Atta v. Stephanie Fry, Inc., 295 Or App 465, 473, 434 P3d 575 (2018). Voluntarily engaging in conduct that violates the terms of a judgment, with knowledge of the terms, amounts to contempt. Chang v. Chun, 305 Or App 144, 152, 470 P3d 410 (2020). The Court found that the settlement agreement was ambiguous, and evidence in the record supported the trial court’s conclusion “that the parties intended to incorporate the settlement agreement.” The Court further found that the record supported the trial court’s finding that Respondents engaged in conduct that violated the terms of the settlement agreement. Thus, the Court held that the trial court correctly found Respondents in contempt. Affirmed.