United States District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Northern Division
TERRENCE W. BOYLE CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on plaintiffs' pro se
motion, titled a "Settlement Agreement to Civil Action,
Motion to Stay Court Proceedings, Motion to Compel Service to
Apply Insurance Policies on Settlement." [DE 42]. The
motion is ripe for disposition. For the reasons that follow,
plaintiffs' motion [DE 42] is DENIED.
Court dispenses with a full recitation of the case and
adopts, as if fully set forth herein, the factual and
procedural background that the Court provided in its order on
January 7, 2019. [DE 37]. On June 11, 2019, the Court ordered
plaintiffs to permit an inspection of their property- subject
to certain conditions-by an engineer retained by defendant
Service Insurance Company ("Service") no later than
June 25. [DE 41]. Since that time, it appears that no
inspection has been permitted.
now move to purportedly settle the action, to stay
proceedings, and to "compel Service's compliance
with their own stated policies." [DE 42, p. 4-5]. More
specifically, plaintiffs assert that they have been
prejudiced and mistreated by the Court and that they
therefore wish to accept $35, 620.13 to settle the action.
[DE 42, p. 1-4]. Plaintiffs claim that the $35, 620.13 sum is
"the adjusted amount in compliance with Service[']s
agreed[-]upon limitations per policy." Id. at
4. Plaintiffs then request that the Court stay proceedings
"until defendant's [sic] have either accepted or
denied the settlement offered by plaintiffs or some
reasonable agreement can be reached." Id.
Finally, plaintiffs request that the Court "intervene to
officiate some action to compel Service's compliance with
their own stated policies." Id. at 5.
has responded in opposition, clarifying that the parties have
not reached a settlement agreement and that, although Service
continues to offer plaintiffs the $21, 284.33 that it
originally offered for plaintiffs' flood damage, no offer
of $35, 620.13 has been made. [DE 43, p. 3]. Service
indicates that it does not oppose a short stay of proceedings
to determine whether a settlement may be reached and that
there is no need to compel it to pay the $21, 284.33 that has
been offered for the original flood claims. Id. at
motion must be denied. First, to the extent that the motion
purports to be a settlement of the litigation, defendant
Service makes clear that no settlement has been reached. To
the extent that the motion constitutes a settlement
offer, court filings and pleadings are not the
appropriate venue for such negotiations, and plaintiffs'
motion must still be denied.
the Court finds that plaintiffs have not demonstrated good
cause for a stay of proceedings, particularly in light of
plaintiffs' apparent refusal to permit an inspection of
their property even after the Court's June 11, 2019
order. As such, to the extent that plaintiffs' motion can
be construed as a motion for a stay of proceedings, the
motion is denied.
to the extent that plaintiffs' motion can be construed as
a motion to compel, it must be denied. Ultimately, what
plaintiffs seek is a mandatory injunction affirmatively
requiring Service to take future action. To obtain a
preliminary injunction, a movant "must establish that he
is likely to succeed on the merits, that he is likely to
suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief,
that the balance of equities tips in his favor, and that an
injunction is in the public interest." Winter v.
Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 20 (2008).
"Critically, each of these four requirements must be
satisfied." League of Women Voters of N. C. v. North
Carolina, 769 F.3d 224, 249 (4th Cir. 2014). A plaintiff
can obtain an injunction only if "he demonstrates a
clear likelihood of success on the merits, andthe
balance of equities favors him, andthe injunction is
in the public interest." Id. at 250 (emphasis
in original). Plaintiffs have not demonstrated that any of
the four requirements for a preliminary injunction are met.
As such, to the extent that plaintiffs' motion can be
construed as a motion to compel, the motion is denied.
reasons discussed above, plaintiffs' motion ...