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SCHARF v. LEVITTOWN PUB. SCHS.

July 11, 1997

DOROTHY F. SCHARF, Plaintiff, against LEVITTOWN PUBLIC SCHOOLS, Defendant.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: SPATT

 SPATT, District Judge.

 PROLOGUE

 
Stipulations of settlement are favored by the courts and not lightly cast aside (see Matter of Galasso, 35 N.Y.2d 319, 321, 361 N.Y.S.2d 871, 320 N.E.2d 618). This is all the more so in the case of "open court" stipulations ( Matter of Dolgin Eldert Corp., 31 N.Y.2d 1, 10, 334 N.Y.S.2d 833, 286 N.E.2d 228) . . . where strict enforcement not only serves the interest of efficient dispute resolution but also is essential to the management of court calendars and integrity of the litigation process.

 Hallock v. State of New York, 64 N.Y.2d 224, 485 N.Y.S.2d 510, 512, 474 N.E.2d 1178 (1984).

 THE "OPEN COURT" STIPULATION

 On June 13, 1994, the parties settled the above-entitled employment discrimination action and entered into a stipulation in open court. The salient terms of the stipulation with regard to this hearing are the following:

 
Put the stipulation. Please advise your client to listen carefully to this.
 
MR. BLOCK: The terms of the stipulation would be that effective August 1, 1994, Ms. Scharf will be assigned secretarial duties on behalf of the administrator who will be replacing the current director of physical education for the school district, that administrator has yet to be chosen.
 
The assignment is a district-wide position. It will occur in one of the buildings of the school district but it will not be in the Levittown Memorial Education Center.
 
In her capacity, Ms. Scharf it [sic] will be performing secretarial duties related to exposure control.
 
(1). Exposure control.
 
(2). Student benefits.
 
(3). Building utilization.
 
(4). The right-to-know procedure which has been adopted by the school district.
 
. . .
 
... that Mrs. Scharf will cease any practice of maintaining a log concerning her coworkers, and the demand for arbitration which was filed --
 
. . .
 
THE COURT: And there will be no harassment.
 
MR. WEINER: No harassment by Ms. Scharf by anyone in her current position or after she is removed from that position and given the new position.
 
THE COURT: All right.
 
Now the case will be dismissed with prejudice, but the Court will retain jurisdiction to enforce the terms of the settlement. The parties will exchange whatever papers are necessary in order to effectuate a dismissal. There will be no further attorney's fees or money paid at all by the defendant school district.
 
Anything else you want to add to that.
 
THE PLAINTIFF: My title and benefits and all of that remain the same.
 
THE COURT: Your title and benefits remain the same, yes.
 
THE PLAINTIFF: Seniority and title?
 
THE COURT: That wasn't even a subject of the dispute.
 
Is that agreeable to you, Mr. Weiner, on behalf of your client?
 
MR. WEINER: It is.
 
THE COURT: Is that agreeable to you, Mr. Block and Mr. Venator?
 
MR. BLOCK: That is correct.
 
MR. VENATOR: Yes.
 
THE COURT: Ms. Scharf, you've heard the terms of the stipulation. Do you agree to each and every term of the stipulation?
 
THE PLAINTIFF: Yes.
 
. . .
 
THE COURT: Do you understand all the terms.
 
THE PLAINTIFF: Yes.
 
THE COURT: Do you agree ...

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