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Civil Practice – Settlement – Motion to Set Aside – Untimely

After the parties settled their case in mediation, the district court gave them 60 days within which to “reopen this action and restore it to the calendar” under Rule 60(b), FRCP. Even if plaintiff did not have enough time to review defendant’s last-minute discovery responses before agreeing to the settlement, he does not explain why he could not have reviewed the documents within the 60-day period provided by the court.

We affirm the district court’s denial of plaintiff’s Rule 60(b) motion to set aside the settlement and reopen the case, which plaintiff filed more than a month past the 60-day period granted by the district court.

Plaintiff also alleges mediator misconduct, based on the mediator’s threat that, if plaintiff did not settle, defendant would conduct further intrusive surveillance. Presumably, plaintiff is contending that the mediator was influencing defendant to conduct more surveillance. Even if true, plaintiff does not explain why the threat of further surveillance caused him to settle prematurely but did not deter him from filing to reopen his case.

Because plaintiff’s claims of error were known to him at the time he settled his case, the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying plaintiff’s motion to reopen.

Zahariev v. Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Co. (Lawyers Weekly No. 003-003-23, 7 pp.) (Per Curiam) No. 22-1209. Appealed from USDC at Beaufort, S.C. (Richard Mark Gergel, J.) Kiril Zahariev, pro se; Nikole Crow and Lewis Gregory Cook Horton for appellee. 4th Cir. Unpub.

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