Walton v. Mueller
California Court of Appeal
102 Cal. Rptr. 3d 605 (2009)
Timothy Walton (plaintiff) sued Scott Mueller (defendant). In 2006, Walton obtained a default judgment against Mueller for $40,000. Two years later, Walton attempted to execute on the judgment by levying one of Mueller’s bank accounts. Mueller engaged in settlement discussions to resolve the judgment. On October 17, 2008, Walton sent a letter rejecting a settlement offer from Mueller to pay $15,000 over nine months. However, in that same letter, Walton said that if Mueller was willing to settle and sent a check for $15,000, then Walton would stop trying to execute on the $40,000 default judgment. Mueller responded a few days later and asserted that a binding contract had been formed to settle the judgment for $15,000 payable over nine months. However, that letter also offered to settle by paying the full $15,000 out of the account that had been levied, meaning Walton would have to lift the levy before Mueller could pay him. Several days later, Mueller requested that the trial court stay execution on the judgment based on an enforceable settlement agreement. The trial court determined that no enforceable contract had been formed. After that, Mueller sent another letter attempting to accept the offer contained in Walton’s October 17 letter. This letter contained a copy of a cashier’s check for $15,000, but did not contain an actual check. Walton responded that Mueller had rejected Walton’s earlier offer to settle for $15,000 in a separate check when Mueller said he would only pay from the levied account after the levy had been lifted. Walton then countered with a settlement offer of $60,000. Mueller filed a motion under California Code of Civil Procedure § 664.6 to enforce a purported settlement agreement for $15,000. The trial court denied the motion, ruling that no valid settlement agreement had been entered into.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Duffy, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 174,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.