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03/25/88 Fayette County Farms Et Al v. Farms Et Al.

March 25, 1988

FAYETTE COUNTY FARMS ET AL., PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS

v.

VANDALIA FARMS ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIFTH DISTRICT

521 N.E.2d 300, 167 Ill. App. 3d 471, 118 Ill. Dec. 232 1988.IL.432

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Fayette County; the Hon. Richard G. Hodson, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE WELCH delivered the opinion of the court. HARRISON, P.J., and LEWIS, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE WELCH

Appellants, Fayette County Farms, Theodore A. Ruppert and Lester Matt, appeal from a judgment of the circuit court of Fayette County dismissing with prejudice their amended complaint against appellees, Vandalia Farms, Vandalia Farms, Inc., Holland Farms, Inc., and other defendants not party to this appeal. We affirm.

On May 6, 1982, appellants filed a complaint in the circuit court of Fayette County seeking resolution of a dispute with respect to ownership and possessory rights in certain real estate known as the "Wooter Farm." On the same date, appellees also filed a complaint seeking resolution of the same dispute.

On September 9, 1983, the parties entered into an agreement in settlement of all issues raised in the two lawsuits. The settlement agreement provided that appellees were to transfer, convey and assign to appellants

"all of their respective rights, title and interests, real and personal, if any, in and to the [Wooter] Farm . . . The [appellees] further represent and warrant jointly and severally that (except for participation in the U.S. Government ASCS Grain Program of which [appellants] are aware) they have not conveyed or assigned, voluntarily or involuntarily, any rights in and to the Farm . . .."

The settlement agreement also contained a mutual release

"of and from all claims of any kind or character which they or any of them has, ever had, or in the future have against the others or any of them which claims arise in whole or in part prior to the date hereof and which claims relate in any manner either to ownership and/or claims to ownership of the Farm or to the operation and/or management of the Farm (including, without limitation, the Disposition of crops, and any and all dealings with any third persons or entities as regards the Farm and/or its prior operation) . . .."

All parties agreed to move for dismissal with prejudice of the complaints filed herein. The settlement agreement was signed by all parties hereto except Vandalia Farms, Inc.

On February 26, 1985, appellants filed a motion to amend their original complaint (which had not yet been dismissed pursuant to the settlement agreement) to add an additional count alleging breach of the settlement agreement by appellees. This motion was denied and the original complaint was dismissed with prejudice. However, the trial court granted appellants leave to file "additional pleadings for claimed breach of settlement agreement or to otherwise enforce settlement agreement within ten (10) days."

On May 29, 1985, appellants filed an amended complaint, alleging a breach of the settlement agreement by appellees. The complaint alleged that appellees, or one of them, had improperly retained a portion of the United States government payment-in-kind proceeds relating to the Wooter Farm for the crop year 1983, and ...


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