When a lawsuit is settled against a public agency, the terms of the settlement are memorialized as a settlement agreement. The settlement agreement recites some basic facts about the procedural history of a lawsuit before outlining the terms of the settlement. Typically, the plaintiff (the person who filed the lawsuit) is paid a sum of money to withdraw their litigation without the public body admitting any liability.
Settlement agreements can be a useful tool for learning about the outcomes of litigation. Oftentimes, they are the only way of conclusively learning the end outcome of litigation against public bodies, as many times the settlement agreements will contain a confidentiality clause the prevents either the public body or the individual that sued them from speaking publicly about the events that gave rise to the litigation and settlement agreement, but courts have held that this confidentiality provision does not outweigh the public’s right to obtain a copy of the settlement agreement under OPRA
The following are example requests made for this type of record on OPRAmachine: