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Administrative Law Court
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SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

CAPTION:
SCDOI vs. William M. Worthy, II

AGENCY:
South Carolina Department of Insurance

PARTIES:
Petitioner:
South Carolina Department of Insurance

Respondent:
William M. Worthy, II
 
DOCKET NUMBER:
03-ALJ-09-0334-CC

APPEARANCES:
n/a
 

ORDERS:

ORDER

This matter was before the Court on November 9, 2005 pursuant to the Petitioner’s Motion to Enforce Settlement. Present at the hearing were Jeffrey A. Jacobs, Chief Legal Counsel for Petitioner, Walter M. White, attorney for Respondent, and Respondent. At the outset of the hearing the Court had before it Petitioner’s Motion to Enforce Settlement and Respondents’ Return to the Motion to Enforce Settlement.

The issue concerns enforcement of a one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00) fine agreed to by Petitioner, Respondent, and Respondent’s attorney in a Consent Order of Settlement, dated September 30, 2004, which was signed by the Court. Petitioner seeks an Order from this Court requiring Respondent to pay the fine described in the Consent Order of Settlement. The Consent Order of Settlement provides in relevant part:

That the resident insurance agent license of the Respondent, William M. Worthy II, is suspended subject to the payment of an administrative fine against the Respondent in the total amount of one hundred thousand ($100,000.00). Upon payment of the one hundred thousand dollar fine ($100,000.00), the Respondent’s resident insurance agent license will be reinstated on a probationary basis for two (2) years.


Petitioner interprets this provision to require the payment of the fine and contends Respondent has violated the terms of the Consent Order of Settlement by failing to do so. Respondent admits that he has not paid the fine, but maintains that there is no requirement that the fine be paid. Rather, Respondent argues that his resident insurance agent license will remain suspended until he pays the fine.

The Court, in reaching its decision, has considered the pleadings filed by the parties, the Consent Order of Settlement, the exhibits introduced during the hearing, the case law handed up by the parties, and the arguments of counsel. This Court recognizes that it has the authority to interpret and enforce the Consent Order of Settlement. However, it is the Court’s obligation to ascertain the intentions of the parties in construing the Consent Order of Settlement. In doing so, I find that the language of the Consent Order of Settlement is unambiguous and that the intentions of the parties are clear.

Petitioner and Respondent were quite familiar with the facts of this case as evidenced by the stipulations in the Consent Order of Settlement. The Consent Order of Settlement is clear and the parties entered into it freely and voluntarily. The clear intent of the Consent Order of Settlement is that Respondent’s resident insurance agent license is and will remain suspended until he pays an administrative fine in the amount of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00) to Petitioner, and that upon that payment of the fine Respondent’s resident insurance agent license will be reinstated on a probationary basis for two (2) years. There is simply no requirement that Respondent pay the fine of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00) unless and until he seeks to have his license reinstated, and this Court is unwilling to insert such a requirement into the Consent Order of Settlement as Petitioner requests. Therefore,

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Petitioner’s Motion to Enforce Settlement is DENIED.

AND IT IS SO ORDERED.

______________________________ Marvin F. Kittrell

Chief Administrative Law Judge

December 8, 2005

Columbia, South Carolina


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