Motion 60 to break mediation settlement


#1

I’m the disabled, dependent spouse of a man who admittedly had an affair. Instead of leaving the house, he locked me out of the house. It took a month for my attorney to file a lawsuit for relief; he kept saying we could handle this in mediation. My husband had control of all financial assets and the home and had hidden money from me for years, and intimidated me. My lawyer said the hearing date was changed and it was held while I was out of town. He said the judge ordered mediation and the date was set very quickly. There was no discovery. My husband lied about income and assets. My attorney told me if I did not sign an agreement, a court of law would force the sale of our home. I was in pain, so fatigued I could not concentrate. I signed a deal so bad I will lose my home. Months later I discovered there was NO court ordered mediation; no judge saw the lawsuit. I have a new lawyer and she has filed a motion 60 to overturn the settlement but she is not encouraging. The settlement grossly favors my husband. Is a motion 60 possible in North Carolina?


#2

Your lawyer will have to make a case that you were grossly mislead and were in essence forced to sign the agreement in order to have the same voided. Normally one must prove that they were under the threat of serious physical harm to prove duress.


#3

Thank you for your prompt reply; my court date is July 29.

Before the mediation, I presented letters from two physicians concerning both my physical and mental state of health at that time. Ten days prior, I was granted a 50B domestic order just to access my home. If I had not signed the mediation settlement, I would have faced a hearing on the 50B domestic order WITHOUT an attorney the very next day. I had already been granted an extension because my attorney did not help me. I was under extreme duress; if I had requested the mediation be continued, I would have lost my attorney (of course, he did not protect my rights).


#4

I am sorry to hear you went through such a terrible chain of events and wish you the best.