What is a Petition to Approve Compromise of Disputed Claim?

Court approval is required for all settlements of a claim for a person who lacks legal capacity to make decisions. (Prob. Code, §§ 3500, 3600, et seq.; Code of Civ. Proc., § 372.) A petition for court approval must be fully completed. (Cal. Rules of Ct., Rule 7.950.)

Legal Standard

“When a minor has a disputed claim for damages, money, or other property and does not have a guardian of the estate, the following persons have the right to compromise, or to execute a covenant not to sue on or a covenant not to enforce judgment on, the claim, unless the claim is against such person or persons:

  1. Either parent if the parents of the minor are not living separate and apart.
  2. The parent having the care, custody, or control of the minor if the parents of the minor are living separate and apart.”

(Prob. Code, § 3500(a).)

The Court must have an opportunity to review the proposed agreement to ensure its terms are in the best interests of the minor. (Pearson v. Super. Ct. (2012) 202 Cal.App.4th 1333.)

Procedure

“The compromise or covenant is valid only after it has been approved, upon the filing of a petition, by the superior court of either of the following counties:

  1. The county where the minor resides when the petition is filed.
  2. Any county where suit on the claim or matter properly could be brought.”

(Prob. Code, § 3500(b).)

The petition “must contain a full disclosure of all information that has any bearing upon the reasonableness of the compromise, covenant, settlement or disposition.” (Cal. Rules of Ct., Rule 7.950.) “[T]he petition must be prepared on a fully completed Petition to Approve Compromise of Disputed Claim or Pending Action or Disposition of Proceeds of Judgment for Minor or Person With a Disability (form MC-350).” (Cal. Rules of Ct., Rule 7.950.)

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