A consent decree (also referred to as a consent order) is a judicial decree expressing a voluntary agreement between or among the parties to a lawsuit, especially an agreement by a defendant to cease certain activities alleged by the government to be illegal in return for an end to the litigation. A consent decree does not constitute an admission of a violation of law.
A consent decree can be either interlocutory or final. The former is given on some plea or issue arising in the lawsuit which does not decide the main question; the latter settles the matter in dispute, and a final decree has the same effect as a judgment at law.
"[A] consent decree is afforded the same effect as any other judgment." Once entered, a consent decree is binding on the consenting parties and cannot be reviewed except on a showing that the consent was obtained by fraud or that the decree was based on mutual error or a failure of consent.
- ↑ Satsky v. Paramount Commc'ns, Inc., 7 F.3d 1464, 1468 (10th Cir. 1993).
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