Thursday, May 25, 2017

CPLR 3215(c) and default judgments.

Practice point:  Pursuant to the statute, "[i]f the plaintiff fails to take proceedings for the entry of judgment within one year after the default, the court shall not enter judgment but shall dismiss the complaint as abandoned, without costs, upon its own initiative or on motion, unless sufficient cause is shown why the complaint should not be dismissed."

The single exception to the statute's mandatory language is that the failure to timely seek a default on an unanswered complaint or counterclaim may be excused for sufficient cause. Courts have interpreted this language as requiring both a reasonable excuse for the delay in timely moving for a default judgment, plus a demonstration that the cause of action is potentially meritorious.

Case in point:  Bank of N.Y. v. Kushnir, NY Slip Op 03922 (2d Dep't May 17, 2017)

Here is the decision.

Tomorrow's issue:  A misleveled elevator.