Brief Fact Summary.
Plaintiff sued Defendant for overtime wages under federal maritime law. Defendant failed to file an answer in a timely manner.
Synopsis of Rule of Law.
A default judgment may be set aside under Rule 60(b) when the defendant shows good cause for the default, a quick action to correct the default, and the existence of a meritorious defense to the original action.
Pioneer broadened the definition of excusable neglect.View Full Point of Law
Tate (Plaintiff) sued Riverboat Services, Inc. (Defendant) for overtime wages under federal maritime law. Defendant failed to file an answer in a timely manner.
Has the Defendant met the requirements under Rule 60(b) for a motion to vacate default judgment?
Yes, the motion to vacate default judgment is granted.
The Court accepted the Defendant’s arguments for each of the three requirements under Rule 60(b). The Court found Defendant’s good cause for the default to be excusable neglect, based on confusion surrounding multiple lawsuits involving the Defendant. The Court found the Defendant moved to correct the default judgment within fifty days and did so in good faith. The Court found that the Defendant’s res judicata defense against the Plaintiff was a meritorious defense.