Brief Fact Summary. Both the neglect of the clerk’s office and Brandon’s attorney caused Brandon’s case to be dismissed.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. In order to find relief from judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60 your factual case must fit exactly within an enumerated section of the rule. The court will not pile discretion upon discretion in applying this rule.
Issue. Whether the lower court abused its discretion in refusing to grant FRCP 60 relief from Judgment.
Held. District Courts are granted discretion to grant motions all through out trial. After trial is over and judgment has been found the last avenue of relief besides an appeal is FRCP 60. The court will only grant relief under certain circumstances specified in the rule. The court was asked to analyze subsection b which requires the court to find an abuse of discretion in order to reverse the judgment. Under that section a person may find relief from judgment if there is a 1: mistake or neglect, 2: new evidence, 3: fraud, 4: judgment is void, 5: judgment is satisfied, or 6: any other reason to justify relief. In order to obtain relief under subsection 1 through 3 you must do so with in the statute of limitation of 1 year. Defendant argues that since this motion was filed 1 year and 3 days after judgment that relief under 1 through 3 is not allowed. In return plaintiff argues that subsection 6 is relevant to this case since there was such a strange factual scenario. This court states that if your case fits under 1-3 than the catch all provision in 6 is not applicable. Here section 1 is exactly what occurred. Due to mistake and neglect of the clerk and Brandon’s attorney judgment against Brandon was entered and since subsection 1 applies this court can not even evaluate subsection 6 application. Affirmed lower courts judgment.
Discussion. The first Rule 60 motion was filed under subsection a. That only applies clerical mistakes on the record. This motion was for lack of prosecution, relief not allowed under subsection a, so Brandon was correct in changing his motion under subsection b.