Brief Fact Summary. Plaintiff, Brandon, sought relief under Rule 60 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure after judgment was entered for Defendant, Chicago Board of Education, due to Plaintiff’s failure to prosecute his case.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Rule 60(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure can be used to overturn a final judgment, but the Rule 60(b)(6) catchall provision will not be available if the other provisions are applicable.
Issue. The issue is whether Plaintiff is entitled to Rule 60(b) relief for the court clerk’s docketing error.
Held. The court held that Plaintiff’s attorney had a duty to check on Plaintiff’s case, and this lack of diligence resulted in the error as much as the clerk’s docketing error. Plaintiff also could not seek relief under the Rule 60(b)(6) catchall provision since it is only applicable if the previous provisions do not apply. Since Rule 60 (b)(1), which covers mistakes or excusable neglect, would apply to the circumstances, Plaintiff was also bound by the 1-year statute of limitation to file after the dismissal. They did not make the deadline, so the relief was not granted.
Discussion. The court’s sympathy was tempered by the fact that Plaintiff’s attorney never followed up with the court, and he made his own mistake in associating his filing with the wrong case number.