Motion to Vacate Judgment on Basis of Fraud in New York

What is a Motion for Relief from Judgment on Basis of Fraud?

Background

A court maintains inherent power to vacate a judgment in the interest of justice. (Ladd v. Stevenson, 112 N.Y. 325, 332 [1889].) As such, a judgment may be vacated on the grounds of fraud, misrepresentation, or other misconduct. (Civ. Prac. Law & Rules, § 5015(a)(3).)

How to Structure the Motion

“The court which rendered a judgment or order may relieve a party from it upon such terms as may be just, on motion of any interested persons with such notice as the court may direct.” (Civ. Prac. Law & Rules, § 5015(a); Maria Acevedo v. Francisco Navarro, 22 A.D.3d 391 [1st Dept. 2005].) Relief may be granted upon the ground of “fraud, misrepresentation, or other misconduct of an adverse party.” (Civ. Prac. Law & Rules, § 5015(a)(3).)

A motion to vacate a judgment on the basis of fraud requires the movant to demonstrate that the non-movant’s conduct in securing the order rose to the level of fraud, misrepresentation, or other misconduct. (Empire State Conglomerates v. Mahbur, 105 A.D.3d 898, 899 [2nd Dept. 2013].)

Conclusory or broad, unsubstantiated allegations of fraud are not sufficient to establish entitlement to an order vacating a prior judgment. (Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Rooney, 132 A.D.3d 980, 983 [2nd Dept. 2015].) “[A] party seeking to set aside a judgment on the basis of fraud ‘will not prevail by merely showing fraud in the underlying transaction but must show fraud in the very means by which the judgment was procured.’” (Rossrock Fund II, L.P. v. Norlin Corp., 128 A.D.3d 1046, 1047 [2nd Dept. 2015].)

The fraud specified in Section 5015(a) may be either extrinsic or intrinsic. (Oppenheimer v. Westcott, 47 N.Y.2d 595, 603 [1979].) Extrinsic fraud is said to deprive a party from fully and fairly litigating a matter. (Shaw v. Shaw, 97 A.D.2d 403 [2nd Dept. 1983].) Examples of extrinsic fraud include false promises to compromise and acts committed by one party for the purpose of keeping another party away from court so that a default judgment may be secured. (Tamimi v. Tamimi, 38 A.D.2d 197 [2nd Dept. 1972].) Allegations of extrinsic fraud do not require a moving party to establish a meritorious defense. (Bank of New York v. Lagakos, 27 A.D.3d 678 [2nd Dept. 2006].)

Claims of intrinsic fraud are based upon assertions that the plaintiff’s pleaded factual allegations are false due to perjured testimony or upon the use of false and/or fraudulent documents in support of its claims for relief. (Deutsche Bank Nat’l Trust Co. v. Karlis, 138 A.D.3d 228 [2nd Dept. 2016].) A moving defendant may succeed upon a showing that the plaintiff engaged in acts of intrinsic fraud in obtaining the judgment, by putting forth false testimony or other false proofs, provided that such a showing is accompanied by a demonstration of a meritorious defense to the claim. (New Century Mtge. Corp. v. Corriette, 117 A.D.3d 1011 [2nd Dept. 2014].)

The Court’s Decision

A motion to vacate a prior judgment or order is within the trial court’s “sound discretion, subject to reversal only where there has been a clear abuse of that discretion.” (Pritchard v. Curtis, 101 A.D.3d 1502, 1503 [3rd Dept. 2012].) A final judgment is properly vacated and set aside where there is fraud in the procurement of a judgment. (Fidelity New York, FSB v. Hanover Companies, Inc., 162 A.D.2d 582, 583 [2nd Dept. 1990].)

Courts have inherent authority to review a previous order obtained by means of misconduct by a party toward the court; the authority is based upon the concept that a party successful in obtaining an order by means of misconduct does not render a court powerless to undo that order when the truth is brought to light. (Matter of Lyons v. Goldstein, 290 N.Y. 19, 25 [1943].)

Timeline

A motion to vacate pursuant to Section 5015(a) of Civil Practice Law and Rules must be made within “a reasonable time.” (In re McLaughlin, 111 A.D.3d 1185, 1186 [3rd Dept. 2013].) While courts do not seek to reward litigants for failing to assert arguments in a timely manner, the section is designed to protect litigants in default from adversaries who are willing to perpetrate fraud, misconduct or misrepresent the truth. (Nash v. Port Auth. of N.Y. & N.J., 85 A.D.3d 414 [1st Dept. 2011].)

Documents

County

Kings County, NY

Filed Date

Mar 14, 2022

Judge

Kings Cdp25

County

Saratoga County, NY

Filed Date

Jul 14, 2021

Judge

James E Walsh

Case Filed

Oct 23, 2013

Case Status

Disposed-Court Date/Application Pending

County

Westchester County, NY

Filed Date

Aug 12, 2020

Type

Foreclosure (residential mortgage)

Judge Hon. William J Giacomo Trellis Spinner 👉 Discover key insights by exploring more analytics for William J Giacomo
County

New York County, NY

Filed Date

Jun 03, 2020

Type

Commercial Division

Judge

Peter Sherwood

Case Filed

Mar 30, 2017

Case Status

Disposed

County

Kings County, NY

Filed Date

Jun 01, 2020

Type

Torts - Motor Vehicle

Judge

Jury Coordinating Part 1

Case Filed

Jul 26, 2016

Case Status

Disposed, Motion Pending

County

New York County, NY

Filed Date

May 27, 2020

Type

Commercial Division

Judge

Peter Sherwood

Case Filed

Jul 26, 2016

Case Status

Disposed, Motion Pending

County

New York County, NY

Filed Date

May 19, 2020

Type

Commercial Division

Judge

Peter Sherwood

County

New York County, NY

Filed Date

May 15, 2020

Type

Commercial - Other (New York Labor Law)

Judge Hon. David B. Cohen Trellis Spinner 👉 Discover key insights by exploring more analytics for David B. Cohen
County

Rockland County, NY

Filed Date

May 06, 2020

Type

Contract (Non-Commercial)

Judge Hon. William A Kelly Trellis Spinner 👉 Discover key insights by exploring more analytics for William A Kelly
County

New York County, NY

Filed Date

Mar 12, 2020

Type

Commercial - Other (New York Labor Law)

Judge Hon. David B. Cohen Trellis Spinner 👉 Discover key insights by exploring more analytics for David B. Cohen

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