Perils of not having the client verify the answer

CPLR § 105 Definitions


(u) Verified pleading. A “verified pleading” may be utilized as an affidavit whenever the latter is required.

Loughran v Giannoti, 2018 NY Slip Op 02451 [2d Dept 2018]

"On a motion for leave to enter judgment against a defendant for the failure to answer or appear, a plaintiff must submit proof of service of the summons and complaint, proof of the facts constituting its claim, and proof of the defendant's default" (Triangle Props. #2, LLC v Narang, 73 AD3d 1030, 1032; see CPLR 3215[f]; Liberty County Mut. v Avenue I Med., P.C., 129 AD3d 783, 784-785; Atlantic Cas. Ins. Co. v RJNJ Servs., Inc., 89 AD3d 649, 651). "To demonstrate the facts constituting the cause of action, the plaintiff need only submit sufficient proof to enable a court to determine if the cause of action is viable" (Clarke v Liberty Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 150 AD3d 1192, 1194; see Woodson v Mendon Leasing Corp., 100 NY2d 62, 70-71). Here, the plaintiff satisfied all of the requirements for demonstrating her entitlement to enter a default judgment (see Jing Shan Chen v R & K 51 Realty, Inc., 148 AD3d 689, 690; Mercury Cas. Co. v Surgical Ctr. at Milburn, LLC, 65 AD3d 1102).

To successfully oppose a facially adequate motion for leave to enter a default judgment based on the failure to appear or timely serve an answer, a defendant must demonstrate a reasonable excuse for its delay and the existence of a potentially meritorious defense (see Clarke v Liberty Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 150 AD3d at 1195; Fried v Jacob Holding, Inc., 110 AD3d 56, 60). Similarly, "[t]o compel the plaintiff to accept an untimely answer as timely, a defendant must provide a reasonable excuse for the delay and demonstrate a potentially meritorious defense to the action" (Ryan v Breezy Point Coop., Inc., 76 AD3d 523, 524; see CPLR 3012[d]; Clarke v Liberty Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 150 AD3d at 1194; Mannino Dev., Inc. v Linares, 117 AD3d 995, 995; Juseinoski v Board. of Educ. of City of N.Y., 15 AD3d 353, 356-358). Here, although the defendants demonstrated a reasonable excuse for the delay in serving their answer (see Lehrman v Lake Katonah Club, 295 AD2d 322), they failed to establish that they had a potentially meritorious defense to the action. The defendants submitted a proposed answer which was verified only by their attorney, and an affirmation from their attorney who did not have personal knowledge of the facts. These documents were insufficient to demonstrate a potentially meritorious defense to the action (see State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v Austin Diagnostic Med., P.C., 153 AD3d 576, 577; Ryan v Breezy Point Coop., Inc., 76 AD3d at 524).

emphasis is mine

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