3215(c) and waiver

Federal Natl. Mtge. Assn. v Heilpern, 2018 NY Slip Op 05752 [2d Dept 2018]

The plaintiff failed to seek a default judgment on the unanswered complaint within one year after the default, as required by CPLR 3215(c) (see Giglio v NTIMP, Inc., 86 AD3d 301, 307). To avoid dismissal of the action as abandoned pursuant to CPLR 3215(c), the plaintiff was required to demonstrate a reasonable excuse for its delay in seeking a default judgment and a potentially meritorious cause of action (see Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v Bonanno, 146 AD3d 844, 846; U.S. Bank, N.A. v Dorvelus, 140 AD3d 850, 852; Ohio Sav. Bank v Decaudin, 129 AD3d 925, 926). The plaintiff failed to offer a reasonable excuse for its delay in seeking a default judgment. Since the plaintiff failed to proffer a reasonable excuse for its delay in seeking a default judgment, this Court need not consider whether it had a potentially meritorious cause of action (see U.S. Bank, N.A. v Dorvelus, 140 AD3d at 852).

A defendant may waive the right to seek a dismissal pursuant to CPLR 3215(c) by serving an answer or taking any other steps which may be viewed as a formal or informal appearance (see HSBC Bank USA, N.A. v Grella, 145 AD3d 669Myers v Slutsky, 139 AD2d 709, 711). Here, the defendants did not appear in the action, either formally or informally.

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