Inherent power to vacate

Nationstar Mtge., LLC v Russo, 2018 NY Slip Op 08668 [2d Dept. 2018]

“Under CPLR 5015(a), a court is empowered to vacate a default judgment [or order] for several reasons, including excusable neglect; newly-discovered evidence; fraud, misrepresentation or other misconduct by an adverse party; lack of jurisdiction; or upon the reversal, modification or vacatur of a prior order” (Woodson v Mendon Leasing Corp., 100 NY2d 62, 68; see CPLR 5015[a]; Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v Choo, 159 AD3d 938, 938; HSBC Bank USA v Josephs-Byrd, 148 AD3d 78840 BP, LLC v Katatikarn, 147 AD3d 710). “However, CPLR 5015(a) does not provide an exhaustive list as to when a default judgment [or order] may be vacated, and a court may vacate its own judgment [or order] for sufficient reason and in the interests of substantial justice” (40 BP, LLC v Katatikarn, 147 AD3d at 711, citing Woodson v Mendon Leasing Corp., 100 NY2d at 68; see Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v Choo, 159 AD3d at 938; Hudson City Sav. Bank v Cohen, 120 AD3d 1304, 1305).

Although the Supreme Court retains “inherent discretionary power to relieve a party from a judgment or order for sufficient reason and in the interest of substantial justice” (Galasso, Langione & Botter, LLP v Liotti, 81 AD3d 884, 885; see Ladd v Stevenson, 112 NY 325, 332; Katz v Marra, 74 AD3d 888, 890), “[a] court’s inherent power to exercise control over its judgment is not plenary, and should be resorted to only to relieve a party from judgments taken through [fraud], mistake, inadvertence, surprise or excusable neglect” (Matter of McKenna v County of Nassau, Off. of County Attorney, 61 NY2d 739, 742 [internal quotation marks omitted]; see Wells Fargo Bank Minn., N.A. v Coletta, 153 AD3d 757, 758; HSBC Bank USA v Josephs-Byrd, 148 AD3d at 790)

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