Vacating a judgment under Rule 60(b)(6) in Federal Court

Vacating a judgment under Rule 60(b)(6) in Federal Court is the topic of this blog post.

Rule 60(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (Rule 60) states that a Court can vacate a judgment for any other reason that justifies relief. 

Rule 9024 of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure states that Rule 60 applies to proceedings in United States Bankruptcy Court so this motion can be filed in bankruptcy cases as well.

Vacating a judgment under Rule 60(b)(6) is much harder than filing a motion under clauses 1-5 of Rule 60(b) because the Courts have ruled that this motion can only be granted in extraordinary circumstances to prevent a manifest injustice.  If you have an extraordinary situation than this motion makes sense, particularly in situations where the facts of the case do not meet the requirements of clauses 1-5 of Rule 60(b) but extraordinary circumstances exist.

Rule 60 states in pertinent part that “(b) Grounds for Relief from a Final Judgment, Order, or Proceeding. On motion and just terms, the court may relieve a party or its legal representative from a final judgment, order, or proceeding for the following reasons:  (6) any other reason that justifies relief.”

And Rule 60 also states that “(c) Timing and Effect of the Motion. (1) Timing. A motion under Rule 60(b) must be made within a reasonable time—and for reasons (1), (2), and (3) no more than a year after the entry of the judgment or order or the date of the proceeding.”

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as well as other Circuit Courts of Appeal have stated that there is no strict time limitation on filing a motion to vacate a judgment under clause (6) of Rule 60(b) although in my personal opinion any party should file their motion as soon as possible after they have knowledge that a default judgment has been entered against them as the motion must be made within a reasonable time and a motion filed under clause (6) is generally hard to obtain except in very unusual circumstances.

However the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal has stated that Rule 60, like all the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, “is to be liberally construed to effectuate the general purpose of seeing that cases are tried on the merits.” Rodgers v. Watt, 722 F.2d 456, 459 (9th Cir. 1983) (internal citations omitted.)

See also Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 1, “The Federal Rules should be construed and administered to secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action and proceeding.”

Attorneys or parties in civil litigation in United States District Court who wish to view a portion of an 11 page sample motion to vacate judgment under Rule 60(b)(6) that includes brief instructions, a memorandum of points and authorities with citations to case law and statutory authority, sample declaration and proof of service by mail sold by the author can see below.

Sample Motion to Vacate Judgment Under Rule 60(b)(6) by Stan Burman on Scribd

 

Attorneys or parties in California that would like more information on a Federal legal document collection containing over 50 sample documents including a sample motion to vacate judgment under Rule 60(b)(6) sold by the author can use the link shown below.

https://legaldocspro.myshopify.com/collections/frontpage/products/federal-legal-document-collection

The author of this blog post, Stan Burman, is a freelance paralegal who has worked in California and Federal litigation since 1995 and has created over 300 sample legal documents for sale.

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DISCLAIMER:

Please note that the author of this blog post, Stan Burman is NOT an attorney and as such is unable to provide any specific legal advice. The author is NOT engaged in providing any legal, financial, or other professional services, and any information contained in this blog post is NOT intended to constitute legal advice.

The materials and information contained in this blog post have been prepared by Stan Burman for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. Transmission of the information contained in this blog post is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, any business relationship between the author and any readers. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.