Posts tagged "Langis"

Institution for Savings in Newburyport v. Langis, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-023-18)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030;   17-P-4                                          Appeals Court   INSTITUTION FOR SAVINGS IN NEWBURYPORT AND ITS VICINITY  vs.  MATTHEW LANGIS & another.[1]     No. 17-P-4.   Essex.     November 6, 2017. – February 27, 2018.   Present:  Kinder, Desmond, & Sacks, JJ.     Judgment, Default, Relief from judgment.  Practice, Civil, Default, Relief from judgment.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on December 19, 2014.   A motion for relief from judgment, filed on February 26, 2016, was heard by Elizabeth M. Fahey.     Eric P. Magnuson (Joseph T. Toomey also present) for the plaintiff. Kevin J. O’Connor for Infinex Investments, Inc.     SACKS, J.  This appeal raises a question regarding the procedure to be followed when a plaintiff files a properly supported application for default judgment for failure to serve interrogatory answers under Mass.R.Civ.P. 33(a)(4), as appearing in 436 Mass. 1401 (2002), but no final judgment can enter because damages have not yet been determined.  The question is whether a defendant seeking relief from the initial action on such an application must satisfy the “excusable neglect” standard under Mass.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(1), 365 Mass. 828 (1974), requiring “unique or extraordinary” circumstances, Feltch v. General Rental Co., 383 Mass. 603, 614 (1981) (quotation omitted), or merely the less demanding “good cause” standard for removal of a default under Mass.R.Civ.P. 55(c), 365 Mass. 822 (1974), i.e., “a good reason for failing to . . . defend in a timely manner and . . . meritorious defenses.”  Johnny’s Oil Co. v. Eldayha, 82 Mass. App. Ct. 705, 708 (2012).  Our prior decisions strongly suggest, and we now determine, that rule 55(c)’s good cause standard governs. Background.  The case arises out of a complaint filed in the Superior Court involving a commercial dispute.  On December 18, 2015, after the defendant Infinex Investments, Inc. (Infinex), missed a previously extended deadline for serving interrogatory answers on the plaintiff, Institution for Savings in Newburyport and its Vicinity (IFS), IFS served a final request for answers pursuant to rule 33(a)(3).  On January 28, 2016 — the day after Infinex’s final rule 33(a)(4) deadline for serving such answers expired — IFS filed a properly supported “application for default judgment,” pursuant to Mass.R.Civ.P. 33(a)(6), as appearing in 454 Mass. 1404 (2009), which included a request for a hearing on damages, pursuant to Mass.R.Civ.P. 55(b)(2), as amended, 463 Mass. 1401 (2012).  IFS’s application and accompanying […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - February 27, 2018 at 9:18 pm

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