Legal Memorandum: Defeating a Rule 60(b) Motion in HI

Issue: Is a plaintiff’s expense to investigate defendant’s assets considered sufficient prejudice to defeat a Rule 60(b) Motion?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Rule 60(b) motion; Expenses to investigate assets
Jurisdiction: Hawaii
Cited Cases: 92 Haw. 228; 1 F.3d 262; 776 F.2d 1277; 57 Haw. 73; 820 F.2d 1317; 731 F.2d 204; 95 F.3d 429; 579 P.2d 1147; 4 Haw. App. 584
Cited Statutes: Haw. R. Civ. P. 60(b)
Date: 04/01/2013

To succeed on a Rule 60(b) motion, a plaintiff must prove (1) that defendant will not be prejudiced by the reopening; (2) that plaintiff has a meritorious defense; and (3) that the default was not a result of inexcusable neglect or willful act.  BDM, Inc. v. Sageco, Inc., 57 Haw. 73, 77, 579 P.2d 1147, 1150 (1976).  “The prejudice factor is of lesser importance.”  National Credit Union Admin. Bd. v. Gray, 1 F.3d 262, 265 (4th Cir. 1993). 

In the context of a Rule 60(b) motion, such things as the loss of evidence, increased difficulties and costs of discovery, a greater opportunity for fraud or collusion, and the likelihood that the defendant will conceal or transfer assets may suffice to show prejudice.  See The Nature Conservatory v. Nakila, 4 Haw. App. 584, 671 P.2d 1025 (1983); Thompson v. American Home Assurance Co., 95 F.3d 429 (6th Cir. 1996); State St. Bank & Trust Co. v. Inversiones Errazuriz, Limitada, 230 F. Supp. 2d 313 (S.D.N.Y. 2002).  But, the inconveniences inherent in every reopening of a case are not sufficient prejudice to defeat a motion.  See BDM, Inc. v. Sageco, Inc., 57 Haw. 73, 77, 579 P.2d 1147, 1150 (1976) (“The mere fact that the nondefaulting party will be required to prove his case without the inhibiting effect of the default . . . does not constitute prejudice.”); Lambert v. Lua, 92 Haw. 228, 236, 990 […]

Subscribe to Litigation Pathfinder

To get the full-text of this Legal Memorandum ... and more!

(Month-to-month and annual subscriptions available)