Legal Memorandum: Relief for a "Reason Justifying Relief"

Issue: When may a trial court appropriately base relief on mistake and a ‘reason justifying relief?’

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Relief; Mistake; Reason justifying relief
Jurisdiction: Federal
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(1),(6)
Date: 07/01/2007

The law is clear that under Federal Civil Procedure Rule 60(b) the court may,

[o]n motion and upon such terms as are just, . . . relieve a party or a party’s legal representative from a final judgment, order, or proceeding for the following reasons: (1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect; . . . or (6) any other reason justifying relief from the operation of the judgment.


Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(1), (6).  See Cent. Laborers Pension Fund v. Taxman Retaining Walls, Inc., No. 04-CV-417-DRH (S.D. Ill. Sept. 21, 2005) (finding that “the proper approach” to the plaintiff’s motion to set aside the dismissal, which was not made pursuant to any particular statute or rule, was to apply Rule 60(b)).


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