Issue: What are the grounds for relief from a voidable judgment in Minnesota?
|Area of Law:||Litigation & Procedure|
|Keywords:||Relief from a voidable judgment; Grounds; Default judgment|
|Cited Cases:||450 N.W.2d 137; 237 Minn. 28; 355 N.W.2d 207; 55 N.W.2d 710; 428 N.W.2d 96; 341 N.W.2d 877; 179 N.W.2d 718; 53 N.W.2d 454; 321 N.W.2d 36|
|Cited Statutes:||Rule 60.02(c); Rule 60.02(f)|
In seeking relief from a voidable judgment, Minnesota courts require a party to affirmatively establish four different factors:
1) the party has a reasonable defense on the merits;
2) the party has a reasonable excuse for the failure or neglect to answer;
3) the party has acted with due diligence after notice of entry of judgment; and
4) the party establishes that no substantial prejudice will result to the other party if the relief is granted.
Hinz v. Northland Milk & Ice Cream Co., 237 Minn. 28, 53 N.W.2d 454, 455-56 (1952); Conley v. Downing, 321 N.W.2d 36, 40 (Minn. 1982). Where all four factors exist, the court has a duty to grant a motion to vacate the default judgment. Standard Oil Co. v. King, 238 Minn. 81, 55 N.W.2d 710, 712 (1952).
Under Rule 60.02(c), a court may vacate a default judgment in circumstances of fraud, misrepresentation or other misconduct of the adverse party. In addition, under Rule 60.02(f), a court may vacate a default judgment for “[a]ny other reason justifying relief from the operation of the judgment.”
A party seeking relief from a default judgment must act with “due diligence,” or promptly, after the notice of the entry of judgment. Conley, 321 N.W.2d at 40-41. What constitutes a reasonable time in responding to the entry of a judgment depends upon the facts of the particular case […]