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Current Developments in the Commercial Divisions of the
New York State Courts by Schlam Stone & Dolan LLP
Posted: October 31, 2020

CPLR 3215(c) Requires Only That Plaintiff Move for Default Within One Year, Not That a Default Judgment Be Entered Within One Year

On October 14, 2020, the Second Department issued a decision in Onewest Bank, FSB v. Kanapathipillai, 2020 NY Slip Op. 05764, holding that CPLR 3215(c) requires only that a plaintiff move for a default judgment within one year, not that a default judgment be entered within one year, explaining:

The defendant contends that the plaintiff violated CPLR 3215(c), which requires a plaintiff to take proceedings for the entry of judgment within one year after the default. However, it is not necessary for a plaintiff to actually obtain a default judgment within one year of the default in order to avoid dismissal pursuant to CPLR 3215(c). So long as the plaintiff initiated proceedings for the entry of a judgment within one year of the default, there is no basis for dismissal of the complaint pursuant to that statute. Here, the plaintiff complied with CPLR 3215(c) by moving for a default judgment and order of reference within one year of the default. Contrary to the defendant’s contention, the withdrawal of the plaintiff’s motion for an order of reference did not demonstrate that the plaintiff failed to initiate proceedings for entry of a judgment of foreclosure and sale.

(Internal quotations an citations omitted).

If you are served with a complaint and fail timely to answer, or if you answer and do not appear at schedule court appearances, the court can enter judgment against you: a default judgment. Contact Schlam Stone & Dolan partner John Lundin at jlundin@schlamstone.com if you or a client have questions regarding whether you have been properly served or if a default judgment has been entered against you.

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