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Rule 60

Rule 60 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure deals with relief from judgment or order.  According to the rule, the court may correct a clerical mistake or a mistake arising from oversight or omission in a judgment, order, or other part of the record, with or without notice.  However, such a mistake may be corrected only with the appellate court’s leave, while an appeal is pending.  The court may relieve a party or its legal representative from a final judgment, order, or proceeding for reasons such as:

  • mistake, inadvertence, or excusable neglect;
  • newly discovered evidence;
  • fraud, misrepresentation, or misconduct by an opposing party;
  • the judgment is void;
  • the judgment is based on an earlier judgment that has been reversed or vacated; or
  • prospective application of the judgment is no longer equitable.

A motion under Rule 60(b) must be made within a reasonable time and no more than a year after the entry of the judgment or order or the date of the proceeding.  The motion does not affect the judgment’s finality or suspend its operation.

Rule 60 does not limit the power of a court to entertain an independent action to relieve a party from a judgment, or to grant relief to a defendant who was not personally notified of the action, or to set aside a judgment for fraud on the court.

Inside Rule 60