United States District Court, W.D. New York
June 7, 2005.
EILEEN SPONG, Plaintiff,
TRAVELERS INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: MICHAEL TELESCA, Senior District Judge
On January 25, 2005, the Clerk of the Court made an entry of
default against defendant Travelers Insurance Company
("Travelers") based on Travelers' failure to timely respond to
the Complaint. That same day, plaintiff moved for a default
judgment. On February 9, 2005, Travelers filed a motion to vacate
the entry of the default and an opposition to plaintiff's motion
for a grant of a default judgment on grounds of excusable
neglect, contending that the Complaint in this action was not
timely forwarded by Travelers' office personnel to counsel.
Plaintiff opposes defendant's motion.
Rule 55 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that
the Court may set aside an entry of default "for good cause
shown." The Rule provides that an entry of default may also be
vacated pursuant to Rule 60(b), which provides that a party may
be relieved from a judgment based on a party's mistake,
inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect. In the instant
case, defendant has adequately explained that the delay in
answering the complaint was the result of excusable neglect.
Defendant has explained that there was an excusable and short
delay in forwarding the Complaint to counsel, and that granting
defendant's motion to vacate will not prejudice plaintiff's rights. Accordingly, I
grant defendant's motion to vacate the entry of default, and deny
plaintiff's motion for default judgment. Defendant shall have 20
days from the date of this order in which to file an Answer or
otherwise move against the Complaint.
ALL OF THE ABOVE IS SO ORDERED.
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