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Wilmington Savings Fund Society FSB v. Segal

United States District Court, D. Maine

January 2, 2020

WILMINGTON SAVINGS FUND SOCIETY FSB, Plaintiff,
v.
BRIAN K. SEGAL, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR RELIEF FROM JUDGMENT

          JON D. LEVY CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         On July 26, 2019, this Court entered a Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale against Defendant Patrick O'Donoghue (ECF No. 52). O'Donoghue, representing himself, moves to set aside the judgment (ECF No. 53).[1] For the following reasons, I deny the motion.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The Plaintiff, Wilmington Savings Fund Society FSB, filed its complaint against O'Donoghue and his co-defendant, Brian K. Segal, on May 7, 2018. O'Donoghue received the complaint as early as August 2018, and he was personally served with the complaint, summons, cover sheet, and exhibits at the subject property on October 3, 2018. O'Donoghue did not answer the complaint, and an entry of default was entered against him on November 13, 2018. Wilmington Savings subsequently filed a motion for default judgment against O'Donoghue, and a hearing was held on March 20, 2019 to ascertain the damages. O'Donoghue appeared at and participated in the hearing but did not object to any testimony or exhibits offered by Wilmington Savings. After the hearing, Wilmington Savings filed a proposed written judgment. O'Donoghue filed a response seeking dismissal of the action on several grounds, including that Wilmington Savings had misspelled his name. Wilmington Savings then filed an amended complaint and proposed judgment reflecting the correct spelling of O'Donoghue's name. On July 26, 2019, the Court entered a final Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale. On July 30, 2019, the Court received a letter from O'Donoghue challenging the judgment and seeking “a ruling on whether the property is an Owner Occupied Property.” ECF No. 53.

         II. LEGAL ANALYSIS

         “[T]he court can set aside a final judgment by default only ‘in accordance with Rule 60(b).'” United States v. $23, 000 in U.S. Currency, 356 F.3d 157, 164 (1st Cir. 2004) (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b) and Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(c)). Rule 60(b) permits relief from a judgment only for the following reasons:

(1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect;
(2) newly discovered evidence that, with reasonable diligence, could not have been discovered in time to move for a new trial under Rule 59(b);
(3) fraud (whether previously called intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or misconduct by an opposing party;
(4) the judgment is void;
(5) the judgment has been satisfied, released, or discharged; it is based on an earlier judgment that has been reversed or vacated; or applying it prospectively is no longer equitable; or
(6) any other reason that justifies relief.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b). “[R]elief under Rule 60(b) is extraordinary in nature and . . . motions invoking that rule should be granted sparingly.” Giroux v. Fed. Nat'l Mortg. Ass'n, 810 F.3d 103, 106 (1st Cir. 2016) (alterations in original) (quoting Karak v. Bursaw Oil Corp., 288 F.3d 15, 19 (1st Cir. 2002)). Here, O'Donoghue suggests that he is entitled to relief under Rule 60(b) for two reasons. First, he asserts that service of process was insufficient. Second, he contends that Wilmington Savings did not provide “proof of completed mediation (or waiver or default of mediation), ” which he asserts is necessary to support a judgment of foreclosure. See Bank of Am., N.A. v. Greenleaf, 96 A.3d 700, 708 (Me. 2014). I address each argument in turn.

         A. ...


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