The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined plaintiff bank’s unexcused failure to appear at a scheduled conference required denial of the bank’s motion to vacate a default judgment:
Although CPLR 3215(c) was not an appropriate ground upon which to dismiss the complaint because the plaintiff initiated proceedings for the entry of a judgment by moving for an order of reference within one year of the defendant’s default …, dismissal of the complaint was appropriate pursuant to 22 NYCRR 202.27(c) since the plaintiff failed to appear for the scheduled October 2012 conference.
A plaintiff seeking to vacate a default in appearing at a conference is required to demonstrate both a reasonable excuse for its default and a potentially meritorious cause of action (see CPLR 5015[a] … ). Although “[t]he determination of whether an excuse is reasonable is committed to the sound discretion of the motion court” … , the defaulting party must submit evidence in admissible form establishing both a reasonable excuse and a potentially meritorious cause of action or defense … .
Here, the plaintiff alleged only that the failure of its two prior attorneys to timely file the attorney affirmation in accordance with the January 2011 order caused the delay in prosecuting this action, and failed to proffer any evidentiary support therefor or any excuse for its failure to appear at the October 2012 conference. Moreover, the record reflects that the plaintiff did not take any action for almost four years to cure its default after the action was marked off the calendar. Since the plaintiff failed to demonstrate a reasonable excuse for its default … , we need not reach the issue of whether it had asserted a potentially meritorious cause of action … . Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v McClintock, 2019 NY Slip Op 06015, Second Dept 7-31-19