The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined plaintiff’s failure to timely seek a default judgment in this foreclosure action required the action to be dismissed as abandoned. Plaintiff’s failure to offer an adequate excuse mandated dismissal without considering whether plaintiff had a meritorious action:
… [T]he Supreme Court should have granted that branch of the defendant’s cross motion which was pursuant to CPLR 3215(c) to dismiss the complaint insofar as asserted against her as abandoned. CPLR 3215(c) provides, inter alia, that “[i]f the plaintiff fails to take proceedings for the entry of judgment within one year after the default, the court shall not enter judgment but shall dismiss the complaint as abandoned, . . . unless sufficient cause is shown why the complaint should not be dismissed.” “To establish sufficient cause,’ the party opposing dismissal must demonstrate that it had a reasonable excuse for the delay in taking proceedings for entry of a default judgment and that it has a potentially meritorious action” … .
Here, the plaintiff provided no explanation for the almost four-year delay after the defendant defaulted in 2011 before it filed a request for judicial intervention in February 2015 requesting a residential mortgage foreclosure settlement conference. Under such circumstances, the Supreme Court should have found that the plaintiff had not demonstrated a reasonable excuse for its delay in seeking a default judgment … . Since the plaintiff failed to proffer a reasonable excuse, this Court need not consider whether the plaintiff demonstrated a potentially meritorious action … . Flushing Bank v Sabi, 2020 NY Slip Op 02461, Second Dept 4-29-20