The Third Department determined Supreme Court properly exercised its discretion and vacated the dismissal of this foreclosure action for plaintiff bank’s failure to appear at a scheduled conference (22 NYCRR 202.27):
“22 NYCRR 202.27 gives a court the discretion to dismiss an action where [a] plaintiff fails to appear at any scheduled call of a calendar or at any conference” … . “To vacate a dismissal under 22 NYCRR 202.27, it [is] incumbent upon [a] plaintiff to provide a reasonable excuse for his [or her] failure to appear and to demonstrate a potentially meritorious cause of action” … . “A motion to vacate a prior judgment or order is addressed to the court’s sound discretion, subject to reversal only where there has been a clear abuse of that discretion” … .
Here, plaintiff’s counsel explained that, due to a scheduling error, the assigned attorney actually appeared in court on the conference date but missed the calendar call. Law office failure may constitute a reasonable excuse for an appearance default … Given the isolated nature of this nonappearance, we find that Supreme Court acted within its discretion in reconsidering and vacating the default dismissal … . Notably, plaintiff supported its vacatur motion with a duly executed affidavit of merit from its representative. We further recognize that plaintiff has a meritorious cause of action, as we affirmed the award of summary judgment in plaintiff’s favor … . Under the circumstances presented, we conclude that the court acted within its discretion in granting the motion to vacate. Onewest Bank, F.S.B. v Mazzone, 2020 NY Slip Op 05011, Third Dept 9-17-20