Defendant must prove excusable default

Defendant must prove an excusable default before showing a meritorious defense to vacate his default.

Although CPLR 5015(a) provides that upon defendant’s provision of a reasonable excuse and a meritorious defense, the court may, upon its own discretion, vacate a default within one year of the judgment, if the court does not find that the defendant has provided a reasonable excuse for its default, the court need not reach the question of whether defendant has meritorious defense. If a defendant fails to establish a reasonable excuse for its default it is unnecessary to consider whether it sufficiently demonstrated the existence of a potentially meritorious defense” Reich v. Redley, 96 AD3d 1038, 1039 [2d Dept 2012]; Lane v. Smith, 84 AD3d 746, 748 [2d Dept. 2011]. If defendant failed to demonstrate a reasonable excuse under CPLR 5015 (a)(1) for its pattern of willful default and neglect (see Campbell-Jarvis v. Alves, 68 AD3d 701, 702 [2009]; Roussodimou v. Zafiriadis, 238 AD2d 568, 569 [1997]; Merwitz v. Dental Care Servs., 155 AD2d 748, 750 [1989]), the question of whether the defendant asserted a potentially meritorious defense need not be reached in view of the foregoing. (see Burnett v. Renne, 32 AD3d 449, 450 [2006]). Jackson v. Professional Transp. Corp., 81 AD3d 602, 603 [2d Dept 2011].

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