excusable neglect

excusable neglect

n. a legitimate excuse for the failure of a party or his/her lawyer to take required action (like filing an answer to a complaint) on time. This is usually claimed to set aside a default judgment for failure to answer (or otherwise respond) in the period set by law. Illness, press of business by the lawyer (but not necessarily the defendant), or an understandable oversight by the lawyer's staff ("just blame the secretary") are common excuses which the courts will often accept. However, if the defendant loses the complaint or fails to call his/her attorney the courts will be less lenient. In any event, the defendant must show he/she had some worthwhile defense. (See: default, default judgment)

References in periodicals archive ?
The judge denied the motion, holding that the lawyer waited too long to file it and had not shown excusable neglect.
7 (b) may be extended upon a showing of excusable neglect under Minn.
11) In one case, the court even found that grief over the decedent's death might contribute to a finding of excusable neglect.
81) The court based its holding on Rule 6(b), which gives a trial court the discretion to accept untimely affidavits under circumstances demonstrating that excusable neglect was the reason for the late submission.
It often is observed that mistake, inadvertence, excusable neglect, surprise, newly discovered evidence, fraud, or misrepresentation are relevant in determining whether good cause has been shown, as in New Hampshire Ins.
The bill would allow employees to exceed that 15-day time limit if the failure to contest results from "mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect.
Thigpen was able to get the default judgment set aside--not canceled--on grounds of excusable neglect and mistaken identity, thereby blocking the wage garnishment until the mother and child settled the question once and for all by checking their DNA against Pierce's.
While tolling of statutes of limitations against the government is permissible, the courts have not accepted "a garden variety claim of excusable neglect.
State law says prosecutors can file the same charges only twice against a defendant, unless one of the first two attempts is found to be excusable neglect.
They included agreements for the Housing Court to require rent deposits, to keep trial-proceeding tapes for at least two years, to provide spaces for excusable neglect in show-cause forms and to eliminate delays in issuing eviction warrants.
The bill would allow employees to exceed that 15-day time limit if the failure to contest results is from "mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect.