|Betz v Carbone|
|2015 NY Slip Op 01914 [126 AD3d 743]|
|March 11, 2015|
|Appellate Division, Second Department|
|Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law § 431.|
| Debra Betz, Respondent,|
Carmela Carbone, Appellant.
Davis LLP, New York, N.Y. (Eric M. Davis of counsel), for appellant.
Bashian & Farber, LLP, White Plains, N.Y. (Andrew Frisenda of counsel), for respondent.
In an action to recover damages for unjust enrichment and conversion, the defendant appeals from an order of the Supreme Court, Westchester County (Smith, J.), dated April 3, 2014, which denied her motion to vacate a judgment of the same court dated November 18, 2013, entered upon her failure to answer the complaint.
Ordered that the order is affirmed, with costs.
To vacate a judgment entered upon her failure to answer the complaint, the defendant was required to demonstrate a reasonable excuse for her default and a potentially meritorious defense to the action (see CPLR 5015 [a] ; Eugene Di Lorenzo, Inc. v A.C. Dutton Lbr. Co., 67 NY2d 138, 141 ; New York Hosp. Med. Ctr. of Queens v Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., 120 AD3d 1322, 1323 ; Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v Hampton, 119 AD3d 856 ). While the court has discretion to accept law office failure as a reasonable excuse, a pattern of willful default and neglect should not be excused (see Vardaros v Zapas, 105 AD3d 1037, 1038 ; Bazoyah v Herschitz, 79 AD3d 1081, 1081 ; Roussodimou v Zafiriadis, 238 AD2d 568, 569 ).
Here, the defendant failed to demonstrate a reasonable excuse for her default in
interposing an answer. Her prior attorney did not adequately explain his failure to
interpose an answer even though opposing counsel agreed to an overall extension of
Accordingly, the Supreme Court properly denied the defendant's motion to vacate the judgment entered upon her failure to answer the complaint. Rivera, J.P., Hall, Roman, Cohen and Barros, JJ., concur.