Massachusetts Divorce Cases / Rule 60, relief from judgment
On this page we are compiling links to the full text of important Massachusetts Appellate Cases on Family Law and Divorce decided by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and the Massachusetts Appeals Court.
These cases are for educational purpose only and should not be used for any official or legal purpose. Please consult official reports. Below you will be able to search for Massachusetts Appeals Court Slip Opinions and Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Slip Opinions relating to Rule 60 and relief from judgment.
Rule 60 - Relief From Judgment
Chavoor v. Lewis, 383 Mass. 801 (1981): Defendant appealed the District Court’s decision to vacate the judgment and the Appellate Division’s decision to dismiss. The Supreme Judicial Court concluded that when an appealing party claims the District Court erred in granting a motion to vacate a judgment because the one-year time requirement expired and the Appellate Court provides no relief, the party can proceed with an appeal to determine whether granting the motion to vacate was within the judge’s authority. The court concluded that granting the motion to vacate was within the judge’s authority. Plaintiff’s lack of notice of the trial and entry of judgment fell within Mass. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(6), which authorized the court to relieve a party from a judgment for any “reason justifying relief from the operation of the judgment.” The court dismissed the appeal.
Goldstein v. Barron, 9 Mass. App. Ct. 644 (1980): The Appeals Court concluded there was no error in denying defendants’ motion to dismiss. Plaintiff’s bond of $2,000 was posted in compliance with G. L. c. 231, Section 60B because it was within the proscribed time requirement and in the sufficient amount. Plaintiff’s posting was timely because three days were added to the requirement that the bond be posted within 30 days of the finding because notice was served by mail.
Sahin v. Sahin, 435 Mass. 396 (2001): The wife filed an equity complaint under Rule 60(b) against the husband seeking relief from the divorce judgment. The basis of the wife’s equity complaint was that the husband perpetrated a fraud, which resulted in an unconscionable divorce judgment. The parties were married for 28 years before the wife filed for divorce. The value of the husband’s computer company was in dispute, and expert testimony was presented by the parties. The computer company’s fair market value was $4,912,717. Based on the evidence, the judge issued a divorce judgment wherein the husband received 100% of the shares of his company, and the wife received 30% of the value of his company. The divorce judgment was final on May 23, 1996. In 1999, the husband’s company was acquired by Lucent Technologies. In exchange, the husband received 12.88 million shares of Lucent, which was worth $1.48 billion at the time. Based on the increase in value of the husband’s company, the wife filed a complaint seeking relief from the divorce judgment. The husband filed a motion for summary judgment because there were no genuine issues of material fact. The motion for summary judgment was granted, and the wife appealed on the grounds that she should have been granted relief under the equity complaint under Rule 60(b); and the judgment should be set aside because the husband actions were a fraud on the court. The wife failed to present sufficient evidence that the husband acted with fraud on the court or that her equity complaint required her relief from the divorce judgment. The probate judge’s decision was affirmed.