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Rule allowing relief from judgment based on “mistake” includes legal mistakes by judges

Last week SCOTUS issued Kemp v. United States construing Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(1). That rule allows a party to seek relief based on “mistake, inadvertence, surprise or excusable neglect” within one year of the date on which a judgment becomes final. Wisconsin’s analog is §806.07.  The issue in Kemp was whether the term “mistake” means mistakes by parties or whether it includes mistakes by judges. In a 7-1 decision SCOTUS held that it includes legal mistakes by judges. Wisconsin courts often look to federal case law on Rule 60(b) when construing §806.07. If you are working on this issue, check out SCOTUSblog’s post on Kemp.


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