United States of America v. Salten et al
MEMORANDUM & ORDER granting 128 Motion to Amend/Correct/Supplement; denying 134 Motion to Dismiss; denying 134 Motion for Leave to File; For the foregoing reasons, the Government's motion to correct the April 19, 2007 Judgment (Docket Entry 128) is GRANTED; and Mr. Salten's motion to vacate and for leave to file an amended answer (Docket Entry 134) is DENIED. The Clerk of the Court is directed to amend the April 19, 2007 Judgment so that the judgment is against Mr. Salten only. So Ordered by Judge Joanna Seybert on 3/26/2015. C/ECF; C/M (Valle, Christine)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
-againstHOWARD SALTEN and MARGARET SALTEN
and if not living their
HERIRS-AT-LAW, IF ANY; PATRICIA
SALTEN aka PATRICIA LYNCH; “JOHN DOE
#1” through “JOHN DOE #10” inclusive,
such names being fictitious and
unknown to plaintiff, the persons or
parties intended being tenants,
occupants, persons, corporations,
or other legal entities, if any,
having or claiming an interest in or
lien upon the premises described in
the complaint, 215 Little Fresh Pond
Road, Southampton, New York,
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
Thomas A. McFarland, Esq.
United States Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of New York
610 Federal Plaza
Central Islip, NY 11722
Howard Salten, pro se
P.O. Drawer 5066
Southampton, NY 11969
SEYBERT, District Judge:
States of America’s (the “Government”) motion to correct the
judgment entered in this action on April 19, 2007 (Docket Entry
128); and (2) pro se defendant Howard Salten’s (“Defendant” or
“Mr. Salten”) cross-motion to vacate the judgment and for leave to
file an amended answer (Docket Entry 134).
For the following
GRANTED, and Mr. Salten’s cross-motion to vacate the judgment and
for leave to file an amended answer is DENIED.
procedural history of this case.
Briefly, however, this is a
foreclosure action related to premises located at 215 Fresh Pond
Road in Southampton, New York.
Defendant Patricia Salten executed
a promissory note and mortgage for the property in favor of the
Farmers Home Administration, an agency of the United States now
known as Rural Development.
Mr. Salten and his former spouse,
Defendant Margaret Salten, later assumed the mortgage and the
underlying promissory note when they bought the property from
Mr. Salten answered the Complaint on September
(Docket Entry 53.)
No other Defendant answered or
otherwise appeared in the action.
By Memorandum and Order dated October 25, 2006, this
Court granted the Government’s motion for summary judgment against
(Docket Entry 98.)
On April 19, 2007, the Clerk of
the Court entered a judgment against all Defendants, even though
the Government had only moved against Mr. Salten (the “April 19,
(Docket Entry 102.)
On May 24, 2007, Mr. Salten appealed the April 19, 2007
Government moved to dismiss the appeal, arguing that the judgment
was not final.
On June 24, 2008, the Second Circuit denied the
Government’s motion to dismiss without stating its reason for the
denial, but also dismissed Mr. Salten’s appeal because he did not
present any “arguably meritorious issue[s].”
According to the Government, when it began to prepare a
motion for judgment of foreclosure and sale against the remaining
Defendants, it learned that Brookhaven Memorial Hospital, which
had not been named as a defendant herein, had a lien on the property
against Mr. Salten.
(Pl.’s Br., Docket Entry 129, at 4.)
released Defendant Patricia Salten from liability on the mortgage
and promissory note when she sold the property to Mr. Salten and
(Pl.’s Br. at 4.)
Thus, on April 5, 2013, the
Government filed a motion for leave to amend the Complaint to
include Brookhaven Memorial Hospital as a necessary party and to
remove Patricia Salten as a defendant so that the Government could
foreclose on the property.
(Docket Entry 108.)
On April 29, 2013, this Court denied the Government’s
motion to amend the Complaint in this action, on the grounds that
judgment had already been entered in favor of the Government and
the case closed.
(Docket Entry 112.)
On May 14, 2013, the
Government moved for reconsideration of that Order, arguing that
“the Court overlooked the fact that although summary judgment had
been granted against Mr. Salten, judgment had not been granted
against any other defendant, therefore the judgment against Mr.
Salten was not a final judgment.”
(Pl.’s Br., Docket Entry 115,
By Memorandum and Order dated September 30, 2013, the
Court denied the Government’s motion for reconsideration because
the April 19, 2007 Judgment had been entered in this action against
all Defendants, not just Mr. Salten, thus making the judgment
United States v. Salten, No. 03-CV-0578, 2013 WL 5460632,
at *2 (E.D.N.Y. Sept. 30, 2013).
However, the Court also stated
that “[t]o the extent that the Government believes that this may
have been a clerical mistake, it may file a motion to amend the
judgment under Rule 60(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.”
Id. at *2 n.1.
The Government then filed the present motion to correct
the April 19, 2007 Judgment so that it would be as against Mr.
(Docket Entry 128.)
Mr. Salten did not oppose the
Instead, he filed a cross-motion to vacate
the April 19, 2007 Judgment and for leave to file an amended
(Docket Entry 134.)
The Government’s Motion to Correct the Judgment
The Government moves to correct the April 19, 2007
Judgment pursuant to Rule 60(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure, which provides in relevant part, that “[t]he court may
correct a clerical mistake or a mistake arising from oversight or
omission whenever one is found in a judgment, order, or other part
of the record.”
FED. R. CIV. P. 60(a).
“The general purpose of
Rule 60(a) is to afford courts a means of modifying their judgments
in order to ensure that the record reflects the actual intentions
of the court.” Fortune v. Grp. Long Term Disability Plan for Emps.
of Keyspan Corp., No. 08-CV-1017, 2009 WL 8660097, at *2 (E.D.N.Y.
Sept. 12, 2009) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).
Accordingly, “‘[a] motion under Rule 60(a) is available only to
correct a judgment for the purpose of reflecting accurately a
decision that the court actually made.’”
Id. (alteration in
original) (quoting Hodge v. Hodge, 269 F.3d 155, 158 (2d Cir.
There is no time limit for making a motion under Rule
See Metso Minerals, Inc. v. Powerscreen Int’l Distribution
Ltd., 297 F.R.D. 213, 217 (E.D.N.Y. 2014), aff’d sub nom., Metso
Minerals Inc. v. Terex Corp., --- F. App’x ----, 2014 WL 6783025
(Fed. Cir. Dec. 3, 2014).
judgment against Mr. Salten only, and the Court granted summary
judgment against Mr. Salten only. (See Docket Entry 98.) However,
the Clerk of the Court entered judgment against all Defendants.
This did not accurately reflect the intentions of the Court, and
the Government will be unable to foreclose on the property at issue
if Brookhaven Memorial Hospital is not a party to this action.
See Polish Nat’l Alliance of Brooklyn, U.S.A. v. White Eagle Hall
Co., 98 A.D.2d 400, 403, 470 N.Y.S.2d 642, 646 (2d Dep’t 1983)
(stating that “persons holding title to the premises or acquiring
any right to or lien on the property subsequent to the mortgage
Accordingly, the Government’s motion to correct the April 19, 2007
Judgment so that the judgment is against Mr. Salten only is
Mr. Salten’s Motion to Vacate and for Leave to File an Amended
Mr. Salten has cross-moved to vacate the April 19, 2007
Judgment and for leave to file an amended answer on the grounds of
newly discovered evidence.
(Docket Entry 134.)
Mr. Salten made
The Government will have to move to amend the Complaint to
include Brookhaven Memorial Hospital as a party to this action.
This Memorandum and Order should not be construed as
adjudicating the merits of any such motion.
a similar motion on July 10, 2013, which the Court denied as timebarred.
Salten, 2013 WL 5460632, at *2.
As the Court explained:
Motions for reconsideration under Local Civil
Rule 6.3 must be filed within fourteen days of
the entry of judgment, motions to amend a
judgment under Rule 59(e) of the Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure must be filed within
twenty-eight days of the entry of judgment,
and motions for relief from judgment on the
grounds of newly discovered evidence under
Rule 60(b) must be filed within one year of
Here, judgment was entered on April 19,
and Mr. Salten did not file his motion
more than six years later on July 11,
Accordingly, his motion is DENIED as
Id. (citations omitted).
The Court DENIES Mr. Salten’s current
motion for the same reasons.
[REMAINDER OF THIS PAGE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK]
For the foregoing reasons, the Government’s motion to
correct the April 19, 2007 Judgment (Docket Entry 128) is GRANTED;
and Mr. Salten’s motion to vacate and for leave to file an amended
answer (Docket Entry 134) is DENIED.
The Clerk of the Court is
directed to amend the April 19, 2007 Judgment so that the judgment
is against Mr. Salten only.
/s/ JOANNA SEYBERT______
Joanna Seybert, U.S.D.J.
26 , 2015
Central Islip, New York
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