Rule 60.02: Mistakes — Inadvertence — Excusable Neglect — Fraud, etc.



On motion and upon such terms as are just, the court may relieve a party or the party's legal representative from a final judgment, order or proceeding for the following reasons: (1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise or excusable neglect; (2) fraud (whether heretofore denominated intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or other misconduct of an adverse party; (3) the judgment is void; (4) the judgment has been satisfied, released or discharged, or a prior judgment upon which it is based has been reversed or otherwise vacated, or it is no longer equitable that a judgment should have prospective application; or (5) any other reason justifying relief from the operation of the judgment. The motion shall be made within a reasonable time, and for reasons (1) and (2) not more than one year after the judgment, order or proceeding was entered or taken. A motion under this Rule 60.02 does not affect the finality of a judgment or suspend its operation, but the court may enter an order suspending the operation of the judgment upon such terms as to bond and notice as to it shall seem proper pending the hearing of such motion. This rule does not limit the power of a court to entertain an independent action to relieve a party from a judgment, order or proceeding, or to set aside a judgment for fraud upon the court. Writs of error coram nobis, bills of review and bills in the nature of a bill of review are abolished, and the procedure for obtaining relief from a judgment shall be by motion as prescribed in these rules or by an independent action.

Advisory Commission Comments.

60.01: This Rule supersedes the provisions of Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 20-1508 [repealed], 20-11-106 and 20-11-107, although it is generally consistent with the purpose of those statutes. The provisions of the Rule are somewhat more flexible than the statutory procedures.

60.02: This Rule supersedes chapter 7 of Title 27, T.C.A., dealing with the writ of error coram nobis, and Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 27-203, 27-204 [both repealed] dealing with bills of review. The Committee felt that it was better to bring together under one Rule the subject matter formerly covered by these statutes and to provide a simple remedy by motion or by separate suit to obtain relief under the circumstances set out in the Rule.

Advisory Commission Comments [2009].

A modified Rule 60 procedure to obtain relief from a general sessions court judgment is available by statute, T.C.A. § 16-15-727.

Advisory Commission Comments [2017].

60.02. Rule 60.02 provides that a motion filed pursuant to the Rule "shall be made within a reasonable time, and for reasons (1) and (2) not more than one year after the judgment, order or proceeding was entered or taken." The Supreme Court, however, has held that "the reasonable time filing requirement of Rule 60.02 does not apply to petitions seeking relief from void judgments under Rule 60.02(3)." Turner v. Turner, 473 S.W.3d 257, 260 (Tenn. 2015). But the Court went on to also hold in Turner that relief from a void judgment should nevertheless be denied "if the following exceptional circumstances exist: '(1) [t]he party seeking relief, after having had actual notice of the judgment, manifested an intention to treat the judgment as valid; and (2) [g]ranting the relief would impair another person's substantial interest of reliance on the judgment.' Restatement (Second) of Judgments
§ 66 (1982)."Id.

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