Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. was retained by a property owner who obtained quiet title to a contested property to defend against an appeal brought by the common-law wife of the deceased owner.
The judgment was granted in favor of the client due to a series of defaults committed by the wife, including failing to oppose a motion for a summary judgment and to strike a counterclaim for adverse possession. Also, the wife did not appear for trial and an order granting the client quiet title was entered. Subsequently, the order was reduced to a judgment. Added to these defaults, the wife had filed notices of appeal from the orders, granting title and dismissing the wife’s counterclaim for adverse possession, but failed to timely prosecute same.
In response to the wife’s appeal from the judgment, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. demonstrated that the appeal had to be dismissed because no appeal lies from a judgment entered upon default. Agreeing with our analysis, the Appellate Division noted that while no appeal could lie from the judgment, the orders leading to the appeal were reviewable but, as shown here, they could not be because they were dismissed due to the wife’s failure to timely perfect. For good measure, the Appellate Division added, based upon other arguments made by Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C., that while the court has inherent jurisdiction to review matters that were dismissed for failure to timely perfect, they refused to exercise its discretion. As a result, the client won a hard fought battle to clear title to its property.