Relief from Final Judgment Under Rule 60(b)(1) Due to Judicial Errors of Law

This Note seeks to resolve these conflicts by proposing a sensible reading of rule 60(b )(1) that reconciles the basic philosophies underlying differing interpretations of the rule. Part I examines the history of rule 60(b)(l) and the policies espoused by the courts and commentators in considering whether the rule should be applied to judicial errors of law and concludes that courts should employ the rule to correct obvious judicial errors of law. Part II recommends a broad scope for rule 60(b )(1) motions, proposing that the only type of alleged judicial error outside the reach of such a motion should be error induced by interpretation of ambiguous statutes or case law precedents. Part II suggests that this latter type of error is more appropriately examined in the appellate process or in a rule 59 motion for new trial or change in the judgment. Part III examines the question of the time period during which a rule 60(b)(l) motion ought be allowed. It argues that obvious errors of law should be correctable under a rule 60(b)(l) motion made within the time permitted for an appeal, and if an appeal is taken, made up until the appellate court begins review of the case, within an outside limit of one year.