- Friday, 23 March 2012 William M. Windsor
Fraud upon the court is important because orders and judgments may be set aside at any time when fraud upon the court is proven. I have seen cases where as many as 60 years later, a judgment was set aside.
The good news is that the rules and case law provide a way to get relief from wrongdoing. The bad news is that it requires a judge to make a finding of fraud, and my experience is that the judges are all guilty, and their fellow judges will cover for them.
I am not an attorney, and I am not offering legal advice. This article contains my legal research and my experience.
Fraud upon the court is fraud committed by officers of the court. The officers of the court are attorneys, judges, and judicial employees, including the staff of the clerk of the court. In its simplest terms, fraud upon the court is types of actions designed to interfere with the proper functioning and decision-making of a court.
â€œFraud on the court should embrace only that species of fraud which does or attempts to, subvert the integrity of the court itself, or is a fraud perpetrated by officers of the courtâ€) (citation omitted); Kerwit Med. Prods., Inc. v. N. & H. Instruments, Inc., 616 F.2d 833, 837 (11th Cir. 1980).In my experience, I have seren attorneys, judges, and the staff of the clerks of the courts all commit fraud upon the court, and there was at the very least a conspiracy between the judges and the clerk of the court's office. All of this was part of unconscionable schemes designed to improperly influence the courts in their decisions.
â€œFraud on the court must involve an unconscionable plan or scheme which is designed to improperly influence the court in its decision . . . .â€ Davenport Recycling Assocs. v. C.I.R., 220 F.3d 1255, 1262 (11th Cir. 2000) (alleged fraud on tax court). â€œIt has been found only in those instances where the fraud vitiates the courtâ€™s ability to reach an impartial disposition of the case before it.â€ Id.In my cases, there was fraud; there was fraud on the court; and there was a conspiracy to defraud. This fraud was intentional. The fraud was perpetrated by officers of the court.
Herring, 424 F.3d at 386. A judge is an officer of the court, as are all members of the Bar. A federal judge is a federal judicial officer, paid by the federal government to act impartially and lawfully. A judge is not the court. People v. Zajic, 88 Ill.App.3d 477, 410 N.E.2d 626 (1980).In my cases, the fraud was directed at the judicial machinery itself. The fraud subverted the integrity of the courts. The fraud was designed to deceive the courts into believing facts that were not true. The courts were unable to adjudicate the matter properly because the courts were influenced by false information.
Chief Justice John Marshall acknowledged that a court may grant relief from judgment where a new matter â€œclearly proves it to be against conscience to execute a judgment, and of which the injured party could not have availed himselfâ€ before judgment. Marine Ins. Co. of Alexandria v. Hodgson, 11 U.S. (7 Cranch) 332, 336 (1813). He further emphasized that an Article III court can grant relief where the â€œequity of the applicant [is] free from doubt,â€ and where a judgment â€œwould be against conscience for the person who has obtained it to avail himself.â€ Id. at 337 (emphasis supplied).Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 60(b) and 60(d) as well as independent actions in equity may all be used to seek to vacate orders and judgments due to fraud upon the courts.
One of the essential elements of an independent action in equity is a showing of the absence of any adequate remedy at law. Bankers Mortgage Co. v. United States, 423 F.2d 73, 79 (5th Cir. 1970). The Supreme Court has further noted that an independent action in equity should be available only to prevent a grave miscarriage of justice. United States v. Beggerly, 524 U.S. 38, 47 (1998). The absence of any adequate remedy at law.â€ In re Machne Israel, Inc., 48 F. Appâ€™x 859, 863 n.2 (3d Cir. 2002) (quoting Natâ€™l Sur. Co. of N.Y. v. State Bank of Humboldt, 120 F. 593, 599 (8th Cir. 1903)). â€œ[A]n independent equitable action for relief from judgment may only be employed to prevent manifest injustice.â€ Id. at 863. Hazel-Atlas Glass Co. v. Hartford-Empire Co., 322 U.S. 238 (1944), and United States v. Beggerly, 524 U.S. 38 (1998), this Courtâ€™s leading recent discussions of fraud upon the court.In my cases, evidence was fabricated by the Plaintiffs' witnesses and attorneys. The attorneys were knowing participants in the fraud on the court. Bogus documents were placed into the record. Lies were told under oath, at depositions and in affidavits, and in various filings with the courts, and schemes were concocted to attempt to cover-up certain falsehoods. Attorneys for the Plaintiffs were involved in all of this.
The fabrication of evidence by a party in which an attorney is implicated, will constitute a fraud on the court." Id. at 1338 (citing to Hazel-Atlas Glass Co. v. Hartford-Empire Co., 322 U.S. 238, 64 S.Ct. 997 (1944)).
Professor Moore writes that Fraud on the court is limited to fraud that does, or at least attempts to, â€œdefile the court itself,â€ or that is perpetrated by officers of the court â€œso that the judicial machinery cannot perform in the usual manner its impartial task of adjudicating cases.â€ Mooreâ€™s Federal Practice 3d Â¶ 60.21[a] (3d ed. 2003). Thus, a â€œfraud on the courtâ€ is a fraud designed not simply to cheat an opposing litigant, but to â€œcorrupt the judicial processâ€ or â€œsubvert the integrity of the court.â€ Oxxford Clothes XX, Inc. v. Expeditors Intâ€™l, Inc., 127 F.3d 574, 578 (7th Cir. 1997); Pumphrey v. K.W. Thompson Tool Co., 62 F.3d 1128, 1131 (9th Cir. 1995) (citation omitted); Transaero, Inc. v. La Fuerza Area Boliviana, 24 F.3d 457, 460 (2d Cir. 1994). It is marked by an â€œunconscionable plan or scheme which is designed to improperly influence the court in its decisions,â€ Dixon v. Commissioner, No. 00-70858, 2003 U.S. App. LEXIS 4831, at *11-12 (9th Cir. Mar. 18, 2003), amending 316 F.3d 1041 (9th Cir. 2003), or by â€œegregious misconduct directed to the court itself.â€ Greiner v. City of Champlin, 152 F.3d 787, 789 (8th Cir. 1998) (citation omitted).Whenever any officer of the court commits fraud during a proceeding in the court, he/she is engaged in "fraud upon the court."
In Bulloch v. United States, 763 F.2d 1115, 1121 (10th Cir. 1985), the court stated "Fraud upon the court is fraud which is directed to the judicial machinery itself and is not fraud between the parties or fraudulent documents, false statements or perjury. ... It is where the court or a member is corrupted or influenced or influence is attempted or where the judge has not performed his judicial function --- thus where the impartial functions of the court have been directly corrupted."
"Fraud upon the court" has been defined to "embrace that species of fraud which does, or attempts to, defile the court itself, or is a fraud perpetrated by officers of the court so that the judicial machinery cannot perform in the usual manner its impartial task of adjudging cases that are presented for adjudication." Kenner v. C.I.R., 387 F.3d 689 (1968); 7 Moore's Federal Practice, 2d ed., p. 512, Â¶ 60.23. The 7th Circuit further stated "a decision produced by fraud upon the court is not in essence a decision at all, and never becomes final."It is also clear and well-settled law that any attempt to commit "fraud upon the court" vitiates the entire proceeding.
The People of the State of Illinois v. Fred E. Sterling, 357 Ill. 354; 192 N.E. 229 (1934) ("The maxim that fraud vitiates every transaction into which it enters applies to judgments as well as to contracts and other transactions."); Allen F. Moore v. Stanley F. Sievers, 336 Ill. 316; 168 N.E. 259 (1929) ("The maxim that fraud vitiates every transaction into which it enters ..."); In re Village of Willowbrook, 37 Ill.App.2d 393 (1962) ("It is axiomatic that fraud vitiates everything."); Dunham v. Dunham, 57 Ill.App. 475 (1894), affirmed 162 Ill. 589 (1896); Skelly Oil Co. v. Universal Oil Products Co., 338 Ill.App. 79, 86 N.E.2d 875, 883-4 (1949); Thomas Stasel v. The American Home Security Corporation, 362 Ill. 350; 199 N.E. 798 (1935).Judge Orinda D. Evansâ€™ unconscionable scheme was to continually rule against the Defendants in spite of the evidence. She then committed perjury in her orders so the 11th Circuit would have to base their decision on the perjured â€œfacts of Judge Orinda D. Evans.â€
Common examples of â€œfraud upon the courtâ€ include the â€œfabrication of evidence by counsel,â€ Greiner, 152 F.3d at 789, and the â€œinsert[ion of] bogus documents into the record.â€ Oxxford Clothes, 127 F.3d at 578. But, â€œ[b]ecause corrupt intent knows no stylistic boundaries, fraud on the court can take many forms,â€ Aoude v. Mobile Oil Corp., 892 F.2d 1115, 1118 (1st Cir. 1989), and courts take each case on its facts. See Dictograph Products Co. v. Sonotone Corp., 230 F.2d 131, 137 (2d Cir. 1956).While Judge Orinda D. Evans was a victim of fraud on the court, Judge Orinda D. Evans also perpetrated fraud on the court. Judge Orinda D. Evans willfulness has been characterized by open defiance and reckless disregard of my Constitutional rights. This willfulness is inextricably related to, but exceeds mere error.
A civil judgment may be set aside because of a litigant's fraud on the court though no wrongdoing is ascribed to an attorney or other officer of the court. a judgment obtained by fabricated evidence.
Tampering with the administration of justice in the manner indisputably shown in my case involves far more than an injury to a single litigant. It is a wrong against the institutions set up to protect and safeguard the public, institutions in which fraud cannot complacently be tolerated consistently with the good order of society. Surely it cannot be that preservation of the integrity of the judicial process must always wait upon the diligence of litigants. The public welfare demands that the agencies of public justice be not so impotent that they must always be mute and helpless victims of deception and fraud. The judgment involves an issue of great moment to the public.
This is not simply a case of a judgment obtained with the aid of a witness who, on the basis of after-discovered evidence, is believed possibly to have been guilty of perjury. Here we find a deliberately planned and carefully executed scheme to defraud not only the District Court but also the Court of Appeals. To achieve their purposes, the officers of the court created false evidence, deceived the court, answered interrogatories under oath untruthfully, filed false affidavits and gave perjured testimony, introduced altered exhibits, withheld important evidence, and filed a corrupt brief on appeal. They frustrated discovery of its fraud through the judicial processes through abuse of the Rules of Civil Procedure. Witnesses engaged in a concerted effort to present perjured testimony throughout the case.
The fraud on the court in my case was that species of fraud that defiles the court itself and was a fraud perpetrated by officers of the court so that the judicial machinery could not perform in the usual manner in its impartial task of adjudicating cases.
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 60(b) and 60(d) are two means of seeking relief. I believe that you must first file a Rule 60(b) action in the court where the fraud took place. If relief is denied, you can them file a Rule 60(d) action in another court (different judge); this is a new civil complaint. Here is an example of one such action that I filed.
In Beggerly, the Court reviewed amended Rule 60(b) and the independent action it allows and concluded that such an action â€˜â€˜should be available only to prevent a grave miscarriage of justice.â€™â€™ 524 U.S. at 47. As support for this proposition the Court pointed not only to Hazel-Atlas, but also to Pacific R. Co. v. Missouri Pacific R. Co., 111 U.S. 505 (1884), and Marshall v. Holmes, 141 U.S. 589 (1891). Independent actions must, if Rule 60(b) is to be interpreted as a coherent whole, be reserved for those cases of "injustices which, in certain instances, are deemed sufficiently gross to demand a departure" from rigid adherence to the doctrine of res judicata. Id., 524 U.S. at 46 (citing Hazel-Atlas Glass Co. v. Hartford-Empire Co., 322 U.S. 238, 244 (1944)). In other words, a Rule 60(b) independent action in equity "should be available only to prevent a grave miscarriage of justice." Beggerly, 524 U.S. at 47. Marshall v. Holmes, 141 U.S. 589 (1891), a case cited by the district court and the Supreme Court in Beggerly as an example of a "grave miscarriage of justice." In Marshall, an independent action in equity was allowed to proceed because the underlying judgment was secured based on a forged document.Under Federal law, when any officer of the court has committed "fraud on the court," the orders and judgment of that court are void, of no legal force or effect.
Fraud on the court has been narrowly applied and is limited to the most egregious of circumstances involving the courts. Stonger, 776 N.E.2d at 357. Further, to prove fraud on the court, it is not enough to show a possibility that the trial court was misled. Id. at 358. Rather, there must be a showing that the trial courtâ€™s decision was actually influenced. Id. There must be a showing of egregious misconduct directed to the court itself.â€ Greiner v. City of Champlin, 152 F.3d 787, 789 (8th Cir. 1998) (citation omitted). â€œProof of the scheme, and of its complete success up to date, is conclusive.â€ Hazel-Atlas, 322 U.S. at 246.
In Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214 (1944), the Court affirmed the conviction and internment of Fred Korematsu, an American of Japanese ancestry. In 1983, Korematsu filed a petition for a writ of coram nobis to vacate this conviction based on government misconduct. That misconduct included evidence that the governmentâ€™s brief in this Court had been deliberately misleading in setting out the facts upon which the government had relied in ordering Korematsu and, petitioners believe, this case shows that where the stakes warrant and the opportunity exists, fraud upon the court will occur.
â€œFraud upon the courtâ€ may take the form of a scheme or plan by a litigant, wholly without the involvement of counsel, that is intended to corrupt the courtâ€™s decision-making. See Toscano v. Commissioner, 441 F.2d 930, 934-36 (9th Cir. 1971)
There is no statute of limitations for bringing a fraud upon the court claim. Hazel-Atlas, 322 U.S. at 244. â€œA decision produced by fraud on the court is not in essence a decision at all and never becomes final.â€ Kenner v. Commâ€™r of Internal Revenue, 387 F.2d 689, 691 (7th Cir. 1968).
The provision of Rule 60(b) commonly known as the â€œsavings clauseâ€ states: â€œThis 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 grant relief to a defendant not actually personally notified as provided in Title 28, U.S.C., Â§ 1655, or to set aside a judgment for fraud upon the court.â€ The fraud upon the court described in the savings clause is distinct from the fraud described in Rule 60(b)(3), the latter of which allows a court to relieve a party of a judgment upon the showing of â€œfraud (whether heretofore denominated intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or other misconduct of an adverse party.â€
A fraud upon the court action must satisfy a very demanding standard to justify upsetting the finality of the challenged judgment. The Third Circuit has described the standard as follows: In order to meet the necessarily demanding standard for proof of fraud upon the court we conclude that there must be: (1) an intentional fraud; (2) by an officer of the court; (3) which is directed at the court itself; and (4) in fact deceives the court. We further conclude that a determination of fraud on the court may be justified only by â€œthe most egregious misconduct directed to the court itself,â€ and that it â€œmust be supported by clear, unequivocal and convincing evidence.â€ Id. at 386-87 (internal footnote and citation omitted). The court further ruled that â€œthe fraud on the court must constitute â€˜egregious misconduct . . . such as bribery of a judge or jury or fabrication of evidence by counsel,â€™â€ id. at 390 (citation omitted), and that â€œperjury by a witness is not enough to constitute fraud upon the court,â€ id. This is consistent with Hazel-Atlas, which noted that its facts presented â€œnot simply a case of a judgment obtained with the aid of a witness who, on the basis of after-discovered evidence, is believed possibly to have been guilty of perjury.â€ 322 U.S. at 245. Rather, the court found â€œa deliberately planned and carefully executed scheme to defraud not only the Patent Office but the Circuit Court of Appeals.â€ Id
Whether sovereign immunity precludes an independent action against the United States for fraud upon the court is a question of first impression for us. United States v. Timmons, 672 F.2d 1373 (11th Cir. 1982), is one of the few cases to address this question. In Timmons, the United States first brought an ejectment action against the defendants, who maintained that a separate trial was necessary to address their defense that the United States had improperly acquired the property from the defendants' ancestors. The Eleventh Circuit recognized that a court may "entertain an independent action in equity for relief from judgment on the basis of its independent and substantive equitable jurisdiction." Id. at 1378.
The power to vacate a judgment that has been obtained by a fraud on the court is inherent in all courts. Wright, Miller & Kane at Â§ 2870 (citing Universal Oil Products Co. v. Root Ref. Co., 328 U.S. 575, 580 (1946)). Almost all of the principles governing a claim of fraud on the court are derivable from Hazel-Atlas, supra. Wright, Miller & Kane at Â§ 2870. If it is found that there was a fraud on the court, the judgment should be vacated and the guilty party denied all relief. Id.; Hazel-Atlas, 322 U.S. at 250-51. The entire cost of the proceedings, including attorneys' fees, may be assessed against the guilty party. Universal Oil Products, 328 U.S. at 580.
In order to prevail on an independent action in equity to obtain relief from judgment, the party against whom a judgment is entered is required to establish: (1) the existence of a judgment which ought not, in equity and good conscience, be enforced; (2) a valid defense to the alleged claim upon which the judgment is founded; (3) fraud, accident or mistake which prevented a party to the judgment from obtaining the benefit of his defense; (4) the absence of fault or negligence by the party seeking relief from the judgment; and (5) no adequate remedy at law. McGinnity, supra; See also National Surety Company v. State, 120 F. 593 (8th Cir. 1903); Bankers Mortgage Company v. United States, 423 F.2d 73 (5th Cir. 1970), cert. denied, 399 U.S. 927, 90 S.Ct. 2242, 26 L.Ed.2d. 793 (1970). Accordingly, if these five (5) elements could be established, a party could prevail on an independent action in equity to obtain relief from judgment, despite the procedural limitations embodied in the court rules and the other recognized means of providing a party relief from judgment.
As an "elementary" consideration before entertaining an independent action in equity to obtain relief from judgment, the party seeking relief is required to exhaust all his remedies at law. Kitzman, supra, at 586; Smeland, supra, at 987; Resaake, supra, at 566. Similarly, where a party should have brought a motion under the code of civil procedure for relief from judgment (see Kitzman, supra, at 586) or a party could have properly asked the court to invoke its inherent powers to vacate a judgment (see Smeland, supra, at 987), the court could not entertain an independent action. Conversely, where a party seeks relief from judgment by motion but does not meet the mandates of the procedural rules, his appropriate remedy is maintained through an equitable action for relief from that judgment. Resaake, supra, at 566.
An â€œâ€˜independent action alleging fraud upon the court is completely distinct from a motion under [FRCP] 60(b).â€™â€ United States v. Burke, No. 05-5277, 2006 WL 2135044, *1 (3d Cir. 2006) (quoting Herring v. United States, 424 F.3d 384, 389 (3d Cir. 2005)); see also United States v. Barbosa, No. 07-1292, 2007 WL 2050881, *1 (3d Cir. 2007)
The standard the Sixth Circuit has announced for independent actions, for example, requires conduct: 1. On the part of an officer of the court; 2. That is directed to the â€˜â€˜judicial machineryâ€™â€™ itself; 3. That is intentionally false, willfully blind to the truth, or is in reckless disregard for the truth; 4. That is a positive averment or is concealment when one is under a duty to disclose; 5. That deceives the court. Demjanjuk v. Petrovsky, 10 F.3d 338, 348 (6th Cir. 1993) This standard recognizes that fraud upon the court, unlike perjury, need not be based on affirmative misstatements, but may be based on nondisclosures, and need not be based on proof of subjective knowledge of falsity, but may be founded on a showing of willful blindness or reckless disregard for the truth.
Other circuits have adopted more general standards. See, e.g., Aoude v. Mobil Oil Corp., 892 F.2d 1115, 1118 (1st Cir. 1989) (â€œfraud upon the court is an â€˜â€˜unconscionable scheme calculated to interfere with the judicial systemâ€™s ability impartially to adjudicate a matter by improperly influencing the trier or unfairly hampering the presentation of the opposing partyâ€™s claim or defenseâ€); Gleason v. Jandrucko, 860 F.2d 556, 559 (2d Cir. 1989) (â€œfraud which seriously affects the integrity of the normal process of adjudicationâ€); Rozier v. Ford Motor Co., 573 F.2d 1332, 1338 (5th Cir. 1978) (â€œonly the most egregious conduct, such as bribery of a judge or members of the jury, or the fabrication of evidence by a party in which an attorney is implicatedâ€); Oxxford Clothes XX, Inc. v. Expeditors Intâ€™l, Inc., 127 F.3d 574, 578 (7th Cir. 1997) (â€œconduct that might be thought to corrupt the judicial process itself, as where a party bribes a judge or inserts bogus documents into the recordâ€); Greiner v. City of Champlin, 152 F.3d 787, 789 (8th Cir. 1998) (â€œegregious misconduct directed to the court itselfâ€); Dixon v. Commissioner, No. 00-70858, 2003 U.S. App. LEXIS 4831, at *11-12 (9th Cir. Mar. 18, 2003), amending 316 F.3d 1041 (9th Cir. 2003) (â€œunconscionable plan or scheme which is designed to improperly influence the court in its decisionâ€).
"Fraud upon the court" as distinguished from fraud on an adverse party is limited to fraud which seriously affects the integrity of the normal process of adjudication. Gleason v. Jandrucko, 860 F.2d 556, 559 (2d Cir. 1988) (citations omitted); Transaero, Inc. v. La Fuerza Area Boliviana, 24 F.3d 457, 460 (2d Cir., 1994). The concept of "fraud on the court" embraces "only that species of fraud which does, or attempts to, defile the court itself, or is a fraud perpetrated by officers of the court so that the judicial machinery cannot perform in the usual manner its impartial task of adjudging cases." Kupferman v. Consol. Research & Mfg. Corp., 459 F.2d 1072, 1078 (3d Cir. 1972) (citations omitted). Hadges v. Yonkers Racing Corp., 48 F.3d 1320, 1325 (2d Cir. 1995) (emphasis added).
The Ninth Circuit has fashioned a slightly different definition, holding that "to set aside a judgment or order because of fraud upon the court, ... it is necessary to show an unconscionable plan or scheme which is designed to improperly influence the court in its decision." Bailey v. Internal Revenue Service, No. 98-CV-123-TUC-RTT (JMR), 1998 U.S. Dist. Lexis 21517 at *26 (D. Ariz. 1998) (citing Wright, Miller & Kane at Â§ 2870 (quoting England v. Doyle, 21 F.2d 304, 309 (9th Cir. 1960)).
The Fifth Circuit has defined fraud on the court to mean a "scheme by which the integrity of the judicial process has been fraudulently subverted by a deliberately planned scheme in a manner involving 'far more than an injury to a single litigant.'" Addington v. Farmer's Elevator Mut. Ins. Co., 650 F.2d 663, 668 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, 454 U.S. 1098 (1981) (citing, among other authorities, Hazel-Atlas, 322 U.S. at 245-46; Wright, Miller & Kane at Â§ 2870).
Federal courts have found that there are three ways to attack a judgment on grounds of fraud on the court pursuant to this rule. See, e.g., United States v. Buck, 281 F.3d 1336, 1341-42 (10th Cir. 2002). One method is an independent action for fraud on the court pursuant to the savings clause in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b), which provides that it â€œdoes not limit the power of a court to entertain an independent action to relieve a party from a judgment, order, or proceeding[.]â€ Buck, 281 F.3d at 1341 (quoting Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)).
To prove fraud on the court, it is not enough to show a possibility that the trial court was misled. Humbert, 655 N.E.2d at 607; K.M., 651 N.E.2d at 277; Pinter v. Pinter, 641 N.E.2d 101, 104 (Ind. Ct. App. 1994). Rather, there must be a showing that the trial courtâ€™s decision was actually influenced. G.H. Skala Const. Co. v. NPW, Inc., 704 N.E.2d 1044, 1049 (Ind. Ct. App. 1998), trans. denied.
The movant must establish that an unconscionable plan or scheme was used to improperly influence the courtâ€™s decision and that such acts prevented the losing party from fully and fairly presenting its case or defense. See In re Adoption of Infant Female Fitz, 778 N.E.2d 432, 437 (Ind. Ct App. 2002). Fraud on the court requires a "scheme by which the integrity of the judicial process has been fraudulently subverted by a deliberately planned scheme in a manner involving'far more than an injury to a single litigant.`" Addington (Page 9) Farmer's Elevator Mutual Insurance, 650 F.2d 663, 668 (5th Cir. 1981) (quoting Hazel-Atlas Glass, 322 U.S. 238, 245-46, 64 S.Ct. 997, 1002 (1944)). See Davenport Recycling Assocs. v. C.I.R., 220 F.3d 1255, 1262 (11th Cir. 2000) (alleged fraud on tax court). â€œIt has been found only in those instances where the fraud vitiates the courtâ€™s ability to reach an impartial disposition of the case before it.â€ Id.
All courts have the inherent equitable power to vacate a judgment that has been obtained through the commission of fraud upon the court. Universal Oil Prods. Co. v. Root Ref. Co., 328 U.S. 575, 580 (1946).
While an attorney should represent his client with singular loyalty that loyalty obviously does not demand that he act dishonestly or fraudulently; on the contrary, his loyalty to the court, as an officer thereof, demands integrity and honest dealing with the court. And when he departs from that standard in the conduct of a case, he perpetrates a fraud upon the court.
Hazel-Atlas is a prime example of a situation for which the independent action was preserved under amended Rule 60(b). 28 U.S.C. App., Fed R. Civ. P. 60, Advisory Committeeâ€™s Notes on 1946 Amendment, at p. 795 (â€˜â€˜the rule expressly does not limit the power of the court, when fraud has been perpetrated upon it, to give relief under the saving clause. As an illustration of this situation, see Hazel-Atlas Glass Co. v. Hartford-Empire Co., 322 U.S. 238 (1944).â€™â€™). See also Beggerly, 524 U.S. at 46. The Court observed that the federal courtsâ€™ equitable power to set aside a final judgment obtained by fraud was well established and that, notwithstanding the â€˜â€˜deep-rooted policyâ€™â€™ of finality, â€˜â€˜where the occasion has demanded, where enforcement of the judgment is â€˜manifestly unconscionable,â€™ they have wielded the power without hesitation.â€™â€™ 322 U.S. at 244-45 (citations and footnote omitted)Realize that the employees of the office of the clerk of the court are all officers of the court. When the clerk's office fails to docket your filings, changes docket entries, backdates docket entries, and issues invalid orders that do not bear the signature of the clerk and the seal of the court, these are all acts that are grounds for a finding of fraud upon the court. I have been amazed at the extent of the fraud perpetrated against me by the office of the clerk of the court.
This article focuses on federal court, but many states have similar statutes.
I will always file actions attempting to set aside orders and judgments when I can prove fraud upon the courts. Before you do so, realize that corrupt judges will probably punish you by awarding massive legal fees sanctions against you. My experience is that judges ignore the facts, ignore the law, commit crimes regularly, and will do anything to damage and stop anyone from attempting to prove fraud upon the court.
Legal Notice and Terms.