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FEDERAL COURT DISMISSES WITH PREJUDICE LAWSUIT SEEKING $1 MILLION AGAINST GREECE POLICE DEPARTMENT

Chief United States District Court Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford has issued a judgment dismissing with prejudice the property damage claims brought by Ken Budinski against the Greece Police Department.  Earlier this year, the Town Supervisor’s office was made aware that a default was entered by the Court Clerk solely because the Police Department did not appear in the lawsuit by the deadline provided under law.  On February 22, 2024, Judge Wolford granted the Town’s request to set aside the default by the Police Department, recognizing that there was “good cause” under the law to set aside the default because the delay in appearing in the action was not willful and did not prejudice Mr. Budinski, and because the Town demonstrated it had several meritorious defenses to the claim.  Following a discussion of the several infirmities with the claim asserted, Mr. Budinski requested that the Court discontinue the action, and on February 23, 2024, the Court entered a judgment dismissing the case with prejudice.      

The Town is pleased that Judge Wolford permitted an opportunity to defend itself and dispute Mr. Budinski’s allegations against the Police Department. “Upon learning of the default, the Town promptly investigated the matter and determined that the failure to appear was the result of an innocent, good-faith clerical mistake in processing the papers served on the Town and entirely unintentional.  Justice Wolford agreed, and also made clear that the November 28, 2023 entry of default was not a default judgment, but merely a procedural step necessary for Mr. Budinski to apply to the Court for a judgment, which never occurred.  From the beginning, we have denied the allegations made by Mr. Budinski against the Police Department.  The dismissal of the action further confirms the Town’s position that these allegations were baseless”.

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