Bank of Am., N.A. v Shami, 2019 NY Slip Op 04901, Decided on June 19, 2019, Appellate Division, Second Department:

“Notwithstanding the above, CPLR 3215(c) provides that “[i]f the plaintiff fails to take proceedings for the entry of judgment within one year after the default, the court shall not enter judgment but shall dismiss the complaint as abandoned . . . unless sufficient cause is shown why the complaint should not be dismissed.” The language of CPLR 3215(c) is mandatory in the first instance, inasmuch as it provides that the court “shall” dismiss the complaint when the plaintiff has not sought a default judgment within the requisite one-year period, as the action is deemed to have been abandoned (see Ibrahim v Nablus Sweets Corp., 161 AD3d 961, 963; HSBC Bank USA, N.A. v Grella, 145 AD3d 669, 671; Giglio v NTIMP, Inc., 86 AD3d 301, 307-308; Kay Waterproofing Corp. v Ray Realty Fulton, Inc., 23 AD3d 624, 625). The statute gives the court discretion only where the plaintiff demonstrates “sufficient cause” as to why the complaint should not be dismissed (Ibrahim v Nablus Sweets Corp., 161 AD3d at 963; see HSBC Bank USA, N.A. v Grella, 145 AD3d at 671). To avoid dismissal of the complaint as abandoned under such circumstances, a plaintiff must offer a reasonable excuse for the delay in moving for leave to enter a default judgment, and must demonstrate that the complaint is potentially meritorious (see Ibrahim v Nablus Sweets Corp., 161 AD3d at 963; Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v Bonanno, 146 AD3d 844, 845-846; Kay Waterproofing Corp. v Ray Realty Fulton, Inc., 23 AD3d at 625).

Here, the plaintiff took no proceedings for entry of a default judgment within one year following the appellant’s default in the action. In claiming otherwise, the plaintiff refers to matter dehors the record, which will not be considered (see Schondorf v Brookville Energy Partners, 303 AD2d 396). Further, contrary to the plaintiff’s contention, its conclusory and unsubstantiated assertions that its delay was attributable to compliance with certain administrative orders instituted after the relevant time period, i.e., more than one year following the appellant’s default in the action, and waiting for receipt of additional documentation, were insufficient to excuse the lengthy delay (see BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP v Broskie, 166 AD3d 842, 843; HSBC Bank USA, N.A. v Jean, 165 AD3d 632, 634; Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v Cafasso, 158 AD3d 848, 850; HSBC Bank USA, N.A. v Grella, 145 AD3d at 672).

Since the plaintiff failed to proffer a reasonable excuse, this Court need not consider whether the plaintiff had a potentially meritorious cause of action (see Federal Natl. Mtge. Assn. v Heilpern, 164 AD3d 654, 656; U.S. Bank, N.A. v Dorvelus, 140 AD3d 850, 852).”