File this motion.
Even after a judgment has been rendered by a court, then entered by the clerk of court, the judgment debtor still has options for getting it nullified. Most people are aware that an appeal can be taken directly to the Court of Appeals. This generally must be done within 30 days of entry of the judgment.
What is less well-known, however, is that the debtor also has the option of filing a motion in the trial court to have the judgment set aside. This is done under Rule 60 of the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure.
(There are other post judgment motions under the Rules, but Rule 60 is the one most likely to come up during the execution phase).
The thing to watch out for is: unlike an appeal,which has to be filed within 30 days or the right to appeal is lost, the right to file a Rule 60 motion lasts for “a reasonable time.”
The Rule goes on to provide, in part, that the "reasonable time" it refers to (depending on which subsection of Rule 60 the debtor is invoking) may not exceed a full year.
When collecting a judgment, therefore, the first thing to do is determine whether the judgment debtor is still eligible to file a Rule 60 motion.
You might think that all that needs to happen is to look at the date of the judgment (which is measured from the date the clerk stamped or "clocked in" the order), but that is not all there is to it.Despite the one year time limit under Rule 60, there have been cases where Rule 60 motions have been held to have been timely filed, even when they were filed well after one year.
For example, in the recently decided case of Sharyn's Jewelers, LLC v IPayment, Inc., et al., 674 S.E. 2d 732 (April 2009), the North Carolina Court of Appeals found "extraordinary circumstances" to justify allowing one of the Defendants to have its Rule 60 motion considered even though the motion had not been filed until 17 months after the judgment had been entered. The circumstances were that the appealing defendant (Vericomm) had not received notice of the judgment against it for 17 months, and that the judgment awarded relief to the Plaintiff that exceeded what was sought in the Plaintiff's complaint. Specifically, the trial court had erroneously entered judgments against Vericomm on causes of action that had been pled only against the other defendants, but not Vericomm. As such, the judgment was "irregular" and could therefore be vacated in part, to the extent of the irregularities.http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/HTML/BySection/Chapter_1A/GS_1A-1,_Rule_60.html