Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(a) finds application where the record makes apparent that the court intended one thing but by merely clerical mistake or oversight did another.
A company filed suit for breach of contract and initially recovered substantial damages from another company. After the judgment was reversed in part and a lesser damages award was affirmed, the lower court entered judgment for damages and reasonable attorney fees, which were higher than those recited in the initial written judgment. The losing company sought review, challenging the upward revision of the attorney fees.
Was the trial court's award for attorney's fees proper?
The court affirmed the lower court's judgment, finding that the attorney fees initially awarded in the written judgment had not conformed to the actual agreement between the parties, such that the lower court had properly exercised its jurisdiction in correcting the earlier mistake on remand. The court found that in fact that revision had been made to correct a clerical error in the written judgment, bringing the attorney fees in line with the actual agreed amount. Thus, under Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(a) the correction was permitted and because the lower court had jurisdiction it was permitted to make such a correction at any time.