Legal Definition for Extrinsic Fraud
Extrinsic fraud is demonstrated by showing that a party has been deprived of a fair opportunity to present a claim or defense in court. (Estate of Sanders (1985) 40 Cal.3d 607, 614; City and County of San Francisco v. Cartagena (1995) 35 Cal.App.4th 1061, 1067.)
In Estate of Sanders (1985) 40 Cal.3d 607, the California Supreme Court explained:
"The seminal definition of extrinsic fraud is found in United States v. Throckmorton (1878) 98 U.S. 61, 65-66: 'Where the unsuccessful party has been prevented from exhibiting fully his case, by fraud or deception practiced on him by his opponent, as by keeping him away from court, a false promise of a compromise; or where the defendant never had knowledge of the suit, being kept in ignorance by the acts of the plaintiff, or where an attorney fraudulently or without authority assumes to represent a party and connives at his defeat; or where the attorney regularly employed corruptly sells out his client's interest to the other side, these, and similar cases which show that there has never been a real contest in the trial or hearing of the case, are reasons for which a new suit may be sustained to set aside and annul the former judgment or decree, and open the case for a new and fair hearing. In all these cases, and many others which have been examined, relief has been granted, on the ground that, by some fraud practiced directly upon the party seeking relief against the judgment or decree, that party has been prevented from presenting all of his case to the court.' We recently observed that 'extrinsic fraud is a broad concept that "tends to encompass almost any set of extrinsic circumstances which deprive a party of a fair adversary hearing."'
The clearest examples of extrinsic fraud cases in which the aggrieved party is kept in ignorance of the proceeding or is in some other way induced not to appear. In both situations the party is 'fraudulently prevented from presenting his claim or defense.' "
Thus, the essence of an extrinsic fraud claim is that one party has deliberately prevented the other party from having his or her day in court either by concealment, failure to give notice of the action, or convincing the other party to refrain from presenting a claim or defense. (Estate of Sanders, supra, 40 Cal.3d at pp. 614-615; Sporn v. Home Depot USA, Inc. (2005) 126 Cal.App.4th 1294, 1300; Groves v. Peterson (2002) 100 Cal.App.4th 659, 665.)
While extrinsic fraud provides a basis for relief, the same is not true in the case of intrinsic fraud. (Cedars-Sinai Medical Center v. Superior Court (1998) 18 Cal.4th 1, 10-11; La Salle v. Peterson (1934) 220 Cal. 739, 740-742.)