Ackermann v. United States

In Ackermann v. United States, 340 U.S. 193, 71 S.Ct. 209, 95 L.Ed. 207 (1950), the petitioner moved to vacate a denaturalization judgment after the denaturalization judgment of his brother-in-law (Keilbar), in an identical case, was reversed on appeal. The petitioner had not appealed his own case because he felt it was not worth the expense. The failure to appeal was held to be an exercise of free choice which precluded 60(b) (6) relief: "Petitioner made a considered choice not to appeal, apparently because he did not feel that an appeal would prove to be worth what he thought was a required sacrifice of his home. His choice was a risk, but calculated and deliberate and such as follows a free choice. Petitioner cannot be relieved of such a choice because hindsight seems to indicate to him that his decision not to appeal was probably wrong, considering the outcome of the Keilbar case. There must be an end to litigation someday, and free, calculated, deliberate choices are not to be relieved from." (Id. at 198, 71 S.Ct. at 211.)