Then and Now: Florida Judge Says: Shut up and mind your own business!
If we digress for one moment and go back to the end of 2007 or the beginning of 2008 here is the story I will share with you all. I was attending a hearing on behalf of one of our earlier foreclosure clients in the area of foreclosure defense before a prominent Broward County Circuit judge. I witnessed the judge was signing hundreds of summary judgments where people were not being defended. In the case that I was defending there was clearly a mistake in who the bank was and a standing issue concerning the court’s and judge’s jurisdiction along with the authority to rule on this case.
It was at that time that I indicated to the judge that even though he was dismissing my case he was continuing to sign the summary judgments against individual borrowers/homeowners who probably had the same meritorious defenses.
The judge looked me in the eye and said, “Do you represent those individuals?”
I looked back and quietly said, “No.” So he told me to “shut up and mind my own business.”
We then engaged in a subsequent conversation where I questioned whether or not he had any obligation whatsoever under the Constitution of Florida and under his oath of office to evaluate the documentation that was being submitted as truthful to him upon which he was signing summary judgments.
He initially engaged me in a conversation and then in the middle and in open court said, “Counselor, if you continue to proceed with this discussion I will hold you in contempt.”
He further indicated that if I was right, I should get together with my other colleagues and form a foreclosure defense bar and collectively begin to bring these arguments to the court on a more organized fashion.
Fast forward January 2011, we now find the aggregation of many of these arguments in the presentation that the Florida Attorney General is now using to educate the courts themselves. Oh, how things change!
So, if you want to understand the implications and what this means to you and your family, your upside-down house, your mortgage that may be in default or if you are contemplating a strategic default, please be my guest and attend the monthly Oppenheim Law seminar Wednesday, January 12th at 6:00 p.m. in person at 95 NW 11th St., Boca Raton, FL 33432 or live online at http://www.oppenheimlaw.tv/.