Florida's foreclosure crisis is far from over, and is actually set to heat up again. We have been hearing for a while that 2013 would bring a new wave of foreclosures, and now it is happening. The foreclosures that have been languishing in legal limbo, some for years, are now being pushed through. Most circuits are not coming right out and calling it a new Rocket Docket. But, it sure smells the same...
There is not anything inherently wrong with the courts desire to clean up old cases and move things along. The Plaintiffs (the lenders) should be required to expedite their own cases. Many pro se litigants don't realize that it is proper to file a Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Prosecution when there has been no activity on the case for ten months. In most cases, once that motion is filed, activity will soon take place. So filing that motion may not do much good.
For obvious reasons, many homeowners in foreclosure cannot afford an attorney. If the homeowner had the money for an attorney, they wouldn't be in foreclosure to begin with. So many homeowners quickly become pro se litigants and all too often are quickly out played by the foreclosure attorneys.
Many pro se litigants are confused by the purpose of a case management conference and mistakenly believe they are going to mediation. The purpose of a case management conference is to dispose of secondary issues, make a settlement if possible, and to make sure the case is on track.
Rule 1.200, Florida Rules of Civil Procedure
(1) schedule or reschedule the service of motions, pleadings, and other papers;
(2) set or reset the time of trials, subject to rule 1.440(c);
(3) coordinate the progress of the action if complex litigation factors contained in rule 1.201(a) (2)(A)-(a)(2)(H) are present;
(4) limit, schedule, order, or expedite discovery;
(5) schedule disclosure of expert witnesses and the discovery of facts known and opinions held by such experts;
(6) schedule or hear motions in limine;
(7) pursue the possibilities of settlement;
(8) require filing of preliminary stipulations if issues can be narrowed;
(9) consider referring issues to a magistrate for findings of fact; and
(10) schedule other conferences or determine other matters that may aid in the disposition of the action.
If you are going it alone as a pro se litigant, read and research. Prepare for a case management conference - don't go into the courtroom blind and empty handed.
If you receive a Motion for Summary Judgment in your case -- react to it. First, you need to fully understand exactly what a summary judgment is. Summary judgment is game over. A motion for summary judgment says to the court that there are no arguments here and it is time for the judge to rule. Often, there are many issues remaining in dispute, such as all of those affirmative defenses you raised in your answer; or perhaps the other party completely ignored your discovery requests.
An Objection to Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment; or a Legal Memorandum in Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment could be filed.
“Under the Florida state court procedure, the existence of any competent evidence creating an issue of fact, however credible or incredible, substantial or trivial, stops the inquiry and precludes summary judgment, so long as the “slightest doubt” is raised” West’s Florida Practice Series, 4 Fla. Prac., Civil Procedure R. 1.510(2008-2009 ed.) A “material fact,” for summary judgment purposes, is a fact that is essential to the resolution of the legal questions raised in the case.
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Mortgage Justice Group of Sarasota
meets the fourth Saturday of every month the Waldemere Fire Station - 2070 Waldemere Street, Sarasota, FL 34237
in the upstairs meeting room
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