Archive for June 8th, 2012

Duval Courthouse Shut Down, Yet Foreclosure Sales Proceed

Anyone in the Jacksonville area probably knows the Duval County courthouse is a disaster-zone right now.  The courthouse was going to change locations in mid-May, but apparently they couldn’t get a Certificate of Occupancy issued for the new building.  As a result, the courthouse is basically shut down – all hearings have been cancelled, and the clerks have been largely unable to file any filings.  In fact, from what I’m told, the clerks don’t even have computer access.

This is a nightmare in so many ways.  For instance, I mailed a Notice of Appeal in a pending case a few weeks ago, and the timely filing of that document is imperative – it must be filed within 30 days or the right to appeal is eliminated.  Yet the clerk’s office is in such a state of disarray (in light of the move) that the document didn’t get filed until one hard-working clerk helped me out after several phone calls.  Can you imagine losing the right to appeal simply because the clerk’s office was moving and unable to file something you mailed?

Another big problem – the clerk’s office has stopped issuing Certificates of Sale and Certificates of Title after foreclosure sales.  The sales are still going forward, yet the clerk isn’t issuing the paperwork necessary to transfer ownership to the parties who purchased the properties at the foreclosure sales.  In my view, this raised a rather obvious question … if the courthouse is shut down, all hearings are cancelled, and the clerk can’t issue Certificates of Title or Certificates of Sale

Why the heck are foreclosure sales still schededuled?

Why aren’t all foreclosure sales cancelled (at least until the clerk’s office can operate like normal)?

I posed this question to a foreclosure clerk just now, and she agreed with my view so much that she decided, on her own, to talk to a foreclosure judge about getting all foreclosure sales scheduled in Duval next week cancelled.  But that just begs the question … why did I have to be the one to think of this?  Do we really live in a world where a courthouse is shut down, all hearings are cancelled, and the clerk can’t issue certificates of sale or certificates of title, yet foreclosure sales proceed anyway?

Take a look at the website that conducts these sales –  By my count, there are 144 foreclosure sales scheduled next week even though the clerk can’t issue the paperwork necessary to transfer ownership to the winning bidders.  Am I the only one who thinks this is nuts?


Mark Stopa

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