Archive for October 22nd, 2010

Motions to Dismiss – Pleading Requirements in a Foreclosure Case

One of my greatest frustrations in foreclosure cases is how well-taken Motions to Dismiss are systematically denied by many Florida judges, especially senior judges, who routinely seem to apply a different set of pleading requirements in foreclosure cases as compared to other lawsuits.  Suffice it to say that I am pleased to receive this Order Granting Motion to Dismiss First Amended Complaint from Judge Anthony Rondolino in St. Petersburg.  The seven-page Order is an absolute “must read” for all lawyers, judges, and homeowners, as it is an excellent recitation of Florida law and the pleading requirements in foreclosure cases. 

It’s worth noting that I did not draft this Order – Judge Rondolino drafted this Order on his own.  In an era of “rocket-dockets,” the attention to detail in the drafting of this Order is commendable. 

Like most judges, I’ve won some hearings before Judge Rondolino and I’ve lost some.  That said, it’s an absolutely wonderful feeling to go into a courtroom and feel like the Plaintiff and its lawyer are going to be held to the normal requirements of “pleading” and “proof” and that the lawsuit isn’t going to be “pushed through” simply because it’s another foreclosure case.  It’s a level playing field; that’s all any litigant can ask. 

I respectfully encourage every judge in Florida to read this Order.  Respectfully, if a colleague of yours feels this strongly about these issues, shouldn’t you re-evaluate your position vis a vis Motions to Dismiss?  Also, I encourage you to think about the effect that these Orders will have in Judge Rondolino’s cases.  At this point, don’t you think Plaintiffs and their lawyers are going to think twice before they bring spurious allegations and deficient filings in his court?  To the extent your goal is to clear up your dockets, can’t you accomplish it in the manner Judge Rondolino is doing rather than just “pushing through” deficient paperwork?

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