If you sue someone in Florida but then stop pursuing your case for a year, the court can clear its case load by dismissing your suit for “failure to prosecute.” Across Florida, courts are starting to clear their overwhelmed dockets by dismissing foreclosure cases the banks have failed to prosecute. In one division of one of Florida’s 20 judicial districts, perhaps as many as 2,700 cases have been set for dismissal in one week.
When Allison Albert of the Jacksonville area Legal Aid went to foreclosure court in Duval County, part of the Fourth Judicial Circuit, on Tuesday, hundreds of “failure to prosecute” cases were on the docket. While waiting for her client’s case to be called, she heard the court’s staff talking about how the court had sent out notices, scheduling hearings for about 2,700 foreclosure actions — and noting that if the bank didn’t take action within 60 days of the notice, the case could be dismissed at the hearing for failure to prosecute. All of the cases were scheduled to be heard over the next eight court days.
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