Over the last few days there have been some discussions going on about the ACLU petition that was filed last week against Lee county. One of particular interest is presented below.

It all started out with a blog post by foreclosure defense attorney Mark Stopa titled One Objective – Disposing of Foreclosure Cases.

This is truly disgusting stuff.  I’ll let you read for specifics, but from my perspective, all of the judges, in particular Judge Carlin, had one singular objective – dispose of foreclosure cases as quickly as possible, regardless of law, procedure, due process or basic fairness.  To accomplish that end, these judges were willing to do seemingly anything, even create pre-determined rulings to legal issues.

Granting a motion for continuance?  No way.

Lawyer not available for a hearing?  Doesn’t matter; hearing proceeds.

Case not at issue?  Doesn’t matter – set for trial anyway.

Plaintiffs cancelling hearings?  Set a docket sounding so they can’t cancel.

Plaintiffs aren’t setting enough hearings?  Contact them ex parte and tell them to set more hearings.

Not disposing of enough cases?  Set quotas, increasing the number of cases being heard.  200 per session.  250.  500.

The parties want to abate a case to discuss settlement?  Abatement is not an option, even when both sides want to resolve the lawsuit without a foreclosure.

Well, the above post (with a string comments) made it’s way to the Florida Bar’s President, Mayanne Downs and this is what she had to say to the email group.

I write as an individual, a lawyer in Florida who received this email.  Although it would be easy not to respond, I cannot let the record stand with the statements made in this chain unrebutted.

I have read every email attached to this email. Not only do those emails NOT support the claims made below – that the judges in Lee County were acting in a “disgusting” fashion without regard to due process – but they actually show  judges working hard to do their jobs as well as they can, and to find the appropriate way to process the staggering caseloads they must manage.  These thoughtful judges are communicating about how best to proceed, trying to understand what their colleagues are doing, sharing approaches, and  obviously interested in the best possible approach to a difficult problem.

It is wrong and unfair, in my opinion, to make sweeping derogatory statements about these judges, who cannot defend themselves. It is wrong to claim that a dense record supports a sweeping and damning conclusion, knowing that most will not take the time to read the materials.  And it is unfair to do so in such a dramatic and widespread fashion.

I understand that people can have reasonable differences about what is right and wrong in these cases, and I certainly understand claims that due process is not being satisfactorily addressed.  Those claims should be prosecuted or defended as the clients and their lawyers see fit.  Sharing information is an admirable goal. Using a forum to damn others — not so much.

We all have an obligation to speak and act respectfully, and with due regard for our roles in our system of justice.  Words have power, and we all have a responsibility to remember that.

I am confident that no one on this list intends harm, and I’m not suggesting that anyone has acted intentionally badly.  I simply ask for some care, and caution, in how we communicate about these important issues.

Thanks for “listening.”

Best regards to all,

Mayanne Downs

All I can say on the above email is wow.

However, Mark Stopa had much more to say in response to Ms Downs.

Ms. Downs, As the author of the email/blog to which you respond, I deem it necessary and appropriate to respond to your email.

I have a great deal of respect for many if not most of Florida’s judges, and I believe the last paragraph of my email reflects that.

Regrettably, however, I don’t find anything the Lee County judges do to be “thoughtful” or “appropriate.”

You can check out the rest of Mark’s response here…

Maybe the bar should catch up on the situation in Lee County by reading some of the links below.

Daily Finance | Architect of Florida’s Infamous ‘Rocket Docket’ Foreclosures

Posted by Foreclosure Fraud on January 26, 2011

Architect of Florida’s Infamous ‘Rocket Docket’ Foreclosures By ABIGAIL FIELD Lee County, Florida has become infamous for speeding foreclosure cases through its courts. The super-charged system — or “rocket docket” – can dispense with a foreclosure case in minutes, sometimes mere seconds. In the interests of speed, the courts have even refused requests for delay … Read more

More on Lee County | Florida Is Still Letting Banks Break the Rules in Foreclosure Cases

Posted by Foreclosure Fraud on January 5, 2011

Florida Is Still Letting Banks Break the Rules in Foreclosure Cases By ABIGAIL FIELD Over the holidays, I wrote about judges in Lee County, Fla., and how they appear to prioritize completing foreclosures over the rule of law. The most extreme example was an order in one case by Judge James R. Thompson that specifically … Read more

OUTRAGEOUS | Are the Judges in Lee County Above the Law? Well, According to this Transcript and Order…

Posted by Foreclosure Fraud on January 5, 2011

When is this going to stop? Earlier this month we brought you an order out of Lee County that a Judge is flat out saying that the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure do not apply! WOW – Is Lee County Foreclosure Court Above the Law? Posted by Foreclosure Fraud on December 6, 2010 ·  This is … Read more

Scandalous | Leaked document shows Lee Co. judges tried to fix foreclosure error

Posted by Foreclosure Fraud on January 5, 2011

Well well well… Look what we have here… Leaked document shows Lee Co. judges tried to fix foreclosure error A 4 In Your Corner investigation reigning in Lee County foreclosure judges? Judges not requiring banks to show how much homeowners owe…even though they’re supposed to. Now, a leaked document has surfaced…showing Lee judges trying to … Read more

Rocket Docket Investigation – Pigs Ass Charlie Green, Lee County Clerk of Court at it Again

Posted by Foreclosure Fraud on December 24, 2010 · 10 Comments (Edit)

From Urban Dictionary: The term “pigs ass” is used in many situations. It is most commonly used when someone claims something is not true. And we all remember Lee County Clerk of Court Charlie Green from previous articles right? LEE COUNTY CLERK: CHARLIE GREEN Executive Assistant: Laura Bennett P. O. Box 2469, Ft. Myers, FL … Read more

WOW – Is Lee County Foreclosure Court Above the Law?

Posted by Foreclosure Fraud on December 6, 2010

This is outrageous! Now a Judge is flat out saying that the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure do not apply! Florida Rules of Civil Procedure 1.510 Summary Judgment e) Form of Affidavits; Further Testimony. Supporting and opposing affidavits shall be made on personal knowledge, shall set forth such facts as would be admissible in evidence, … Read more

More on Florida’s Kangaroo Foreclosure Courts (Lee County) from Christopher Meister

Posted by Foreclosure Fraud on November 24, 2010 

First some commentary from Yves over at Naked Capitalism… Lisa Epstein of Foreclosure Hamlet sent an eye-opening letter from Christopher Meister, who ran for the sheriff of Lee County, Florida as an independent and lost. As much as I’ve read plenty of reports of dubious judicial behavior in Florida, I still find myself appalled when … Read more

Is Justice Dead? Attorney Mark Stopa – Final Judgment of Foreclosure – Without a Hearing!

Posted by Foreclosure Fraud on September 28, 2010

This comes in from Mark Stopa, you can check out his site here… Final Judgment of Foreclosure – Without a Hearing! I’ve had a lot of wild experiences in foreclosure cases, but this one might take the cake. … On September 2, 2010, I attended a hearing before Judge David Demers in Pinellas County Case No. … Read more

Fox 4 News Investigates Lee County’s “Rocket Docket” Program

Posted by Foreclosure Fraud on September 16, 2010

~Attorney Michael Chionopoulos~ “I was specifically told by one judge, counselor stop. I have 180 cases on my docket this morning. I’ve heard all the evidence I’m going hear. The defendant didn’t pay the mortgage, we’re done here” ~ And we all remember Lee County Clerk of Court Charlie Green from previous articles right? LEE … Read more