Aug 3, 2010 … “I haven’t seen any widespread problem,” Sasser said.
The same Judge Meenu Sasser who’s office was found to have been engaging in improper …
Google Screen Shot
This was from this exact search in Google
Although the link above is not directly linked to the case below, it goes to show that Sasser didn’t see any “widespread problems” with fraud in foreclosures…
EDITH C. PETERSON, individually, EDITH C. PETERSON as Trustee of the ECP Trust, and John Doe, Tenant, Appellants,
AFFORDABLE HOMES OF PALM BEACH, INC., Appellee.
District Court of Appeal of Florida, Fourth District.
Fla. Appeals Court To Trial Judge: Pending Affirmative Defenses, Counterclaim Preclude Execution Of Judgment; Score Another Win For Pro Se Homeowners
Palm Beach County Circuit Court Judge Meenu T. Sasser was the guilty trial judge in this basic screw-up involving fundamental issues of law.
In granting the request of a self-represented homeowner, the three-judge appellate court panel gave trial court Judge Sasser this lesson on basic Florida law applicable here:
* “Courts have repeatedly held that, where summary judgment is granted for a plaintiff and a counterclaim remains pending, the trial court should stay the execution of the judgment pending the resolution of the counterclaim.” Tooltrend, Inc. v. C.M.T. Utensili, S.r.l., 707 So.2d 1162, 1162 (Fla. 2d DCA 1998).
“[T]he issue of fraud, raised by appellants as a defense and counterclaim, is usually considered a jury question and is not ordinarily appropriate for summary judgment proceedings.” L & S Food Servs., Inc. v. Roberts Cafeteria, Inc., 422 So.2d 45, 45 (Fla. 2d DCA 1982). See also Millennium Group I, L.L.C. v. Attorneys Title Ins. Fund, Inc., 847 So.2d 1115, 1117 (Fla. 1st DCA 2003) (stating that when summary judgment is granted for one party and a counterclaim on an original claim remains pending, the trial court should stay the execution of the judgment pending the resolution of the remaining claim).
Here, allowing the foreclosure action to proceed before deciding Peterson’s counterclaim effectively denied Peterson the right to a jury trial, which she had demanded in her counterclaim. See Del Rio v. Brandon, 696 So.2d 1197, 1198 (Fla. 3d DCA 1997). “The purpose of the compulsory counterclaim is to promote judicial efficiency by requiring defendants to raise claims arising from the same `transaction or occurrence’ as the plaintiff’s claim.”
Id. In Londono v. Turkey Creek, Inc., 609 So.2d 14, 20 (Fla. 1992), our supreme court explained “transaction or occurrence,” using the “logical relationship test” in order to determine whether a claim was compulsory:
A claim has a logical relationship to the original claim if it arises out of the same aggregate of operative facts as the original claim in two senses: (1) that the same aggregate of operative facts serves as the basis of both claims; or (2) that the aggregate core of facts upon which the original claim rests activates additional legal rights in a party defendant that would otherwise remain dormant.
Here, Peterson’s counterclaim alleged fraud on the part of Affordable Homes in connection with the purchase of the property. Her counterclaim was compulsory, as issues of fact which were “logically related” remained as to the liability of Affordable Homes. Thus final summary judgment of foreclosure should not have been ordered before the trial court considered it.
We therefore reverse the order granting summary judgment and remand this cause for further proceedings.
Full opinion below…