What is a Judge’s Job? The ‘Honorable’ Diana Lewis Thinks it’s “to move cases” Regardless of the Law
Follow the timeline. Bank A filed suit in 2008, the case was dismissed, and the original Note was returned to that plaintiff on August 31, 2010. Bank B filed suit in March of 2010. Do you think Bank B had possession of the original Note in March of 2010 when the Note was sitting in the court file? I sure don’t. It’s necessarily impossible to be the “holder” when you lack possession of the original Note. See Fla. Stat. 671.201(21) (defining “holder” as one in possession of an original, endorsed note).
In my opinion, this argument should have prompted a dismissal of the case, but the judge entered a Final Judgment for the bank. I entered the case and asked for a stay pending appeal. I thought that motion was well-taken. After all, the judge herself had said (at trial) that my client’s position was a good argument, so why should a foreclosure sale take place before she could pursue an appeal?
Unfortunately, the judge denied the stay and set the first available sale date.
I was surprised, so I pushed the judge to explain her ruling. The explanation surprised me. Here’s what the transcript reflects (starting on page 16):
Mr. Stopa: Judge, you acknowledged yourself, on multiple occasions, on the record, that, you know — Initially, you had multiple times where you said you were ruling for the defendant, and then you said if you didn’t, it would be reversed. I’m not arguing with you, but my point is that I think there are legitimate grounds to go to the Appellate Court, and before my client is divested of the property and a third party purchaser tries to buy it and, potentially, take possession, ultimately to potentially be removed, then a stay should be entered so that we can pursue our right on an appeal. We’d be happy to have a condition in the stay being that my client will continue to maintain the property, as she has. There won’t be any harm to the bank, if we were to lose the appeal. It simply will have the foreclosure sale rescheduled, once the appeal is over. The collateral is not going anywhere. So I think a stay is a fair result here, under the circumstances, so that we can pursue an appeal on these issues.
The Court: You’re welcome to do that.
Mr. Stopa: Can I submit you an Order that grants a stay?
The Court: No. Your stay is denied. …
Mr. Stopa: On the issue of stay, can I ask for an explanation, or what have you, because, you know –
The Court: My job is to move cases.
Mr. Stopa: I’m sorry?
The Court: My job is to move cases and that’s what I’m doing.
More with the full transcript here…