Chip Parker: Magistrates May Euthanize Senior Judges in Foreclosure Court
The Supreme Court of Florida has decided that non-judge magistrates will be hearing foreclosure cases in addition to retired senior judges. The new Amended Rule 1.490 would expand the use of general magistrates as an alternative to the use of senior judges to assist in processing foreclosure cases. This could mercifully spell the end of senior judges in Florida, which could help restore some confidence in our judicial system.
Don’t get me wrong. I doubt the magistrates will provide any greater level due process than the microscopic levels afforded to homeowners in the bizarro world of retired senior judges overseeing Foreclosure Court. However, if a homeowner does not want his foreclosure case being decided by a non-judge, the homeowner may object, and there need be no legal basis for an objection.
The homeowner must act fast because the objection must be made 10 days after the Order of Referral to Magistrate is entered. If a timely objection is filed, then the case is referred back to a judge (or retired senior judge).