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Prevalent Problems

Again we revisit Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.140(b) which provides that a Defendant may make a “showing that the court lacks jurisdiction of the subject matter may be made at any time.” See also MRI Services, Inc. v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 807 So.2d 783,786 FN3 (Fla. 2d DCA 2002) (“The lack ofsubject matter jurisdiction is an issue that may be raised at any time.”). Subject matter jurisdiction cannot generally be waived. “[Subject matter] [j]jurisdiction, in the strict meaning of the term, as applied to judicial officers and tribunals, means no more than the power lawfully existing to hear and determine a cause. It is the power lawfully conferred to deal with the general subject involved in the action.” See MCR Funding v. CMG Funding Corp., 771 So. 2d 32, 35 (Fla. 4th DCA 2000); Cunningham v. Standard Guar. Ins. Co., 630 So. 2d 179, 181 (Fla. 1994) (quoting Malone v. Meres, 91 Fla. 709, 725, 109 So. 677, 683 (1926)); see also Bell v. Kornblatt, 705 So.2d 113, 114 (Fla. 4th DCA) (“Subject matter jurisdiction is the power of a court to adjudicate the type of case before it. Subject matter jurisdiction is conferred on a court by the state constitution and applicable statutes.”) (citations omitted), review denied, 717 So. 2d 528 (Fla. 1998). To an unwitting pro-se Defendant, it may not be readily known that after the successful completion of a bankruptcy, a State Foreclose Court, despite previously having the requisite jurisdiction over the subject matter in a foreclosure case, is now without subject matter jurisdiction. Further, once the Plaintiff has been made whole through a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Plan for example, there is no longer a case or controversy in existence which can otherwise lawfully or procedurally provide a Creditor the vehicle through which they may enforce future occurring debts beyond those which were originally plead in a Complaint and then subsequently cured.

“Once parties to a lawsuit have reached settlement, the common resolution is an agreement by the Plaintiff to dismiss the pending lawsuit.” See again MCR Funding v. CMG Funding Corp., 771 So. 2d at 34. Unfortunately however, I have begun to find many a Plaintiff not only avoiding a dismissal of their lawsuit, but actually requesting courts to go outside of their inherent power of lawfully adjudicating a case. The founding principle upon which I believe that a court is without the requisite jurisdiction to even entertain a Plaintiff’s continuation of their original action despite the originally alleged default being cured, is based on a policy of avoiding what I have begun to call “Courts of Perpetuity.” Time and time again, we have learned whether within the classrooms of law school, or throughout the courtrooms in our jurisdictions, settlements between litigants or finality of matters are compelling interests for any court to pursue. As an aside, Creditors have long touted this idea that a total debt acceleration cannot be established by a hard and fast rule worthy of triggering a statute of limitations or claim preclusion (See Deutsche Bank Trust Co. Americas v. Beauvais, No. 3D14-575, 2016 WL 1445415 (Fla. 3 DCA 2016), and yet Creditors want to use and abuse a court’s jurisdiction of claims made in a single action to enforce all future claims as well despite being cured of the initial controversy. The fact is that a motion filed by a Plaintiff seeking to continue an originally filed action for foreclosure, after they have received the alleged amount in default claimed in another jurisdiction (i.e. Bankruptcy Court) suggests they seek nothing more than ill-gotten gains though their matter is now moot. “An issue is moot when the controversy has been so fully resolved that a judicial determination can have no actual effect. Paul Jacquin & Sons, Inc. v. City of Port St. Lucie, 69 So. 3d 306, 308 (Fla. 4th DCA 2011) (citing Godwin v. State, 593 So.2d 211, 212 (Fla. 1992) (citing DeHoff v. Imeson, 153 Fla. 553, 15 So.2d 258 (1943)). “A case is ‘moot’ when it presents no actual controversy or when the issues have ceased to exist.” Id. (citing Black's Law Dictionary 1008 (6th ed. 1990)). “A moot case generally will be dismissed.” Id. When the default alleged by a Plaintiff in its’
Complaint was not only cured, but where in some cases Defendants maintained regular monthly payments while in the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, if not subsequent thereto, then such a Plaintiff is without any mechanism to properly or legally preserve their actions before a Court once adjudicating those original allegations. The issues previously litigated have since been cured and thus it is without question no longer equitable for a Plaintiff to maintain their cause in order to try and sell a subject property at auction when a Plaintiff was undoubtedly previously made whole.

Categories: Foreclosure Defense
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