February 13, 2013
By Octavio Nuiry, Senior Staff Writer
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A Florida homeowner facing a foreclosure lawsuit by Bank of New York Mellon lost a bid at the state’s high court to stop his lender from dropping the case while he tried to prove the bank used fraudulent robo-signed documents in suing him.
On February 7, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that lenders could voluntarily dismiss cases as a legal tactic to avoid being penalized for filing fraudulent foreclosure documents.
The ruling in Roman Pino v. the Bank of New York is blow to foreclosure defense attorneys.
“This case is not about whether a trial court has the authority in an ongoing civil proceeding to impose sanctions on a party who has filed fraudulent documentation with the court,” the judges wrote in a 44-page unanimous ruling. “Rather, the specific and narrow question we are asked to resolve is whether an allegation of fraud on the court empowers a trial court” to refuse to let the plaintiff dismiss the complaint.”
“The entire Florida court system is infected and polluted with fraud,” said Matt Weidner, St. Petersburg defense attorney referring to the Pino ruling. “This is terribly disturbing. The court took a narrow opinion, ignoring the larger context of the case that was brought to the court.”
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