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Memorandum in Support of Motion to Dismiss
IN THE CIRCUIT COURT, FOURTH
JUDICIAL CIRCUIT, IN AND FOR
DUVAL COUNTY, FLORIDA.
MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION
[DEFENDANT], DECEASED, ET AL
SEPARATE DEFENDANT, [SEPARATE DEFENDANT]’S MOTION TO CANCEL SUMMARY JUDGMENT HEARING, DISMISS PLAINTIFF’S COMPLAINT, OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE, MOTION FOR MORE DEFINITE STATEMENT
The Separate Defendant, [Separate Defendant],by and though her undersigned attorney, files this motion to cancel the summary judgment hearing, and dismiss the Plaintiff’s Complaint for failure to join an indispensable party, or in the alternative, for more definite statement, pursuant to Rules 1.460, 1.210(a), 1.130(a) and 1.140(b)(7) of the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure and states:
1. This defendant was not able to access legal representation prior to her contact with Attorney [Attorney for Defendant] of Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Inc., on February 23,
2. This separate defendant was served with a summons and complaint in this foreclosure action on January 1, 2005 and she was noticed for the February 24, 2005 summary judgment hearing on January 24, 2005.
3. Counsel for Defendant has made known to Plaintiff’s attorney this request for continuance of the scheduled hearing so that this defendant is able to have the benefit of legal representation to defend and protect her interests in this residential foreclosure. However, counsel for plaintiff advises that he does not have authority without further contact with the plaintiff to consent to such continuance.
5. No prejudice will result to Plaintiff because of this Motion for Continuance.
WHEREFORE, for the above stated reasons, Defendants request that the Court grant a continuance of the hearing on the Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Final Judgment.
MOTION TO DISMISS PLAINTIFF’S COMPLAINT, OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE, MOTION FOR MORE DEFINITE STATEMENT
1. This separate defendant is the owner of the property which is the subject of this mortgage foreclosure Complaint. She requests the Court dismiss this action pursuant to Rule 1.210(a) and 1.140(7), because it appears on the face of the Complaint that a person other than the Plaintiff is the true owner of the claim sued upon and that the Plaintiff is not the real party in interest and is not shown to be authorized to bring this action. In re: Shelter Development Group, Inc., 50 B.R. 588 (Bankr.S.D.Fla. 1985) [It is axiomatic that a suit cannot be prosecuted to foreclose a mortgage which secures the payment of a promissory note, unless the Plaintiff actually holds the original note, citing Downing v. First National Bank of Lake City, 81 So.2d 486 (Fla. 1955)], See also 37 Fla. Jur. Mortgages and Deeds of Trust §240 (One who does not have the ownership, possession, or the right to possession of the mortgage and the obligation secured by it, may not foreclose the mortgage)
2. Fla.R.Civ.P. Rule 1.130(a) requires a Plaintiff to attach copies of all “bonds, notes, bills of exchange, contracts, accounts, or documents upon which action may be brought” to its complaint. The plaintiff has failed to attach a copy of the Promissory Note upon which its claim is based and the assignment attached to plaintiff’s complaint is only an assignment of the mortgage and not the note. The assignment attached to the plaintiff’s complaint conflicts with the allegation in paragraph 3 of the plaintiff’s complaint which alleges that the assignment is of the mortgage and the promissory note.
3. Fla.R.Civ.P. Rule 1.310(b) provides that all exhibits attached to a pleading shall be considered a part of the pleading for all purposes. It appears on the face of MERS’ Complaint that it is not the proper party to bring this action
4. Further, although the plaintiff names itself in the complaint as “Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., as Nominee For Homecomings Financial Network, Inc.” the documents attached to the plaintiff’s complaint conflict and therefore cancel out said allegations.
5. In this case, MERS’ allegations of material facts claiming it is the owner of the subject note are inconsistent with the documents attached to the Complaint. Further, MERS has alleged it does not have the original promissory note. When exhibits are inconsistent with the plaintiff’s allegations of material fact as to who the real party in interest is, such allegations cancel each other out. Fladell v. Palm Beach County Canvassing Board, 772 So.2d 1240 (Fla. 2000); Greenwald v. Triple D Properties, Inc., 424 So. 2d 185, 187 (Fla. 4th DCA 1983); Costa Bella Development Corp. v. Costa Development Corp., 441 So. 2d 1114 (Fla. 3rd DCA 1983).
6. Rule 1.210(a) of the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure provides, in pertinent part:
“Every action may be prosecuted in the name of the real party in interest, but a personal representative, administrator, guardian, trustee of an express trust, a party with whom or in whose name a contract has been made for the benefit of another, or a party expressly authorized by statute may sue in that person’s own name without joining the party for whose benefit the action is brought…”
The plaintiff in this action meets none of these criteria.
7. The plaintiff must allege that it is the owner and holder of the note and mortgage in question in order to be entitled to maintain an action on the note and mortgage which the plaintiff has not properly alleged in this case. Your Construction Center, Inc. v. Gross, 316 So. 2d 596 (Fl. 4th DCA 1975)
8. Plaintiff Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (“MERS”) does not have standing to pursue this action. Standing depends on whether a party has a sufficient stake in a justiciable controversy, whether a legally cognizable interest would be affected by the outcome of the litigation. Nedeau v Gallagher 851 So.2d 214, 2003 Fla. App. LEXIS 9762, 28 Fla. L. Weekly D 1537 (1st District, 2003).
9. Standing encompasses not only the “sufficient stake” definition, but at the at least equally important requirement that the claim be brought by or on behalf of one who is recognized by the law and a “real party in interest”, that is “the person in whom rests, by substantive law, the claim sought to be enforced. Kumar Corp. v Nopal Lines, Ltd, et al 462 So. 2d 1178, 1985 Fla.App. LEXIS 11940.41U.C.C. Rep. Serv. (Callaghan) 69; 10 Fla. L. Weekly 189 (3rd District1985).
10. It is axiomatic that a suit cannot be prosecuted to foreclose a mortgage which secures the payment of a promissory note, unless the Plaintiff actually holds the original note. A Plaintiff that does not hold the original notes sued has no standing and such action must be dismissed with prejudice Shelter Development Group v. MMA of Georgia, Inc 50 B.R. 588 (USBC, S.D. Florida 1985) Downing v. First National Bank of Lake City, , 81 So. 2d 486, (Fla., 1955) Tamiami Abstract and Title Company v. Berman, 324 So. 2d 137 (Fla 3rd DCA> 1975) Laing v. Gainey Builders, Inc. 184 So. 2d 897 (Fla. 1st DCA 1966). See also Davanzo v. Resolute Insurance Company, et al. 346 So.2d 1227, 1977 Fla.App. LEXIS 16014 (One who holds legal title to a mortgaged property is an indispensable party in suit to foreclose a mortgage).
WHEREFORE, this separate defendant requests the Court to dismiss the Plaintiff’s complaint with prejudice; or alternatively to order the Plaintiff to add the owner and holder of the subject note and mortgage as an indispensable party to this foreclosure action, and award this defendant attorney’s fees and all other relief to which she proves herself entitled.