The State of Florida is in the grips of what is perhaps the greatest financial crisis in history. Facing a projected $3 billion budget deficit deficit, we will have fewer law enforcement officers on the street. Violent criminals will be released from prisons. Medicine and medical care for the sick and elderly will be limited. Vital programs that protect children and the most vulnerable among us will be cut or eliminated. The innocents among us will suffer the most. In spite of all this suffering, the banks, the Wall Street Wizards and the foreclosure mills are making BILLIONS.
Our Courts Are Tragically Underfunded
As recently noted by the Florida Supreme Court in the January 20th, 2011 decision Crist v. Ervin (go to page 13), the Florida Court system is “Operationally Underfunded”. The Supreme Court questioned whether this meant our courts are “Constitutionally Underfunded” and while the court couldn’t quite make that determination, I am convinced we will reach this point when all of the facts from Fraudclosuregate are revealed. The banks, the Wall Street Wizards and their foreclosure mills dumped a crisis into our courthouses all across this country and our courts simply lack the necessary resources to deal with the full magnitude of the crisis. At the same time, legislators and policy makers demand that our courts:
“CLEAR THIS FORECLOSURE DOCKET!”
Until we make the formal announcement that Florida’s courts are constitutionally underfunded, let’s just say that they are tragically underfunded….perhaps we’ll get around to making the formal determination that when basic rights are violated all in the aim of rewarding the banks that run this country, our courts have become constitutionally underfunded. There are very real bright spots all across this state….shining examples of judges standing up for consumers, for the Rule of Law and for the Constitution. Last week I received an order that is just one example of a judge doing all of that. The order is based on the failure of the foreclosure mills to comply with the clear rules of the Florida Supreme Court. They took a gamble that they could break the rules and get away with it, and they’ve lost that gamble. But their gamble cost us all millions in wasted court time and effort. More importantly the flagrant violation of the rules violated fundamental rights, and you cannot put a price tag on those. Our courts should not have to spend time enforcing basic rules over and over again, but don’t listen to me…read the text from the order:
1. It is confiscatory of the Court’s time to have to address this matter. Repeat violations by the same firm, or by the same attorney, may result in imposition of personal sanctions, and issuance of an orderdirected to the attorney or firm to show cause why that attorney or firm should not be prohibited from filing further foreclosure cases in this Court.
Below is a pdf of the order, along with the word version of it. I’ve included the Word version so the order can be disseminated to every circuit court judge in this state. Just stop and think for a moment what would happen if our judges used this order to clear their foreclosure docket……