See that image up there….it’s Themis, the pictoral symbol of our nation’s legal system. She sits out in front of many courtrooms and her image is plastered all about courtrooms and papers all across this nation. Now, conceptually at least our nation does not have two legal or judicial systems. Themis does not stare down only in “major” cases or “real” cases. She does not sit only in felony trial courtrooms…leaving misdemeanor courtrooms to some other God, some other standard. She is not absent from small claims or family law courtrooms, cedeing those courtrooms to some inferior Goddess….
At least in theory.
But what we see, all across this country, is a judicial system all too willing to quickly cede the high ground of a judicial system that was thousands of the years in the making for the political and economic expediency of criminal enterprises commonly known as, “The Banks”. The Banks committed crimes. Forgery, fraud, perjury and worse. But rather than be held to account, they have gotten away with their crime spree. And in so many areas not only do we have a judicial system that fails to hold them accountable, we have a judicial system that is failing to fulfill its sacred duties.
When we have judges who are intently focused on “moving these cases along” or “clearing the docket”, we risk losing our justice system. We risk trading it for some grossly out of control administrative process goverened not by law but by numbers on an excel spreadsheet. For those that think, “It’s only foreclosure” and “What difference does it make, they haven’t paid their mortgage!”, I ask you to consider,
“What happens to our court system when the next crisis comes along? What happens when there is a family law crisis or a crisis involving or nation’s military or criminal justice system? Remember, conceptually at least, our nation has only one justice system. And if we are all so willing to stand aside and toss this system into the dustbin of history just to fulfill some perceived short term necessity, what will happen the next time there is some real crisis or tragedy?”
I’m proud to say I practice in an area of this state that does not suffer from these failings. The citizens and voters here in West Central Florida should be quite proud and supportive of the good judges who preside over courtrooms and cases with exactly the same standard of care, strict adherence to laws and rules and eyes and minds firmly focused on the essential principals embodied in the very real symbology of Themis. Our area, with good and dedicated Officers of The Court….Bank Attorneys, Defense Attorneys, Judges and Staff..are working through this, “crisis” in a way that strengthens our communities, forges compromise and resolution but most importantly it protects and strengthens our area’s legal system….
And now for the other side of the story:
(But before you read the story, there’s one aspect that after reflection, I believe deserves commentary. Who are the proponents and antagonists in this story? Note that there are no representatives from the banks or from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac or the Wizards that all of this is being done on behalf of. Instead, we have…on one side of a debate the dedicated advocates for homeowners and consumers…and on the other side, court officials who have adopted very adamant and strident positions that advocate policies that can only be read to be quite opposed to those interests of the consumers, citizens, the litigants against whom the awesome power of our nation’s court system is being directed.. Keep that in mind as you read the story….)
Florida’s foreclosure courts have made almost no progress in clearing an overwhelming backlog of cases from their dockets despite a $4 million stipend awarded by lawmakers this year.
As of Oct. 31, there were 377,272 pending foreclosures in Florida’s 20 circuit courts, a net reduction of just 435 cases since the money became available in July, according to the state courts administrator.
Judges say new foreclosure filings have nearly outpaced the number of cases they’ve been able to close as banks work on clearing defaulted loans on hold since the robo-signing freezes and pending the National Mortgage settlement, which was finalized in March.
While the $4 million has helped courts statewide close 69,513 cases in four months, 69,078 new cases were added during the same time period.
” Obviously, we hoped to make a bigger dent, but it seems like we’re just treading water at this point,” said Palm Beach County Chief Judge Peter Blanc, who has 32,434 pending foreclosure cases in the 15th Circuit. ” I’m disappointed in the numbers, but the reason for them is pretty clear.”
PALM BEACH POST