Foreclosure Defense FloridaGeneral Information


The foreclosure crisis is placing incredible strains on our state’s underfunded court system and while there are challenges in many circuits, I am very pleased and proud to report that (in large part) the circuit court system in Florida’s 13th Judicial Circuit is rising to the challenge of making sure the consumers and voters that live here in the Tampa Bay area walk into a courthouse that shows the very finest elements of our state’s judicial system.

I had a trial there today, and had the opportunity to watch many other trials and motions, all being presided over by Senior Judges who were doing their job…putting all the lawyers, the witnesses and the parties through their paces.   These judges clearly recognize that there are no giveaways on either side.   They’re not going to favor one side or the other.   They are no sooner going to favor a poorly presented and unsupported defense argument than they would just roll over and give it away to the plaintiffs….and this is exactly what we all want.   A fair, an open and a challenging courtroom with tough judges that give every party that shows the court respect, the same amount of respect.   What I mean to say by that is attorneys and parties that are prepared and ready to do their job have the full command of the court’s attention.

I particularly appreciated the attention paid to unrepresented parties that appeared before the court.   Judges should not favor these parties….any more than they should favor any group of attorneys that appear before them…and from what I saw they did not.   But what these judges did do, over and over and over again, was balance the need to show these citizens appearing before them that our court system was fair and just.   All day long I watched these judges looking out for consumers and making sure that real justice was done.   For that, we can all be most proud.

Finally, a very important word about the deputies that keep things safe and running smoothly…especially the fixture on Hillsborough Courtroom’s Fifth Floor, Deputy Williams.   This woman runs an extremely tight and organized ship…if you’re on her floor you had better be prepared to move quickly and get your job done….she manages her courtrooms with the precision and organization of a military color guard.   And don’t you think that you’re bumping to the head of the line or that you’re going to be treated special just because you’re an attorney.   In her courtrooms, the consumers, the pro se people, everyone are subject to exactly the same rules….and they get exactly the same respect.   Her work is a testament to her uniform and to the justice system she serves.

Our nation faces real challenges and our courts play a crucial role in protecting all our rights….this court really is rising to that challenge.




  • Adonis says:

    Mr. Weidner, upon reading this article I was hopeful that things had changed in Hillsborough County, as my experience as an In Pro Per litigant had been the exact opposite of what you say you experienced in the court.

    I do not question your sincerity in the least. However, I felt it was important that you, and others who may read your blog, should be made aware of the other realities of this court.

    I have been litigating 2 cases in this court for the past 3 years, and each and every encounter I have had with the judges in this court has been horrendous.

    These judges seem ignorant of the law, or just plain don’t believe they need to follow the law, when they know they have an in pro per litigant before them.

    They have been particularly arrogant, disrespectful, and down right nasty in their treatment of the homeowner in these cases.

    One example of their apparent legal ignorance is when I raised Florida Rule Of Civil Procedure 1.210, Florida’s real party in interest rule, in order to point out that the rule allowed for a personal representative to sue in his own name on behalf of the party whose benefit the action was brought.

    To my surprise and dismay, the judge had no knowledge of the rule, and then refused to abide by it, and then reported me to the Bar Association to prohibit me from envoking the rule in his court room.

    The Bar investigated the matter and found me innocent of any wrongdoing. Nevertheless, the judge had accomplished his goal, which was to make sure that the homeowner didn’t receive the benefit of any legal assistance to vigously defend the wrongful foreclosure by the bank.

    After reading your article, I thought well perhaps the court is making positive changes, and the homeowner might be afforded the legal courtesy which they are entitled to under the canons of judicial conduct, but alas, I was sorely mistaken, and unfortunately mislead by your article.

    The Hillsborough court is completly disfunctional. Not only has the homeowner had to deal with nasty, arrogant, and disresctful judges, they’ve had to deal with judicial misconduct by the opposing attorneys, sanctioned by the judges, where the opposing attorney merely writes a letter, not a motion, to the court, and the court grants them a judgment without a hearing.

    We’ve had one of these rocket docket judges hear and grant a motion to dismiss, in part because the opposing attorney failed to appear, but upon inquiry we found that our proposed order was being held on the judges clerk’s desk for 2 months, and we could never get a signed order memorializing the granted motion to dismiss.

    The bank’s attorneys eventually filed a motion for rehearing, and had the ruling reversed.

    In our most recent case, the law is so clear and concise, but the judges continue to ignore the law, and merely take the bank’s attorneys word that they are the real party in interest, and refuse to require the bank to provide any documented evidence.

    We had a hearing today, 3/18/13. However, although our opposition to summary judgment, cross-motion on the pleadings, and motion for substitution of parties were timely filed with the court, and served, we tried contacting the court for 2 weeks prior to the hearing date to confirm the court’s receipt of our motions, but the clerk, the case manager, or no one in her office would assist us in confirming that the documents had been received by the court.

    We were then asked to re-send the documents to a specific room, and we did so, only to find that when the hearing commenced, the judge refused to even allow the in pro per litigant to inquire as to if the court has ever received the motions filed.

    This was a telephonic hearing, and when the homeowner stated that they could not hear opposing counsel in order to respond to their arguments, the homeowner was completely ignored, and not given an opportunity to respond to opposing counsels argument.

    This judges name was Sandra Taylor. She was pompous, disresectful, and dismissive. The issue at the hearing was very simple. The bank, Bank United, FSB, was closed down by the office of thrift supervision, and taken into receivership by the FDIC on May 21, 2009, and sold to new investors who named themselves similarly BankUnited.

    As a result of its closure, Bank United, FSB, no longer exist as a legal entity, and therefore has no capacity to sue, nor can they establish any legal standing, as they are no longer the holder in due course of the note , with any rights to enforce the note. And pursuant to Fla. Stat. Section 673.3021 (3)(a)(b)(c), a promissory note cannot be transferred as a result of a receivership.

    When the homeowner raised these issues, the bank argued that it was authorized by Rule 1.260, which outlines the substitution of interest procedures. The bank was now alleging that it was substituted into the action, and therefore now had legal standing to pursue foreclosure. First, this is a ridiculous argument, as the bank cannot substitute itself into an action it is already a party to. his is laughable, but apparently the court fails to see the humor.

    Nevertheless, the rule required the bank to file a motion for substitution within 90 days of the closing of the bank on May 21, 2009, which it failed to do. Under the provisions of the rule, if the bank fails to file the motion within the prescribed time, the court must dismiss the case.

    This rule is plain, clear, concise, and simple. File the motion, or your case is dismissed. However, unfortunately nothing is simple when you have a corrupt judicial system that is bought and paid for, and corrupt attorneys who habitually ignore the canons of judicial conduct by committing fraud upon the courts.

    When the judge was presented with the argument that the bank had failed to comply with Rule 1.260, and as a result could not establish any legal standing, it ask the bank’s attorney for a response. Their response was, oh that issue was addressed and resolved in a previous hearing.

    The judge did not ask how it was addressed, or even question the attorney on whether it had filed the required motion. It seemingly just took the bank’s attorney’s word that the matter had been resolved, no evidence or questions required. This in your injustice system America! Its hard at work screwing the American homeowners out of their equity wealth, and handing it over to the corrupt banksters, and their winning!

    The hearing was ended abruptly by the judge stating that she would take the matter under advisement. Yeah, right!

    How will she take the matter under advisement, when she wouldn’t even investigate whether the homeowner’s motions had been filed, and has not read the homeowners briefs, or allow the homeowner to argue and defend the case.

    Under advisement my ass. Its clear what’s about to happen here.

    Okay, sorry for the long rant, but I needed to provide some examples, and facts here, so as not to make a bunch of unsubstatiated accusations.

    The point here is that we didn’t want others to be lulled into a sense of unfonded optimism and or complacency by reading your article. You are a respected member of the counrty club called the legal community and judicial system. The treatment you receive, and the behavior you experience is most likely colored by the fact that you are an attorney.

    For those individuals who do not possess a key to the country club, we encounter and endure a completely different experience.

    Again, we do not question your sincerity, but your readers need to know what homeowners who are in pro per have actually been experiencing in Hillsborough County Court.

    For the past 3 years we have experienced corruption, legal ignorance, fraud upon the court, with the court’s complicity, motions lost, motions that were not filed with the clerk, proposed orders lost, and refused to be signed, improper ex parte communications with the judges, pompous, arrogant, and completely disrespectful treatment by judges, and blatent violations and disregard for the laws of the state of Florida.

    With all due respect, If you feel that this is a court we can be proud of, you need to seriously re-evaluate your assessment.

    You need to work with some in pro per litigants, and monitor their experiences in court, without the courts knowing you are watching their behavior. Then maybe you will see the true underbelly of the Hillborough County Court system.

    Best Regards

    • i read through what you are saying and understand that a non lawyer went to court to try and represent a client….courts cannot…and should not allow this to happen……hillsborough is doing much better……

      • tonidee Colon says:

        Mr. Weidner: It is surprising that an educated man as yourself, is not open to the fact that maybe, just maybe, you would be treated differently. I hate to think that this would be true, but were you paid off? No one, with good sense, would think for a second that we should be proud of Hillsborough County Court System with regards to foreclosures. Please quit kissing ass and get real!

    • tonidee Colon says:

      Thank you so much for being real and writing the truth! You are just the kind of person that I know is being honest. Thank you for sticking up for the underdog!!! I wish you were the person who wrote all the articles! THANKS AGAIN FOR BEING REAL!!

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