Miami Judge Beatrice Butchko Kicked Off Foreclosure Case For Holding Mortgage Servicer And Their Lawyers Accountable
The Florida 3rd DCA has kicked a Miami Judge Beatrice Butchko off a foreclosure case.
They also made the unusual move of barring her from considering an order to show cause.
The proposed show cause order alleges Bank of New York Mellon and others associated with the case committed perjury.
The appeals court said the case began as a straightforward mortgage foreclosure. However, it transformed into an ever-escalating battle that no longer resembles its original form.
Judge Beatrice Butchko’s Ruling That Opened A Pandora’s Box
The case involved Julie Nicolas. Nicolas borrowed $202,500 from the Popular Mortgage Corp in 2006. She stopped making payments by the beginning of 2016.
Ownership and servicing of the loan had been transferred several times betwen 2006 and 2016. A BNY-Mellon Trust ultimately took ownership of the note with BNY-Mellon acting as a trustee. The BNY-Mellon trust also became the plaintiff in the foreclosure action.
The judge entered a final judgment of foreclosure in October 2020. Nicolas filed a motion to set aside the judgment six month later. In her motion, her attorney, Bruce Jacobs alleged that the trustee’s claim of standing was fraudulent.
Jacobs claimed that the current loan servicer was Bank of America not Carrington Mortgage Services. A “certified fraud examiner” also testified for Nicolas in a subsequent hearing that it was Bank of America. He cited a report by Moody’s. Moody’s was the ratings agency for the trust.
Both Carrington Mortgage Services and BofA maintain Carrington Mortgage Services holds the servicing rights to the loan.
Jacobs also alleges the plaintiff and their lawyers should be held in criminal contempt for perjury.
Judge Butchko signed Jacob’s order to show cause.
Florida 3rd DCA Overrules Judge Butchko
The appeals court said the order to show cause did not offer any specifics of alleged perjury:
It clumps petitioners together without indicating the particular action by each that could give rise to liability for contempt.
The appeals court also said it is doubtful whether a factual dispute should ever give rise to a criminal contempt hearing for perjury.
Jacobs said the appeals decision is an attempt to silence Butchko for demanding the truth in her courtroom. He also said the ruling was also an attempt to silence him after two judges on the 3rd DCA referred him to the bar for an ethics investigation.
The Florida Bar referee said Jacobs had made comments impugning the integrity of the judiciary. They included claims that the 3rd DCA cannot issue a ruling with integrity in his cases. He also called appeals judges “traitors to the Constitution”
Jacobs also claimed that the system was “rigged.”
The Florida Bar recommended a three-month suspension for Jacobs.
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