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What if the plaintiff changes in the middle of a foreclosure action?

Boynton Beach, FL |

The original plaintiff was a trustee to a Wall Street investment fund. During the lawsuit, the plaintiff purportedly resigned as trustee and a successor trustee was appointed. There was finally a summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff, but it showed the name of the original plaintiff, not the successor trustee. This is obviously incorrect, but WHAT IS THE LEGAL EFFECT OF SUCH A JUDGMENT? Common sense says that there should have been a substitution of the successor trustee for the former trustee. Strangely, at the sheriff's sale the property was purchased by the FORMER trustee.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. What part of the summary judgment showed the name of the original plaintiff--the style of the case or the body.

    The style is at the top of the pleadings. In the Circuit Court of the 15th Judicial Circuit

    Original Trustee
    v
    Homeowner
    ________________________/

    That portion of pleadings is not supposed to change. It is only for identification of the case.

    If the judgment was entered in favor of the original Plaintiff, then THAT would be problematic, but if in the body of the document the new Trustee is named, that is appropriate.

    I hope you found this response to be helpful. If so, your clicking "helpful" and/or "best answer" helps my Avvo rating and would be appreciated. This answer shall not be considered rendering legal advise but instead a general response to a general question. Avvo is a wonderful resource but nothing can substitute for an in-depth consultation face-to-face with a lawyer. The response shall not be deemed to create an attorney-client relationship, nor shall it create an obligation on the part of the attorney to respond to further inquiry from the questioner.


  2. Sadly, many of the things that are happening in Palm Beach circuit court defy common sense. However, it is impossible to answer your question without a detailed understanding of what the complaint and judgment look like and what defensive issues were raised, if any.

    Please note that the above is not intended as legal advice, it is for educational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is created or is intended to be created hereby. You should contact a local attorney to discuss and to obtain legal advice.


  3. It is not uncommon for a plaintiff to be substituted for another plaintiff in a foreclosure case. The case style will not change in the pleadings even when there has been a change. However, the new plaintiff will be named in the body of the pleadings.


  4. As my colleagues have mentioned, there is a difference between a case caption and the body of the pleading. In any event, the plaintiff and/or case style should not change without court approval. In Palm Beach County specifically, the foreclosure judges are reluctant to make any changes to the case caption - issuing orders in line with Trawick's Florida Practice and Procedure guide and finding that there is almost no reason a caption should be altered. That said, changing plaintiffs in the middle of a foreclosure action is not uncommon.

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