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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.

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Attorney answers 4


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

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.

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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.


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.


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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