Miami-Dade Circuit Senior Judge Job Gordon recently faced some troubling allegations, which have resulted in a reversal of a foreclosure case. Gordon oversaw the case of homeowner Vilma Violetta Martinez, who went to trial in May of 2015 facing foreclosure on her $334,000 home. During the case, the defense claimed that Gordon participated in the defendant’s questioning, after which he allegedly accused her of perjury and threatened criminal sanctions. The Daily Business Review reports that the case has been remanded to a new judge.
The Case & the Troubling Allegations
Gordon allegedly violated the defendant’s rights throughout the trial. According to two of Martinez’s attorneys, the judge stopped her legal team from fully questioning her and prevented them from bringing evidence which would support her defense. The attorneys quickly challenged Gordon’s ruling and requested his removal from the case.
Martinez’s attorneys also charged that Gordon disregarded all defenses and questions that challenged the bank’s right to bring suit, and even stopped a witness’s testimony to rule in the bank’s favor. Her legal team then filed a motion for a retrial due to Gordon’s failure to allow Martinez’s counsel to properly question her and the banks own foreclosure specialist.
That said, there were discrepancies noted in the defendant’s testimony. During the case, Martinez allegedly told Gordon that she never received any default notices in the mail. However, the attorney representing Bank of New York Mellon had records of Martinez redirecting her mail, claiming she had moved to another home. At first, the defendant said that she had never signed any documents informing the bank of her change of address and denied signing for her mortgage and note. Yet later in the trial, she admitted to signing those papers.
When the case went to the appellate court, the courts held that Gordon did have the authority to impose sanctions and strike the defendant’s pleadings. These sanctions can only be imposed under certain circumstances (such as an obvious showing of fraud), and must be used with constraint. In Martinez’s foreclosure case, Gordon was shown to have no clear or convincing evidence that proved that Martinez was indeed lying under oath. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that Gordon did not have the authority to accuse Martinez of these criminal sanctions. As such, the court reversed the case for procedurally improper sanctions, failure to allow Martinez’s counsel to challenge the ruling, and for the lack of proper evidentiary support. The case was remanded to a new judge.
If you are facing foreclosure or debt troubles, contact the attorneys at Graham Legal today. Our experts can see you through it from start to finish, obtaining you the optimal result and guiding you to a better financial future.