BRUCE S. ROSENWATER, Appellant,
DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST COMPANY, AS TRUSTEE FOR THE SOUNDVIEW HOME LOAN TRUST 2007-NS1 ASSET- ACKED CERTIFICATES, SERIES 2007-NS1, Appellee.
final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
from the Circuit Court for the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit,
St. Lucie County; William L. Roby, Judge; L.T. Case No.
S. Rosenwater of Bruce S. Rosenwater & Associates, P.A.,
West Palm Beach, for appellant.
Charles P. Gufford of McCalla Raymer Liebert Pierce, LLC,
Orlando, for appellee.
Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.840(e) dictates a reversal in
attorney appeals a contempt order that arose during a
foreclosure action. He argues the contempt order should be
reversed because the trial judge should have disqualified
himself from the hearing on the order to show cause, and in
any event erred in finding him in contempt. We agree that
under the facts of this case, the trial judge was required to
disqualify himself. This requires us to reverse and remand
the contempt order for a new hearing before another judge,
rendering the sufficiency of the evidence and process
bank filed a foreclosure complaint against the borrower. At
an initial case management conference, the bank informed the
trial judge that it intended to amend its complaint. The
trial judge issued an order scheduling a second case
management conference. The order stated:
SHOULD YOU FAIL TO PERSONALLY ATTEND THE CASE MANAGEMENT
CONFERENCE, YOUR FAILURE TO ATTEND COULD RESULT IN A
DISMISSAL, DEFAULT, STRIKING THE ABSENT PARTIES'
PLEADINGS AND/OR OTHER APPROPRIATE SANCTIONS.
bank amended its complaint, and the borrower moved to
dismiss. At the second case management conference, defense
counsel failed to appear. The trial judge denied the motion
to dismiss and scheduled a third case management conference.
that conference, the trial judge called defense counsel on
speaker phone and was "initially met with some
resistance from his office staff." The receptionist told
the judge that defense counsel was on a phone call. The trial
judge advised that he needed to speak directly with him.
judge was put on hold. An associate attorney then came on the
line stating that "his office did not feel the need to
attend the CMC because Defendant and [the bank's] counsel
had worked out an agreed order on the pending Motion to
Dismiss." The trial judge informed the associate that
compliance with court orders is required and that he still
needed to discuss the basis for noncompliance with defense
counsel. The trial judge was then placed on hold again.
defense counsel came on the line, he informed the trial judge
he did not believe he was required to attend because:
1. He had worked out an agreement on the defendant's
pending Motion to Dismiss with [the bank]'s counsel and
that [the bank]'s counsel was ...