final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
from the Circuit Court for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit,
Broward County; Barry Stone, Senior Judge; L.T. Case No. CACE
Jonathan Kline of Jonathan Kline, P.A., Weston, for
Cynthia L. Comras, David Rosenberg and Jarrett Cooper of
Robertson, Anschultz & Schneid, P.L., Boca Raton, for
Joanne Liukkonen appeals a final judgment of foreclosure
entered against her and her husband. She contends Appellee
Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC, violated the best evidence rule
when it introduced mere copies of the loan modifications
without explanation. We disagree and affirm. We write to
clarify our jurisprudence on this issue and affirm without
comment all other issues raised by Appellant.
trial, Bayview introduced an original note, but only
introduced copies of the loan modifications (which affected
the interest rates) and offered no explanation as to why it
did not produce the originals. Appellant offered no objection
at the time, but objected during closing and in her motions
to strike and for rehearing. The objections were overruled.
review evidentiary rulings for abuse of discretion. Holt
v. Calchas, LLC, 155 So.3d 499, 503 (Fla. 4th
DCA 2015). As a preliminary matter, Appellant has waived her
best evidence rule objection because she failed to make it
contemporaneously with the introduction of the copies.
See Johnston v. Hudlett, 32 So.3d 700, 704 (Fla. 4th
nevertheless address the merits on this issue to clarify our
decision in Rattigan v. Central Mortgage Co., 199
So.3d 966 (Fla. 4th DCA 2016). There, a bank introduced an
original note, but violated the best evidence rule by
foreclosing under the terms of a modification without
introducing the original or a copy into evidence. We
held that "[w]ithout the agreement itself in evidence,
testimony regarding the contents of the agreement is not
permitted." Id. at 967 (citing J.H. v.
State, 480 So.2d 680, 682 (Fla. 1st DCA 1985)).
Therefore, there was no proper evidence to support
foreclosure under the terms of the modified note.
noted in dicta:
The Bank violated the best evidence rule by virtue of its
failure to introduce the modification at trial (either the
original or a duplicate with an explanation as to why the
original note was unavailable, see Deutsche Bank
Nat'l Tr. Co. v. Clarke, 87 So.3d 58, 62 (Fla. 4th
Rattigan, 199 So.3d at 967 (citing J.H.,
480 So.2d at 682). In J.H., the court
simply held the Health and Rehabilitative Services'
failure to introduce an agreement it entered into with a
mother-the nonfulfillment of which was the basis for its
dependency petitions-violated the best evidence ...