Foreclosure granted despite errors in notice and homeowner's attorney's scheduling conflict
Francis Mitchell sued Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Wells Fargo and others, claiming that they were illegally foreclosing on her mortgage without satisfying the legal notice requirements. She also objected to the fact that the Court granted the Defendants summary disposition without an opportunity for her counsel to appear and argue her case. Apparently, her attorney had a scheduling conflict in another court and could not appear: the Court apparently went forward with the hearing and granted the Defendants summary judgment.
The Court of Appeals held that under revised Michigan rules, parties no longer have a right to oral argument, so she could not claim that she was prejudiced by the Court's failure to accommodate her attorney's scheduling conflict. The Court also held that she could not object to the defendants' failure to comply with statutory notice requirements because she could not establish that she was prejudiced by any defects.
This case is a good example of our current judiciary's emphasis on efficiency an commerce--even at the expense of justice. Or the appearance of justice. Maybe the Defendants deserved to take Mitchell's home and maybe she had no valid legal defenses. Would it be that much burden to assure that her attorney was at least heard in open court before "summary" judgment was granted? The Republican judiciary's emphasis on "summary" disposition is a dis-service to the Courts and brings to mind the behavior of puppet courts in places like China and Russia.