Judge Meenu T. Sasser REVERSED | FL 4th DCA – Peterson v. Affordable Homes of Palm Beach, Inc. | Foreclosure Fraud – Fighting Foreclosure Fraud by Sharing the Knowledge

Allowing the foreclosure action to proceed before deciding Peterson’s counterclaim effectively denied Peterson the right to a jury trial, which she had demanded in her counterclaim. See Del Rio v. Brandon, 696 So.2d 1197, 1198 (Fla. 3d DCA 1997). “The purpose of the compulsory counterclaim is to promote judicial efficiency by requiring defendants to raise claims arising from the same `transaction or occurrence’ as the plaintiff’s claim.”

Id. In Londono v. Turkey Creek, Inc., 609 So.2d 14, 20 (Fla. 1992), our supreme court explained “transaction or occurrence,” using the “logical relationship test” in order to determine whether a claim was compulsory:

A claim has a logical relationship to the original claim if it arises out of the same aggregate of operative facts as the original claim in two senses: (1) that the same aggregate of operative facts serves as the basis of both claims; or (2) that the aggregate core of facts upon which the original claim rests activates additional legal rights in a party defendant that would otherwise remain dormant.

Id.

Here, Peterson’s counterclaim alleged fraud on the part of Affordable Homes in connection with the purchase of the property. Her counterclaim was compulsory, as issues of fact which were “logically related” remained as to the liability of Affordable Homes. Thus final summary judgment of foreclosure should not have been ordered before the trial court considered it.

We therefore reverse the order granting summary judgment and remand this cause for further proceedings.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/59443992/Peterson-v-Affordable-Homes-of-Palm-Beach-Inc

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via Judge Meenu T. Sasser REVERSED | FL 4th DCA – Peterson v. Affordable Homes of Palm Beach, Inc. | Foreclosure Fraud – Fighting Foreclosure Fraud by Sharing the Knowledge.

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