REAL ESTATE: MORTGAGE FORECLOSURE; CIVIL PROCEDURE: STANDING: NON-PARTY, PRO SE LITIGANT: INJUNCTION AGAINST COURT FILINGS NOT SIGNED BY LICENSED ATTORNEY; APPEALS: APPEAL OF NON-FINAL, NON-APPEALABLE ORDER TREATED AS PETITION FOR CERTIORARI

Balch v. HSBC Bank, USA, N.A., ___ So. 3d ___, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D2570 (Fla. 5th DCA December 6, 2013)

The plaintiff filed a mortgage foreclosure against a woman.  A man, with the same last name as the defendant, filed pleadings jointly with the defendant although he was not a party to the action.  The appellate court characterized one of those pleadings, an answer and counterclaim, as “rambling and disjointed.”  The trial court granted the plaintiff’s motion to strike the answer and counterclaim based upon the non-party’s lack of standing.  In addition, the trial court struck from the pleadings all references to the non-party and prohibited him from filing further pleadings without leave of court.  When the non-party violated the trial court’s injunction by filing a joint motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, the trial court denied the motion and enjoined the non-party from filing any paper unless it was signed by a member of the Florida Bar.  The defendant appealed, but the trial court’s order was not appealable because it was not a final order.  As a result, the appellate court treated the appeal as a petition for certiorari and denied the petition.   Pro se litigants are not entitled to be treated differently from, or more leniently than, litigants represented by counsel.  The pro se litigant in this case was not entitled flagrantly to violate court orders and to “inject himself in a lawsuit in which he ha[d] no standing.”