Pino v. Bank of New York

Defendant, who had defaulted on his mortgage, sought to have a notice of voluntary dismissal of the mortgage foreclosure action struck and the case reinstated for the trial court to then dismiss the action with prejudice as a sanction to the mortgage holder for allegedly filing fraudulent documentation regarding ownership of the mortgage note. The court of appeal held that a trial court lacks the authority to set aside a plaintiff's notice of voluntary dismissal at the request of a defendant where the plaintiff has not obtained any affirmative relief before dismissing the case. The Supreme Court accepted certification to answer a question of public importance and held that when a defendant alleges fraud on the court as a basis for seeking to set aside a plaintiff's voluntary dismissal, the trial court has jurisdiction to reinstate the dismissed action only when the fraud, if proven, resulted in the plaintiff securing affirmative relief to the detriment of the defendant and, upon obtaining that relief, voluntarily dismissing the case to prevent the trial court from undoing the improperly obtained relief. View "Pino v. Bank of New York" on Justia Law