DCA HOLDS BANK | Key Points
- Last week the Fifth DCA granted certiorari relief to US Bank quashing (essentially reversing) a circuit court’s order compelling the bank to produce a specific person for an out-of-state deposition in a residential foreclosure action. U.S. Bank Nat’l Ass’n as Tr. for Certificateholders of Structured Asset Mortgage Investments II, Inc., Bear Stearns Arm Tr., Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates, Series 2006-2 v. Williamson. In Williamson, the borrowers moved to compel the deposition of an employee of the bank’s servicer (Nicolas Raab) who had verified the bank’s amended complaint.
- The borrowers sought to unilaterally designate Mr. Raab as the bank’s corporate representative under Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.310(b)(6) and force the bank to produce Mr. Raab for deposition in Florida as opposed to Mr. Raab’s state of residence, Colorado. The bank objected, but the lower court entered an order granting the requested relief. The bank petitioned the Fifth DCA for certiorari relief from the non-final discovery order.
- The Fifth DCA quashed the circuit court’s order finding the lower court departed from the essential requirements of the law and that said departure resulted in material injury to US Bank. The DCA reasoned that Mr. Raab was not a party to the litigation and was not employed by US Bank but rather the bank’s loan servicer, “a separate corporate entity.” Although the bank would be required to produce its corporate representative for deposition in Florida under rule 1.310(b)(6), the borrowers were not permitted to unilaterally designate Mr. Raab as the bank’s corporate representative. The Court explained that only the bank had the authority to designate who would testify at deposition on the corporation’s behalf. The Fifth DCA’s order will be final on May 26, 2019 provided a motion for rehearing is not filed before that date.