Financial Freedom Acquisition v. Jackson
Justice Charles Markey
The court observed, in a sua sponte decision, that Financial Freedom Acquisition (FFA) submitted a proposed order to name a referee to compute sums allegedly due it in this mortgage foreclosure action. It stated it had concerns regarding the legitimacy of service of process and the mental condition of the homeowner, Jackson, who was confined to a nursing home. The court appointed a guardian ad litem for Jackson, who found Jackson was diagnosed with Alzheimer's upon admission to the facility in 2010. The court noted CPLR 1203 provides that no default judgment can be entered against an adult incapable of adequately protecting their rights for whom a guardian was appointed unless 20 days expired since the appointment. It stated the notice of default in the mortgage was improperly served on Jackson, finding disparities in the location of service, the description of the individual served, and the fact Jackson was clearly incapacitated at the time of such service, yet FFA failed to inform the court. The court concluded jurisdiction over Jackson was not properly obtained, and the complaint was dismissed for improper service of process. It also awarded the guardian her fee, and ordered FFA to pay costs incurred by its delay.