In re Mortgage Foreclosure Cases, No. 12-1795 (1st Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs in this consolidated interlocutory appeal were defaulted mortgagors of Rhode Island real estate. Defendants were the corresponding mortgagees, Plaintiffs' agents or assignees, who allegedly held Rhode Island mortgagees' legal titles and asserted the right to foreclosure for default on mortgage terms. Plaintiffs brought this action alleging that the ostensible assignments of their mortgagees' legal titles were invalid, leaving the assignees without the right to foreclose. The district court imposed a stay in the nature of a preliminary injunction against foreclosure and possessory proceedings and appointed a special master to mediate the claims. Defendants appealed and filed a mandamus petition, claiming that the district court erred in failing to provide notice and hearing before issuing the stay and in failing to set limits of time and cost when referring the mortgagors' cases to the special master. The First Circuit Court of Appeals remanded with instructions to hold a prompt hearing with reasonable notice on the question of whether the injunction should be continued and to establish specific limits of time and expense if the reference for mediation was to remain in effect.