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Goodrich v. Bank of America, N.A.

Court of Appeals of Georgia

August 15, 2014

GOODRICH
v.
BANK OF AMERICA, N.A

Reconsideration denied September 10, 2014 -- Cert. applied for.

Foreclosure. Cobb Superior Court. Before Judge Ingram.

Marilyn E. Goodrich, pro se.

McCalla Raymer, J. Thomas Howell, Gregory S. Krivo, for appellee.

BARNES, Presiding Judge. Boggs, and Branch, JJ., concur.

OPINION

Page 629

Barnes, Presiding Judge.

Marilyn E. Goodrich sued Bank of America, N.A., on December 1, 2011 to enjoin the then-pending foreclosure on her property. The litigation has followed a long and tortuous path through the courts, and is now before us on Goodrich's direct appeal of the dismissal of her previous appeal for failure to pay costs. Goodrich has filed separate cases in federal court on her wrongful foreclosure claim and in superior court on her wrongful dispossessory claim. In this case Goodrich sought an injunction against the foreclosure, but because the foreclosure was completed more than two years ago, the issue is moot. Accordingly, this appeal is dismissed.

Goodrich has filed several appeals in this case. In April 2012, she filed a direct appeal of the trial court's March 15, 2012, order requiring her to pay past-due mortgage payments into the court registry before the court would entertain her petition for an injunction. Acting upon the bank's motion, the trial court dismissed that appeal in October 2012 on the ground that Goodrich should have obtained a certificate of immediate review and filed an application for interlocutory appeal under OCGA § 5-6-34 (b) rather than a direct appeal.

Goodrich then filed an application for a discretionary appeal. Because the dismissal of an appeal by a trial court is directly appealable, Castleberry's Food Co. v. Smith, 205 Ga.App. 859, 860 (424 S.E.2d 33) (1992), this court granted the application and directed Goodrich to file a notice of appeal with the trial court within ten days if she had not already done so. Consequently, Goodrich filed a notice of direct appeal with the trial court on December 5, 2012. In May 2013, the bank moved the trial court to dismiss Goodrich's notice of appeal for failure to pay costs. After a hearing in September 2013, the trial court granted the bank's motion to dismiss the appeal on October 9, 2013, finding that Goodrich had failed to pay costs and failed to rebut the presumption that her delay of more than eight months in paying costs was unreasonable and inexcusable.

Goodrich then filed a notice of appeal from the trial court's order dismissing her appeal, designating a list of pleadings for inclusion in the record. She filed amended notices of appeal on October 30, 2013, and November 14, 2013. Then, on December 4, 2013, Goodrich filed her fourth amended notice of appeal, this time to the Supreme Court of Georgia instead of the Court of Appeals. She stated in the notice that the trial court's orders " changed the jurisdiction from the GA Court of Appeals to the GA Supreme Court because of the issue of access to the Appellate Courts found in the GA Constitution Bill of [329 Ga.App. 42] Rights Article I, Section I, Paragraph XII." She directed the trial court clerk to omit everything from the record except her notices of appeal and a transcript of the hearing on March 15, 2012, because she had filed a Record Appendix with the Supreme Court of Georgia.

In March 2014, the Supreme Court of Georgia transferred Goodrich's appeal to this court by order, holding that even if Goodrich's allegation -- that the lower court was denying her access to the appellate courts -- was true, the Supreme Court had no jurisdiction over the appeal because the issue was not raised or ruled on at the trial court level. This appeal was thus docketed in this court on April 15, 2014.

Goodrich has enumerated ten errors challenging the propriety of the trial court's March 15, 2012 order requiring Goodrich to pay past-due mortgage payments into the court registry or its order dismissing her October 2012 appeal, the merits of the bank's assignment of the note secured by Goodrich's property, the denial of her motion to consolidate this case with the dispossessory case, the validity of the court's electronic signature on an order, and the court's failure to set a hearing " to determine the contents of the Record to be forwarded to [the] Appellate Courts." Before we consider whether these enumerations have merit, we must first consider the bank's motion to dismiss this appeal as moot.

" It is a rather fundamental rule of both equitable jurisprudence and appellate procedure, that if ...


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