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Permenter v. Chase Home Finance, LLC

Supreme Court of Delaware

July 16, 2014

SIRENA RENEE PERMENTER and JOHN E. PERMENTER, [1] Defendants-Below, Appellants,

Submitted June 13, 2014

Case Closed August 1, 2014.

Editorial Note:

This decision has been designated as "Table of Decisions Without Published Opinions." in the Atlantic Reporter.

Court Below: Superior Court of the State of Delaware, in and for New Castle County. C.A. No. N10L-05-167.

Before STRINE, Chief Justice, HOLLAND, and RIDGELY, Justices.



Leo E. Strine, Jr. Chief Justice

This 16th day of July 2014, upon consideration of appellant Sirena Permenter's opening brief and appellee Freddie Mac's motion to affirm, it appears to the Court that:

(1) Permenter filed this appeal from an order of the Superior Court, dated April 14, 2014, which denied her motion to reopen this mortgage foreclosure action and denied her motion to stay execution of the writ of possession issued by the Superior Court allowing Freddie Mac to remove the Permenters from the property. We find no merit to Permenter's appeal. Accordingly, we affirm the Superior Court's judgment.

(2) On November 9, 2009, Chase, the mortgage holder, issued a notice to the Permenters that they were in default of their mortgage payments. Chase filed a complaint on May 14, 2010 seeking to foreclose on the Permenters' mortgaged property. The Permenters failed to respond. Chase therefore obtained a default judgment on July 21, 2010. In July of 2013, the Permenters first appeared in the action and filed a motion to compel and a motion to stay, which the Superior Court denied. The property was sold at Sheriff's sale on August 13, 2013. The sale was confirmed on September 20, 2013.

(3) Title to the property was transferred to Freddie Mac on November 1, 2013. Freddie Mac filed a writ of possession on November 18, 2013. The Superior Court issued a notice to the Permenters directing them to show cause why the writ of possession should not be granted to Freddie Mac. A hearing was held on January 10, 2014. The Superior Court made Freddie Mac's writ of possession absolute but delayed lock-out of the Permenters for ninety days. On April 4, 2014, Permenter filed a motion to stay the lock-out. The Superior Court generously construed the motion to stay to include a request to reopen the judgment under Rule 60(b). The Superior Court denied both requests. This appeal followed.

(4) Permenter filed a document on June 6, 2014, which this Court deemed to be her opening brief on appeal. The document sets forth no discernible argument contending that the Superior Court committed any error in her case. Rather, the document contains a random amalgam of citations to various provisions of the United States Constitution and the Uniform Commercial Code. The gist of Permenter's document appears to be a claim that she is the victim of fraud.[3]

(5) Although this Court allows pro se appellants some leeway in meeting the briefing requirements of Supreme Court Rule 14, an opening brief on appeal, at the very least, must assert an argument that is capable of review.[4] Permenter's brief does not set forth any argument claiming error in the Superior Court's denial of her motion to stay and to reopen the foreclosure proceedings.

(6) The grant or denial of a motion to stay and a motion to reopen are within the sound discretion of the trial court.[5] Permenter's motion below failed to offer any grounds to stay the writ of possession or to reopen the mortgage foreclosure proceedings. Under the circumstances, we find no abuse of discretion in the Superior Court's denial of Permenter's motion.

NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED that the judgment of the Superior Court is AFFIRMED.

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