ROBERT M. STELLA, Plaintiff,
RUTH ROBERTS, Defendant.
Defendant's Motion to Vacate Order for Summary Judgment.
Eric Hacker, Esq. and Robert G. Gibbs, Esq., Attorneys for
Wilcox, Esq. and Ryan Adams, Esq., Attorneys for Defendant.
STOKES, R. J.
the Court is Defendant Ruth Roberts's
("Defendant") Motion to Vacate Order for Summary
Judgment. Plaintiff Robert Stella ("Plaintiff) opposes
reasons that follow, Defendant's Motion to Vacate Order
for Summary Judgment is DENIED.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
took ownership of the property in dispute in 2017 through a
Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure from the former owner. Plaintiff
later became aware that Defendant was occupying the property
and made attempts to remove Defendant. Defendant has refused
to vacate because she does not remember signing the deed to
her property to the former owner, disputing the original
does not have a lease with Plaintiff nor has Defendant paid
any rent. Plaintiff has not given permission or authority for
the Plaintiff to occupy the property. Plaintiff has been
unsuccessful in taking possession of the property, bringing
the parties before this Court.
15, 2018, Plaintiff filed a complaint with this Court for
Action in Ejectment (Count I) and for Monetary Damages (Count
II). Plaintiff later filed a Motion to Voluntarily Dismiss
Count II and a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment as to
Count I. Defendant did not provide a response to Plaintiffs
24, 2019, this Court held the Pre-Trial Conference pursuant
to the Scheduling Order. Defendant failed to appear. The
Court granted Plaintiffs Motion to Dismiss Count II. In
addition, Plaintiffs Motion for Partial Summary Judgment was
changed to Full Summary Judgment and also granted. The day
after, Defendant moved to vacate the order granting summary
judgment in favor of Plaintiff. Counsel thereafter, entered
their appearance on Defendant's behalf and filed briefs
on the issue.
does not dispute that she failed to attend the Pre-Trial
Conference, however, she claims that it was the result of her
mistaken belief that the case had ended. Defendant claims
that upon receiving notice that Plaintiff voluntarily
dismissed Count II, she believed that the case had ended.
asserts that due to her husband's health issues, his
subsequent death, her age and health problems, and her
inability to retain counsel at the time, she was confused by
the judicial process. ...