Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal denied an emergency motion on Monday to stave off the pending eviction of Ana Lazara Rodriguez, the former Cuban political prisoner who has been battling to stay in her home since February.
On Saturday, Rodriguez was served with a Writ of Possession, the final step in the eviction process, ordering her to vacate the promises by Monday, Sept. 13.
But Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava ordered the Miami-Dade Police Department to delay the eviction until Tuesday so Rodriguez’s lawyers could make one final attempt in court.
Rodriguez, 83, shares the Miami home with another 83-year-old Cuban woman who suffers from Alzheimer’s. Their case drew the attention of the mayor, who stepped in twice to grant Rodriguez’s case more time in the court system, as well as other politicians such as Miami Commissioner Alex Diaz de la Portilla and state Sens. Annette Taddeo, a Democrat, and Ileana Garcia, a Republican.
Since the start of the case, Bruce Jacobs, one of the three attorneys representing Rodriguez pro bono, has argued that the eviction is illegal because Bank of New York Mellon, which foreclosed on the house in 2018, committed fraud and violated Florida’s RICO statute by using a robo-signed mortgage assignment and later a forged rubber-stamped endorsement by Countrywide Financial.
But although Jacobs obtained several stays in the eviction case, three judges on the Third DCA declined on Monday to pause the eviction again so Jacobs could argue his case before the Florida Supreme Court.
“We were not surprised, although we were saddened, that the Third District Court of Appeal did not enter a stay,” Jacobs said.
Jacobs said the next legal step is to file an emergency petition for a hearing before all 10 judges on the Third DCA.
“The law allows this when a decision will negatively impact the public’s perception of the court’s ability to render meaningful justice,” Jacobs said.
David Winker and Roy Wasson are serving as co-counsel in Rodriguez’s defense.