The 2nd District Court of Appeal has entered an opinion in favor of a foreclosing bank. The opinion of the Court of Appeal states that the trial court should have allowed the plaintiff to amend the complaint in their foreclosure action; where the Plaintiff sought to amend its foreclosure complaint to add a count to reestablish a lost promissory note. Unable under penalty of perjury to verify the alleged facts were true, Plaintiff added the qualifying language “to the best of my knowledge and belief.”
The trial court relied on inapplicable case law imposing a more stringent standard than the verification rule requires. Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.110(b) requires foreclosure complaints to include verification language. And when verification of a document is required, the statute states it shall include the next three things; an oath, affirmation, or the words “to the best of my knowledge and belief.”
The trial court found that a foreclosure complaint is a pleading and not a document. But, a complaint is a pleading, and a pleading is a document. Ultimately, the 2nd DCA held that the plaintiff properly used the verification language in the rule.