Update (March 25, 2011): Larry Moloney, a Notre Dame grad argued the case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit on St. Patrick’s Day for the appellant/plaintiff Vincent Ofor. Moloney faces an unhill battle in overturning Sr. U.S. District Court Judge Paul A. Magnuson‘s grant of summary judgment against his client. (Stephen Buterin, of Coleman Hull & Van Vliet, represented the bank.)
Moloney’s argument is that a recorded photocopy of an original authentic signed document (a power of attorney) does not meet the strict recording requirements of Minnesota law and, therefore, the mortgage is invalid. He also argues that this document was the only transaction document including Ofor’s name; therefore Minnesota law requiring husband and wife’s names on mortgage documents was violated. Buterin’s response, predictably, is essentially that Ofor’s position simply makes no sense. It is not even clear that powers of attorney such as this one have to be recorded at all under Minnesota law under these circumstances. There is no dispute that Ofor was actively involved in and aware of the mortgage loan transaction that he now seeks to rescind.
Original post (May 28, 2010): Minnesota Litigator recently highlighted a case in which an improperly notarized document was given as a basis to avoid, essentially, a debt of about $275,000.
This week, Sr. U.S. District Court Judge Paul Magnuson (D. Minn.) found in favor of defendant U.S. Bank after a bench trial, ruling that the improper notarization did not invalidate the power of attorney that the borrower admitted to having signed. On a related issue, plaintiff argued that Minnesota statute requires recording of originally signed documents, not photocopies. Here, plaintiff lost because, the Court held, he simply failed to meet his burden of proof — failed to provide the Court with a certified copy of the documents recorded by the County Recorder. (Provide a certified copy to prove the original was a copy?)