Seth Leventhal, executive editor of this blog, has been following the saga of Vincent Ofor for quite some time. Followers of this blog will recall that Ofor sought to void a mortgage by arguing that his signature on a power of attorney was not properly notarized. He signed in NYC, but his signature was notarized in MN. Ofor lost on summary judgment, when the district court said that the notarial oops was “No harm, no foul.” So, Ofor was no doubt thrilled when he learned that the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals was willing to entertain his appeal. What a let down he got in the end! In Ofor v. Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC, a decision that issued on August 12, 2011, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals declined to consider Ofor’s argument that the notarial failure voided his mortgage. After recounting all the relevant facts, and the applicable law, the Eighth Circuit ends with this pithy turn of phrase:
The district court never addressed 523.23 [the notary statute] because, as Ofor concedes, he never cited this provision to the district court at trial. Nor did Ofor cite to 523.23 in his motion for new trial or amended verdict. “It is old and well-settled law that issues not raised in the trial court cannot be considered by this court as a basis for reversal. We therefore decline to reach Ofor’s 523.23 argument.