Richardson case reopens before new judge


The late Susan Richardson would be on Zoom this Friday, Sept. 18 for a hearing in front of a new circuit judge.

She would have hung on every word, and recorded them carefully, when Circuit Judge Jonathan Sjostrom, the chief judge of the circuit, at 1:30 p.m. will hear such weighty and accusatory-sounding motions such as to why Bank of America and Leibler, Gonzalez and Portuondo “should not be sanctioned…for fraud upon the court.”

And such as why there should find be a finding of contempt, “for filing a false affidavit to obtain summary judgement in bad faith.”

And such as to the default pending against the late Apalachicola woman’s estate, that it should be vacated.

Whether or not a South Florida attorney prevails against the corporate interests that want ownership of the property she fought, vigorously, until her last breath, to keep, will be up to a new judge, assuming the arguments left unresolved by his predecessor Circuit Judge Charles Dodson.

Bruce Jacobs’ heart is in this case, and so is Richardson’s brother John who might better be described as standing in for his sister in absentia than merely as the rightful heir, .

 “Five year-olds know right from wrong and when they make a mistake, they apologize,” Jacobs argues, in a public plea for support. “It's a shame that more banks aren't run by 5-year-olds.

“Instead, far too many bank customers have to fight in court to correct a bank's mistake, with the bank using every trick in the book to try and get out of having to correct a mistake they made,” he continues. “Such was the case for Susan Richardson.”

No one local who knew her needed reminding she “quickly became a fixture in the community with the light she put in to everyone's day.”

Nor were they unfamiliar with the summary he provides of the background, as Richardson did all she could to save her house in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and in the wake of the real estate collapse. And to make those around her aware of her predicament, with which many could sympathize.

“She called her bank - Bank of America - and asked what options she had with her mortgage. The advice she got was the same that countless others got - first you have to stop paying your mortgage, then there will be options to help. So that's what she did,” wrote Jacobs.

Bank of America moved to foreclose on her home, and “Susan became a hero in the foreclosure defense world,” wrote her lawyer, who entered the case later, to keep up the fight that was on the verge of ending badly for her.

“She kept meticulous records of everyone she spoke to at the bank and what they told her was happening, including all of the times bank employees contradicted each other,” Jacobs wrote.

“Just over a year ago, she contacted us with a question on what she needed to do to protect her home. She wasn't doing well but she wanted to see this through and was about to finally get a chance to debate the merits of the case in court,” he wrote. “Due to a technicality – that Bank of America had since sold her mortgage to a different company so a suit against Bank of America couldn't be a countersuit anymore - she lost.

“We're not leaving her work unfinished. We're still working what is now her estate's case, dealing with everything the bank throws at us,” he wrote. “We're not going to stop until Susan gets her justice,  because that's what we do.”

The court proceeding begins at 1:30 p.m. Friday, and can be accessed at

The meeting ID is 979 9931 2520 and the passcode is 524796.

This article originally appeared on The Apalachicola Times: Richardson case reopens before new judge


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