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Florida 'rocket docket' requests 10-day extension for response to ACLU

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Florida's 20th Judicial Circuit asked an appellate court this week for a 10-day extension as it organizes a response to claims of rushing foreclosure cases through its system and ignoring court rules. Last July, the so-called "rocket docket" was implemented in Sunshine State counties of Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades. Judges used the system to work through a backlog of 40,000 cases. By the end of January, the system moved through more than 10,000 cases. But in April, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a petition with the Florida's 2nd District Court of Appeals attempting to block the "rocket docket" from pushing delinquent borrowers through the system. Foreclosure defense attorneys claimed in sworn affidavits judges were ignoring rules requiring banks to show necessary documentation and even disallowing borrowers a say in court if they were delinquent on the loan. The Florida appellate court gave the 20th Judicial Circuit 20 days to prepare a response, which expires this week. Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter @JonAPrior.

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