Nate Carter probably wasn’t expecting this.
Mr. Carter had lost his home to a mortgage foreclosure. So seemingly out of blind rage—or at least the sort of anger that when coupled with ignorance leads one to do illogical things—he brought suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, alleging that the responsible financial institutions didn’t hold his note or the associated mortgage and thus had violated his rights under the federal Constitution. The merits of what he complained about weren’t exactly clear to the legal, critically thinking mind, and, in any event, nothing about his suit even remotely suggested that it belonged in federal court. The district court dismissed it as frivolous.
Ordinarily decisions on appeal from this sort of case don’t make their way into the venerable pages of the federal reporter. The Seventh Circuit’s Circuit Rule 32.1(a) flatly states that “[i]t is the policy of the circuit to avoid issuing unnecessary opinions.” On the surface there wasn’t anything noteworthy, much less interesting, about Mr. Carter’s appeal.
But Judge Posner thought differently, and he took the opportunity not only to write Carter v. Homeward Residential, Inc., No. 15-1156 (7th Cir. July 23, 2015), but to call on the Supreme Court to reconsider its decision in Hagans v. Levine, 415 U.S. 528 (1974).