IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL
FIRST DISTRICT, STATE OF FLORIDA
NOT FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE MOTION FOR REHEARING AND DISPOSITION THEREOF IF FILED
JOSEPH A. and MARY ANN MUSA,
WELLS FARGO DELAWARE TRUST COMPANY,
Opinion filed December 31, 2015.
An appeal from the Circuit Court for Clay County.
Frederic A. Buttner, Judge.
Joseph A. and Mary Ann Musa, pro se, Appellants.
Morgan L. Weinstein of Van Ness Law Firm, PLC, Deerfield Beach, for Appellee.
Joseph and Mary Ann Musa appeal a final judgment of foreclosure. They contend the final judgment is void because they had removed the case to federal court, depriving the state court of jurisdiction to proceed, before the judgment was entered. We agree and reverse.
An order void for want of jurisdiction in the lower tribunal may be challenged on appeal, even where the jurisdictional defect was not raised below. Polk Cty. v. Sofka, 702 So. 2d 1243, 1245 (Fla. 1997) (“‘[C]ourts are bound to take notice of the limits of their authority and if want of jurisdiction appears at any stage of the proceedings, original or appellate, the court should notice the defect and enter an appropriate order.’” (citation omitted)); see 84 Lumber Co. v. Cooper, 656 So. 2d 1297, 1298 (Fla. 2d DCA 1994) (“[S]ubject matter jurisdiction is so vital to a court’s power to adjudicate the rights of individuals, that its absence can be questioned at anytime, even after the entry of a final judgment or for the first time on appeal. Moreover, the fact that the lack of such jurisdiction is never presented to a trial court does not preclude an appellate court from considering the issue.” (citation omitted)); see also Maidman v. Jomar Hotel Corp., 384 So. 2d 728, 730 (Fla. 3d DCA 1980) (“[R]eversal is required for want of subject matter jurisdiction. Under 28 U.S.C. § 1446, a petition for removal divests the state court of subject matter jurisdiction.”).