United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division
OPINION AND ORDER
E. STEELE SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on defendant SGGH, LLC's
(“SGGH”) Motion to Dismiss (Doc. #25) filed on
November 17, 2016 and defendants HSBC Bank USA, National
Association, as trustee for Fremont Home Loan Trust 2005-D,
Mortgage-Backed Certificates, Series 2005-D Successor in
Interest to Fremont Investment & Loan Company
(“HSBC”) and Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC's
(“Ocwen”) Motion to Dismiss (Doc. #38) filed on
December 19, 2016. Plaintiffs filed responses in opposition.
(Docs. ##41, 42.) For the reasons set forth below,
defendants' motions are granted and plaintiffs' case
is dismissed for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.
case involves another attempt by plaintiffs to litigate their
dissatisfaction with the underlying state court foreclosure
proceedings. Owen and Sandie Bedasee were plaintiffs in two
prior cases against Fremont Investment & Loan Co.,
seeking relief under the same general allegations that are
alleged in the First Amended Complaint. See Bedasee v.
Fremont Investment & Loan et al., 2:09-cv-111-29SPC;
2:16-cv-576-38MRM. Both cases were dismissed under the
Rooker-Feldman doctrine inter alia.
Rooker v. Fid. Tr. Co., 263 U.S. 413 (1923);
District of Columbia Court of Appeals v. Feldman,
460 U.S. 462 (1983). In addition, plaintiffs have
unsuccessfully attempted to remove the underlying foreclosure
complaint to this Court on four prior occasions. See
Fremont Investment & Loan Co. v. Bedasee et al.,
2:16-cv-268-38MRM; 2:15-cv-501-29MRM; 2:16-cv-740-38MRM;
2:17-cv-129-29MRM. In each instance, the cause was remanded
to state court for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction due in
part to the Rooker-Feldman doctrine.
Briefly, the underlying foreclosure
complaint was originally filed in Collier County Circuit
Court on February 22, 2008, seeking to foreclose on a $444,
000 purchase money mortgage on real property located in
Naples, Florida. (Doc. #22.) Within four months, the state
court granted summary judgment against plaintiffs, entered
final judgment of foreclosure, and scheduled the foreclosure
sale. The sale was cancelled and rescheduled numerous times
upon motion by plaintiffs and eventually took place on June
10, 2009. A Certificate of Sale was filed the same day.
the foreclosure, plaintiffs have been challenging the
foreclosure judgment. They appealed several times to the
Florida Second District Court of Appeal and Florida Supreme
Court to no avail. They also filed claims and attempted
removal to this Court challenging the foreclosure. The
instant case is the latest installment in plaintiffs'
quest to defeat the state court foreclosure judgment. In all
fifteen counts of the Amended Complaint, plaintiffs seek
declaratory relief restoring their rights to the Naples
property and essentially undermining the foreclosure judgment
entered by the state court. (Doc. #22.) Defendants argue that
the Court has no jurisdiction to relieve plaintiffs of the
underlying judgment. (Docs. ##25, 38.)
Rooker-Feldman doctrine “places limits on the
subject matter jurisdiction of federal district courts and
courts of appeal over certain matters related to previous
state court litigation.” Goodman v. Sipos, 259
F.3d 1327, 1332 (11th Cir. 2001). Under the
Rooker-Feldman doctrine, “federal district
courts cannot review state court final judgments because that
task is reserved for state appellate courts or, as a last
resort, the United States Supreme Court.” Casale v.
Tillman, 558 F.3d 1258, 1260 (11th Cir. 2009).
Accordingly, a federal district court lacks jurisdiction over
“cases brought by state-court losers complaining of
injuries caused by state-court judgments rendered before the
district court proceedings commenced and inviting district
court review and rejection of those judgments.”
Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Saudi Basic Indus. Corp., 544
U.S. 280, 284 (2005). The doctrine extends not only to
constitutional claims presented or adjudicated by a state
court, but also to claims that are “inextricably
intertwined” with a state court judgment if plaintiff
had a reasonable opportunity to raise those claims in the
state proceedings. Goodman, 259 F.3d at 1332;
Siegel v. LePore, 234 F.3d 1163, 1172 (11th Cir.
2000); Amos v. Glynn Cty. Bd. of Tax Assessors, 347
F.3d 1249, 1266 n.11 (11th Cir. 2003). A claim is
inextricably intertwined with the state court adjudication
when federal relief can only be predicted upon a finding that
the state court was wrong. Goodman, 259 F.3d at
claims alleged in the Amended Complaint are premised entirely
on the allegations that the foreclosure proceedings and final
judgment from the underlying state court action were
improper. (Doc. #22.) Plaintiffs demand equitable relief and
damages that can only be predicated upon a finding that the
state court's final judgment should be nullified.
Therefore, plaintiffs' claims are inextricably
intertwined with the state court proceeding.
have been on notice that the Court lacks subject-matter
jurisdiction over these cases for years but continue attempts
to litigate in federal court. As the Court set forth in its
prior Orders based upon the same underlying complaint for
foreclosure, the relief sought in the underlying complaint
has been granted, rejected, or otherwise concluded in the
state court, and cannot now be re-litigated or revisited in
federal court. See Fremont Investment,
2:09-cv-111-29SPC (Doc. #39); 2:16-cv-268-38MRM (Doc. #13);
2:15-cv-501-29MRM (Doc. #14); 2:16-cv-740-38MRM (Doc. #8);
2:16-cv-576-38MRM (Doc. #30) 2:17-cv-129-38MRM (Doc. #6) .
Therefore, the Court finds that it continues to lack
subject-matter jurisdiction over this case.
it is hereby
Defendant SGGH, LLC's Motion to dismiss ...