United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division
DALTON JR. United States District Judge
instant action, Plaintiff moves the Court to vacate its prior
dismissal order (Doc. 40.) For the reasons set forth below,
the motion is due to be denied.
February 6, 2017, the Court dismissed Plaintiffs Complaint
for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. (Doc. 34
("Dismissal Order").) Plaintiff now moves the Court
to vacate the Dismissal Order under Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure 60(b) and (d). (Doc. 40 ("Motion to
Vacate").) Specifically, Plaintiff maintains that he has
discovered new evidence demonstrating that Defendants
procured the Dismissal Order through fraud. (Id.)
Defendants U.S. Bank, N.A., and Caliber Homes, Inc. responded
to the Motion to Vacate on March 28, 2017 (Doc. 42), and
Defendant JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. ("JPMorgan")
joined in such response. (Doc. 43.)
motion and just terms, a court may relieve a party from a
final order due to newly discovered evidence. Fed.R.Civ.P.
60(b)(2). To be entitled to such relief, a movant must
establish that: (1) the evidence has been newly discovered
since the trial; (2) the movant acted with due diligence to
discover the new evidence; the evidence is not merely
cumulative or impeaching; (4) the evidence is material; and
(5) the evidence is such that a new trial would probably
produce a new result. Waddell v. Hendry Cty. Sheriffs
Office, 329 F.3d 1300, 1309 (11th Cir. 2003).
addition, to obtain relief based on fraud under Rule
60(b)(3), the movant must prove by clear and convincing
evidence that the adverse party obtained the verdict through
fraud, misrepresentation, or other misconduct. Id.
The conduct complained of must have prevented the losing
party from fully and fairly presenting his case or defense.
See Rozier v. Ford Motor Co., 573 F.2d 1332, 1339
(5th Cir. 1978).
similar vein, under Rule 60(d)(3), a court has the power to
set aside a judgment for fraud on the court. Fraud on the
court embraces "only that species which does or attempts
to, defile the court itself, or is fraud perpetrated by
officers of the court so that the judicial machinery cannot
perform in the usual manner its impartial task of adjudging
cases that are presented for adjudication ...."
Traveler's Indent. Co. v. Gore, 761 F.2d 1549,
1551 (11th Cir. 1985) (per curiam). This provision is
narrowly construed and reserved for "only the most
egregious misconduct, such as bribery of a judge or members
of a jury, or the fabrication of evidence by a party in which
an attorney is implicated." Rozier, 573 F.2d at
1338. To prevail, such claims must be supported by clear,
unequivocal, and convincing evidence. Booker v.
Dugger, 825 F.2d 281, 283 (11th Cir. 1987).
Dismissal Order, the Court concluded that it lacked subject
matter jurisdiction over this action based on the
Rooker-Feldman doctrine,  which precludes lower
federal courts from exercising appellate jurisdiction over
final state-court judgments. (Doc. 34, p. 5.) Importantly,
though Plaintiff filed this action under the federal Truth in
Lending Act, the Court found that it was an impermissible
attempt to overturn an adverse judgment in a prior state
foreclosure action ("Foreclosure Action").
(Id. at 4-5.)
Newly Discovered Evidence
contends that he only recently learned of Defendants'
fraud, concealment, and non-disclosure of certain evidence.
(Doc. 40, p. 1.) In support, Plaintiff attaches a copy of an
affidavit dated October 17, 2016, from a forensic examiner,
which concludes that documents submitted in Foreclosure
Action were forged. (Doc. 40-2, pp. 2-3 ("
initial matter, the plain language of Rule 60(b)(2) would
seem to cast doubt on its applicability where, as here, there
has been no trial on the merits and no evidence presented to
the Court. Nevertheless, even it if applies, Plaintiff has
not demonstrated that his "newly discovered"
evidence, which appears to be nothing more than "newly
produced" evidence, would alter the application of the
Rooker-Feldman doctrine. To be sure, the Court would
continue to lack subject matter jurisdiction even if it had
the benefit of the Affidavit at the time of the Dismissal