In Benson v. Energy Solutions, Inc., 2014 WL 4311755 (D.Ariz. 2014), Judge Anderson found that an FDCPA claim premised on a debt collector’s obtaining a default judgment and employing garnishment procedures based thereon was barred by the Rooker-Feldman doctrine.
“Determining what constitutes a forbidden de facto appeal, however, has sometimes proven difficult for the lower courts.” Kougasian, 359 F.3d at 1142 (citing Noel, 341 F.3d at 1161–62 (collecting cases)). In analyzing the applicability of the Rooker–Feldman doctrine, a federal court “pay[s] close attention to the relief sought by the federal court plaintiff,” as the doctrine precludes the adjudication of a federal claim that seeks to undo a prior state court judgment. Bianchi v. Rylaarsdam, 334 F.3d 895, 900 (9th Cir.2003) (citation omitted). Numerous district courts in the Ninth Circuit have rejected FDCPA claims in a federal action on the basis of the Rooker–Feldman doctrine. See, e.g., Fleming v. Gordon & Wong Law Group, P.C., 723 F.Supp.2d 1219 (N.D.Cal.2010); Brooks v. Vinci, 2010 WL 3607778, at *3 (D.Or. July 29, 2010) (“Brooks’s ‘wrong venue’ and improper service claims cannot be separated from the question of the validity of the Colorado court’s judgment. In other words, his FDCPA claims are a collateral attack on the judgment itself, forbidden by Rooker-Feldman.” ), report and recommendation adopted by, Brooks v. Vinci, 2010 WL 3606616 (D.Or. Sept. 9, 2010). ¶ . . . .Here, this 2013 federal lawsuit and the 2001 State-court judgment are “inextricably intertwined” because Defendants use of postjudgment proceedings were, and are, authorized by Arizona law after judgment was entered against Plaintiff. For example, the FAC seeks judgment against Defendants ESI and Vaughan because they purportedly were not proper parties in the State-court action, which allegedly rendered the State-court judgment against Plaintiff void ab initio; and that damages be awarded Plaintiff for Defendants’ violations of multiple parts of the FDCPA and commission of the torts of Conversion and the IIED. To disregard the validity of the State-court judgment solely on Plaintiff’s allegations would constitute a collateral attack on the validity of the Arizona judgment. See Clugston, 134 Ariz. at 206, 655 P.2d at 30 (“[a] default judgment is treated as an admission, by the defaulting party, of the truth of all well pleaded facts in the case.”). Plaintiff has not attempted to distinguish her FDCPA claims as independent of the State-court judgment, but rather, her FDCPA allegations challenge the merits of the State-court judgment itself. Plaintiff’s allegations invite the Court to find that Defendants did not have standing to bring and prosecute the State-court action. This District Court declines Plaintiff’s invitation. See Dixon, 2013 WL 6189965, at *3 (“[t]he Supreme Court has ruled that a federal court must give a state court judgment ‘the same preclusive effect as would be given that judgment under the law of the State in which the judgment is rendered.’ ”) (citation omitted). ¶ The Court finds that because Plaintiff’s FDCPA claims constitute a de facto appeal challenging the validity of the State-court judgment are inextricably intertwined with the State-court judgment, and Defendants’ use of procedurally and statutorily author-ized postjudgment remedies under Arizona law, the claims are barred by the Rooker–Feldman doctrine. Absent sufficient factual allegations to support Defendants’ misconduct independent of the State-court judgment, merely alleging the elements of a FDCPA claim does not satisfy Plaintiff’s minimum pleading requirements under federal law. See Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (“a formulistic recitation of the elements of a claim will not do” to state a claim).