In Tait v. Asset Acceptance, LLC, 2013 WL 3811767 (C.D.Cal. 2013), Judge Olguin found an FDCPA claim barred by the Rooker-Feldman doctrine where the Plaintiff claimed that he was not served with underlying state court collection action.
However, in entering default judgment against plaintiff, the state court expressly found that plaintiff was served with a copy of the summons and complaint in that action. (See Plaintiff’s Request for Judicial Notice, Exh. F). Although plaintiff claims that he does not contest the validity of the debt, (see FAC at ¶ 18), or seek relief from the state court judgment, (see Opposition at 3–4), plaintiff’s conclusory allegations belie the true nature of his claims, which ask the court to rule that plaintiff was never properly served in the state court action. (See FAC at ¶¶ 21–29; Opposition at 2–4). Such a decision would be at odds with the state court judgment. Plaintiff also claims that the United States Supreme Court’s Exxon decision narrowly limited the Rooker–Feldman doctrine. (See Opposition at 4–6) (citing Exxon, 544 U.S. at 284, 292–293, 125 S.Ct. at 1521–22, 1526–27). The court is unpersuaded that Exxon compels a different result here. In Exxon, the Supreme Court held that “[w]hen there is parallel state and federal litigation, Rooker–Feldman is not triggered simply by the entry of judgment in state court.” Exxon, 544 U.S. at 292, 125 S.Ct. at 1526. It did not abolish the doctrine in all instances that a state court enters default judgment. Here, there was no parallel state and federal litigation. To the contrary, plaintiff filed the Original Com-plaint and FAC after judgment was entered against him years ago in the state court action. As a state-court loser who complains of injuries caused by a state court judgment, plaintiff sets forth a case that is precisely within the ambit of the Rooker–Feldman doctrine. See, e.g ., Bryant v. Gordon & Wong Grp., P.C., 681 F.Supp.2d 1205, 1208 (E.D.Cal.2010) (“[I]n disputing the garnishment of his accounts, Plaintiff is inherently challenging the entry of default against him and the writ of execution that authorized the garnishment. The net effect is that [p]laintiff is seeking to undermine the state court judgments.”); Williams v. Cavalry Portfolios Servs., LLC, 2010 WL 2889656, *3 (C.D.Cal.2010) (“By way of default judgment, the state court found that [p]laintiff was properly served and that he is liable for the debt…. For this Court to exercise jurisdiction over these claims would be to review and undermine the state-court judgment.”); Fleming v. Gordon & Wong Law Grp., P.C., 723 F.Supp.2d 1219, 1223 (N.D.Cal.2010) (“[T]here is no question that the Rooker–Feldman doctrine bars a district court from reviewing an FDCPA claim that challenges the validity of a debt authorized by a state court judgment.”). If this court were to rule that defendants committed any of these alleged wrongs, it “would undercut the state ruling” that determined plaintiff was in fact served with a copy of the summons and complaint and that authorized defendants to execute a writ of execution. See Reusser, 525 F.3d at 859; Noel, 341 F.3d at 1164 (“If a federal plaintiff asserts as a legal wrong an allegedly erroneous decision by a state court, and seeks relief from a state court judgment based on that decision, Rooker–Feldman bars subject matter jurisdiction in federal district court.”); See id. at 554 U.S. at 284, 125 S.Ct. at 1521–22. (The Rooker–Feldman doctrine covers “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.”). In short, plaintiff cannot now seek to overturn that ruling through a federal court action.
The Court also ruled that “This Order is not intended for publication. Nor is it intended to be included in or submitted to any online service such as Westlaw or Lexis” – which, of course, it was anyway.