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CEB Prac. Guide § 2A.57 -- Defenses -- Collateral Estoppel -- The Rooker-Feldman Doctrine

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In Britton v. ABC Legal Services, Inc., 2018 WL 3207907, at *6–8 (N.D.Cal., 2018), Judge Koh allowed an FDCPA claim to proceed despite the defendant's argument that the Rooker-Feldman doctrine deprived her of jurisdiction. Further, there is a split among district courts in the Ninth Circuit over this issue. Some federal district courts in California have held that an FDCPA… Read More

In Ngyuen v. LNV Funding, LLC, 2018 WL 769415, at *2–3 (S.D.Cal., 2018), Judge Burns entered summary judgment for a debt collector on the basis that the FDCPA plaintiff was precluded from using the FDCPA to challenge whether an underlying debt judgment was obtained by a timely filing. While the Court understands Nguyen’s argument—the California courts only decided that he owed… Read More

In Stissi v. Bag Fund, LLC, 2018 WL 354611, at *3–4 (C.D.Cal., 2018), Judge Otis Wright III dismissed an FDCPA case under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine. In determining the applicability of the Rooker–Feldman doctrine, a district court must first decide whether the plaintiff is attempting a de-facto appeal of a state court judgment. Bell, 709 F.3d at 897. A de-facto appeal… Read More

In Clark v. Cavalry Portfolio Services, LLC, 2017 WL 6757224, at *4 (S.D.N.Y., 2017), Judge Bricetti found that the adequacy of service of process was not litigated in the underlying debt collection suit and could form the basis of an FDCPA claim. Thus, pursuant to the transactional approach applied under New York law when analyzing whether an issue was or… Read More

In Balogun v. Winn Law Group, APC, et. al., No. SA CV 17-0796-DOC (JCGx), 2017 WL 2984075 (C.D. Cal. July 12, 2017), Judge Carter dismissed an FDCPA lawsuit premised on a creditor obtaining a judgment in another state and domesticating that judgment in California. First, Plaintiff alleges that the Delaware default judgment was improper because Delaware was not a proper venue for… Read More

In Lyudmila Maronyan v. Financial Credit Network Inc., 2017 WL 57835, at *3 (C.D.Cal., 2017), Judge Wilson allowed an FDCPA claim to proceed based on pleadings in the state court collection action. FCN's statements regarding its entitlement to attorneys' fees in the state court complaint may in fact be misleading to the least sophisticated debtor. Although one part of FCN's… Read More

In Black v. Autovest, LLC, 2015 WL 9461484, at *4 (D.Ariz., 2015), Judge Boyle denied a debt collection firm's motion to dismiss an FDCPA claim grounded in collection of post-repossession deficiency -- even though the bank already had a judgment against the FDCPA Plaintiff on the debt owing.  The District Court found the FDCPA action not barred by Rooker-Feldman. Defendants rely… Read More

In Janson v. Katharyn B. Davis, LLC, 2015 WL 7253244, at *2 (C.A.8 (Mo.),2015), a renter lost a state court collection action, and then sued in federal court claiming that an affidavit filed filed in the state court action was false; namely, because it asserted that he owed rent.   How this side-stepped the Rooker-Feldman doctrine escapes me, but the 8th… Read More

In Sykes v. Mel S. Harris and Associates LLC, --- F.3d ----, 2015 WL 525904 (2d Cir. 2015), the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit certified a class against a debt collector who purported to operate a mill that resulted in illegal default judgments in New York City.  These default judgments, in the words of plaintiffs, are the result… Read More

In Harold v. Steel,--- F.3d ----, 2014 WL 6981364 (7th Cir. 2014), the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed dismissal of an FDCPA suit based on the Rooker-Feldman doctrine.  The facts were as follows: A small claims court in Marion County, Indiana, entered a judgment against Kevin Harold for a little more than $1,000. He did not pay, even though… Read More

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