GASCH, District Judge.
This case came on for consideration on defendants' motion to dismiss, accompanying points and authorities, and supporting affidavits, and the plaintiff's opposition thereto. Since the defendants' motion is supported by matter outside the pleadings which has not been excluded by the Court, it will be treated, in accordance with Rule 12(b) (6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, as a motion for summary judgment.
The complaint, certified exhibits filed by the defendants, and uncontradicted affidavits filed by the defendants indicate the following sequence of events. The events out of which this action originally arose occurred in 1970, when the plaintiff, Mrs. Bernice Goodwin, entered into discussion with defendants concerning the renovation and possible sale of her home. A contract of sale was later executed, and on March 18, 1971, Home Buying Investment Company, the corporate defendant herein, filed suit in Superior Court for possession of the property. Mrs. Goodwin defended the suit, alleging that she had been induced by fraud to sign the contract of sale. The case was tried to a jury, and on July 27, 1971, plaintiff's motion for a directed verdict was granted by Judge Hyde. An appeal was taken from that judgment to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, which dismissed it as untimely.
The plaintiff herein now seeks to have this Court (1) vacate the Superior Court judgment on the ground that fraud was practiced on that Court; (2) award the plaintiff compensatory and punitive damages for the "detention of her . . . real estate," and (3) order an accounting. Defendants have moved for dismissal on the ground that the complaint constitutes an impermissible collateral attack on the judgment in the former suit upon grounds of fraud which are the same (which is a relitigation of the issues) raised in the action herein.
In ruling on defendants' motion, the Court must first consider whether the Superior Court judgment was valid and hence immune to collateral attack. Plaintiff does not allege that the Superior Court lacked jurisdiction over the parties or subject matter, and in the absence of such an allegation, jurisdiction is to be presumed. In re Adoption of a Minor, 94 U.S.App.D.C. 131, 133, 214 F.2d 844, 846 (1954).
It is true that a collateral attack may sometimes be predicated on the ground of certain very narrowly defined kinds of fraud, generally termed "collateral" or "extrinsic" fraud. 7 Moore, Fed.Practice § 60.33, 504-05 (1972).
The only fraud alleged here is the defendants' allegedly fraudulent conduct in obtaining title to plaintiff's property and their having "withheld" from the Superior Court the "facts" of the case as plaintiff perceived them. Neither allegation can form a basis for attacking the Superior Court judgment or otherwise gaining relief from it. Plaintiff's charge that defendants "withheld" facts amounts to nothing more than a complaint that they did not help her prove her case, and this certainly does not amount to "extrinsic" fraud by any of the traditional definitions. See, e.g., Chisholm v. House, 160 F.2d 632, 643 (10th Cir. 1947), and cases cited therein. The burden of proving title is on the party alleging it, 63 Am.Jur.2d, Property § 21, 308-309 (1972), and there is no authority for the proposition that the adverse party is obligated to give aid to the one alleging title. As to the charge that defendants had engaged in fraudulent acts prior to the Superior Court trial for the purpose of obtaining title to the property, the answer is simply that that very issue was tried in the Superior Court proceeding and is not to be relitigated here. On this point, the case of De Bobula v. Goss, 90 U.S.App.D.C. 28, 29, 193 F.2d 35, 36 (1951), cited by defendants herein, is controlling. In De Bobula, the plaintiff, having been evicted from his apartment in a proceeding in what was then the District of Columbia Municipal Court, attempted to relitigate the eviction by suing certain parties in U.S. District Court for conspiring to evict him by adducing false testimony. The District Court dismissed the suit, and the Court of Appeals affirmed, with Judge Edgerton speaking for the Court as follows:
We think the District Court was right. The suit in the Municipal Court settled the question whether the owners of the property required it for their personal use. The appellant cannot, by alleging fraud, reopen that question in the District Court. "A judgment obtained by fraud or duress must be attacked in a direct proceeding, and not collaterally." Nelson v. Felsing, 32 App.D.C. 420, 428. As Judge Clagett said for the Municipal Court of Appeals in a similar case, the appellant is making a collateral attack on the judgment in the former suit, "and such collateral attacks are not permitted even on the ground of fraud, where the alleged fraud is a fraud which was in issue in that suit. Here, construing the complaint most favorably to appellant, the fraud suggested is that appellee misrepresented his purpose in desiring possession of the premises and thus acted in bad faith. That issue was decided in the prior suit and the decision may not be attacked collaterally." Simpkins v. Brooks, D.C.Mun.App., 49 A.2d 549, 552.