United States District Court, District of Columbia
P. Mehta United States District Judge.
Defendants have moved to dismiss Plaintiffs' Complaint,
Compl., ECF No. 1, in its entirety. The court grants those
motions for two main reasons.
this court is not the proper venue for this action.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1391. No Defendant resides in
this judicial district, see Id. § 1391(b)(1); a
“substantial part of the events or omissions giving
rise” to Plaintiffs' claims did not occur in this
judicial district (they occurred in the District of
Maryland), id. 1391(b)(2); and the property at issue
in this matter is not situated in this judicial district (it
is situated in the District of Maryland), id.
the court declines to transfer this matter to a judicial
district in which it could have been brought, see 28
U.S.C. § 1406, because there are obvious substantive
problems with Plaintiffs' Complaint. See Simpkins v.
District of Columbia Gov't, 108 F.3d 366, 370 (D.C.
Cir. 1997) (affirming that “it made little sense to
transfer the case to another jurisdiction, ” which
“would have the case alive only until the next court
looked it over and found it wanting”). The court has
reviewed Plaintiffs' Complaint and it seemingly centers
on the foreclosure of a home located at 8324 Bock Road, Fort
Washington, MD 20744. Compl. at 2-3. The Maryland courts have
ratified the foreclosure sale. See Def. Atlantic Law
Group LLC's Mot. to Dismiss, ECF No. 15, at 4; Def.
Wilmer's Mem. in Supp. of Mot. to Dismiss, ECF No. 17-1,
at 3. To the extent Plaintiffs seek to undo the state-court
foreclosure order, see Compl. at 9-10, the claims
are barred under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine. Under
that doctrine, “‘a party losing in state court is
barred from seeking what in substance would be appellate
review of the state judgment in a United States district
court, based on the losing party's claim that the state
judgment itself violates the loser's federal
rights.'” Liebman v. Deutsche Bank Nat'l
Trust Co., 15 F.Supp.3d 49, 55-56 (D.D.C. 2014) (quoting
Johnson v. De Grandy, 512 U.S. 997, 1005-06 (1994));
see also Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Saudi Basic Indus.
Corp., 544 U.S. 280, 284 (2005) (“The
Rooker-Feldman doctrine . . . is confined to cases
of the kind from which the doctrine acquired its name: 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.”). As in
Liebman, where the plaintiff similarly challenged a
state-court foreclosure order, Plaintiffs' claim that the
Maryland state court's forfeiture order was unlawful
under federal law is barred under Rooker-Feldman.
See Liebman, 15 F.Supp.3d at 55-57.
to the extent that the Rooker-Feldman doctrine does
not bar the claims asserted, the doctrine of res judicata
does so. Plaintiffs' claims arise out of the same events
as to which a competent court already has rendered a final,
valid judgment on the merits of the same or similar causes of
action. See Porter v. Shah, 606 F.3d 809, 813 (D.C.
Cir. 2010) (setting forth the elements of res judicata).
even construing the Complaint generously, see Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972), the court cannot
discern within it a plausible claim. Plaintiffs have not
asserted any “factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that [Defendants are] liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Rather, their pleading
rests entirely on conclusory statements that do not suffice
to state a plausible cause of action. See id.
the court rules as follows on the pending motions:
1. Defendant John Noonan's Motions to Dismiss, ECF Nos.
5, 8, 16, 28, 31, 42, are hereby granted.
2. Defendant John Noonan's Motion to Strike, ECF No. 13,
is denied as moot.
3. Defendant Atlantic Law Group, LLC's Motion to Dismiss,
ECF No. 15, is granted.
4. Defendant Robert G. Wilmer's Motion to Dismiss, ECF
No. 17, is granted.
5. Defendants BB&T Bank Corporation and Jeffrey
Fisher's Motion to Dismiss, ECF No. 19, is granted.
6. Defendant Sidney J. Harrison's Motion to Dismiss, ECF
No. 21, is granted.
7. Plaintiffs' Motion to Allow Plaintiff Inspection of
Documents, ECF No. 25, ...