Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Roggio v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

United States District Court, District of Columbia

May 25, 2018




         In this case, originally filed in 2009, Plaintiff Vincent Roggio asserts claims sounding in contract and tort against the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”), in its capacity as Receiver for Washington Mutual Bank (“WaMu”). At the request of the parties, the Court stayed the proceeding for many years. In March 2014, the Court ordered the case administratively closed, but gave leave for either party to reopen it upon notice to the other. In February 2018, Roggio, proceeding pro se, reopened it. Currently before the Court is Roggio's “emergency” motion to stay the upcoming foreclosure sale of a property he owns. The Court construes the motion as one seeking a preliminary injunction. Because the relief Roggio seeks is barred by the Anti-Injunction Act, his motion is DENIED.[1]

         I. Background

         In 2006, WaMu initiated a pair of actions in New Jersey Chancery Court to foreclose on two of Roggio's properties. Compl. ¶ 18; see also Opp. at 2. As part of those proceedings, Roggio and WaMu entered into a settlement on or around January 25, 2007 (the “Settlement”), whereby Roggio agreed to waive his affirmative defenses and counterclaims if WaMu undertook actions to retract derogatory credit reporting about him that it had provided to credit rating bureaus. Compl. ¶ 19; see also Opp. at 2. On March 4, 2008, the New Jersey Chancery Court entered a final judgment against Roggio in one of the foreclosure actions. Opp. at 3. According to Roggio, WaMu took far too long (until November 2008) to correct his credit information and by then, his real estate business, which relied heavily on leverage and good credit, had been destroyed. Compl. ¶¶ 8, 16, 20-22. Roggio filed a motion in New Jersey Chancery Court to declare WaMu in breach of the Settlement, but his motion was denied. Opp. at 2-3. He then moved the court to reconsider, again to no avail. Id. at 3.

         On September 25, 2008, the FDIC was appointed Receiver of WaMu. Compl. ¶ 23. In September 2009, Roggio filed the instant case against the FDIC. The complaint asserts a number of causes of action for WaMu's alleged failure to abide by the terms of the Settlement. Id. ¶¶ 27-54. For many years, the case was repeatedly stayed at the request of both parties. On March 4, 2014, the Court entered a minute order directing the Clerk to administratively close the case, but noted that it would be “reinstated upon notice by either party.”

         In August 2017, JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., as successor to WaMu, filed an amended complaint in the second foreclosure action against Roggio in New Jersey Chancery Court, which relates to his property located at 140 Rumson Road in Rumson, New Jersey (the “Property”). Opp. at 3. On February 16, 2018, it appears that the court granted final judgment against Roggio, over his objection. Id. Roggio subsequently filed a motion for reconsideration, which was denied. Id. The Property was originally slated to be sold at a sheriff's sale on May 21, 2018, ECF No. 38-3, but according to Roggio, he received a two-week adjournment of the sale, which is now set to occur on or around June 4, 2018.

         On March 22, 2018, Roggio filed a motion that requested, in relevant part, that the Court declare the New Jersey Chancery Court's February 16, 2018 judgment void, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(4). ECF No. 29. The Court denied that motion on the ground that Rule 60(b)(4) does not permit a federal court to declare a state court judgment void. ECF No. 39.

         On April 24, 2018, Roggio filed the instant motion, which is styled as an “Emergen[cy] Motion to Stay the Imminent Sale of the Rumson Property on May 28, 2018 By a State Court Without Personal or Subject Matter Jurisdiction and in Violation of the Explicit and Implicit Language of Congress Under the Supremacy Clause of the United States.” See Mot. Roggio's primary argument is similar to the one he made in his March 22 motion previously denied by the Court: he asserts that the New Jersey Chancery Court lost jurisdiction over both foreclosure actions against him in September 2008 when the FDIC became the Receiver of WaMu. See Id. at 4-9. Specifically, Roggio argues that the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (“FIRREA”), 12 U.S.C. § 3331 et seq., strips courts of jurisdiction over claims that have not gone through the FDIC's claims process. Mot. at 6 (citing 12 U.S.C. § 1821(d)(13)(D)); see also Opp. at 5. Roggio also raises a number of other arguments in his motion, including that (1) WaMu breached the Settlement Agreement, (2) he is entitled to a jury trial in this Court, and (3) the state court judgments are void because WaMu is no longer a legal entity. Mot. at 9-17. By way of relief, Roggio requests that this Court “stay the imminent sale” of the Property. Id. at 17.

         In response, the FDIC argues that FIRREA's jurisdiction only covers claims brought by borrowers against a failed financial institution (or its receiver), not in rem proceedings that were previously initiated by a financial institution against a borrower. Opp. at 5. The FDIC also argues that this Court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine. Id. at 5-7.

         Although Roggio styled his request for relief as a “stay” of the upcoming sale of his property, Mot. at 17, as a practical matter he requests that this Court issue a preliminary injunction prohibiting the foreclosure sale from proceeding. See Grynberg v. BP P.L.C., 643 F.Supp.2d 1, 2 (D.D.C. 2009) (“Plaintiffs style this action as a ‘stay pending appeal, ' but there is nothing to stay-no order of this Court is challenged. Rather, this is, . . . a request for injunction.”). Therefore, on May 11, 2018, the Court issued a minute order informing the parties that it construed Roggio's motion as a request for a preliminary injunction, setting a telephonic hearing date, and requesting that the parties be prepared to discuss, among other things, the applicability of the Anti-Injunction Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2283. On May 15, the Court held the hearing. The Court subsequently granted the parties leave to file short supplemental briefs on additional issues raised during the hearing. Minute Orders of May 15 and 17, 2018.

         II. Analysis

         A preliminary injunction is “an extraordinary remedy that may only be awarded upon a clear showing that the plaintiff is entitled to such relief.” Winter v. Nat. Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 22 (2008). To warrant a preliminary injunction, the plaintiff must establish that: (1) he is “likely to succeed on the merits”; (2) he is “likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief; (3) that the “balance of equities” tips in his favor; and (4) that “an injunction is in the public interest.” Id. at 20. The plaintiff “bear[s] the burdens of production and persuasion” when moving for a preliminary injunction. Qualls v. Rumsfeld, 357 F.Supp.2d 274, 281 (D.D.C. 2005) (citing Cobell v. Norton, 391 F.3d 251, 258 (D.C. Cir. 2004)).

         As a threshold matter, the Court must evaluate whether it has the authority to grant a preliminary injunction to prevent the upcoming foreclosure sale. Although the FDIC did not raise this argument in its opposition, Opp., the Court concludes that the Anti-Injunction Act prohibits the Court from granting it.[2]

         The Anti-Injunction Act provides that “[a] court of the United States may not grant an injunction to stay proceedings in a State court except as expressly authorized by Act of Congress, or where necessary in aid of its jurisdiction, or to protect or effectuate its judgments.” 28 U.S.C. § 2283. “[T]he exceptions are narrow and are ‘not [to] be enlarged by loose statutory construction.'” Chick Kam Choo v. Exxon Corp., 486 U.S. 140, 146 (1988) (second alteration in original) (quoting Atl. Coast Line R.R. Co. v. Bhd. of Locomotive Eng'rs, 398 U.S. 281, 287 (1970)). “Any doubts as to the propriety of a federal injunction against state ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.