United States District Court, D. Oregon
Michael H. Simon, District Judge
Christie Davis brings this action pro se against
Defendants Ocwen et al. Defendants move to dismiss
the amended complaint. Plaintiff also moves for summary
judgment. For the following reasons, Plaintiff's motion
for summary judgment is DENIED and Defendants' motion to
dismiss is GRANTED.
must liberally construe the filings of a pro se
plaintiff and afford the plaintiff the benefit of any
reasonable doubt. Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342
(9th Cir. 2010). “‘Unless it is absolutely clear
that no amendment can cure the defect, . . . a pro se
litigant is entitled to notice of the complaint's
deficiencies and an opportunity to amend prior to dismissal
of the action.'” Garity v. APWU Nat'l Labor
Org., 828 F.3d 848, 854 (9th Cir. 2016) (alteration in
original) (quoting Lucas v. Dep't of Corr., 66
F.3d 245, 248 (9th Cir. 1995) (per curiam)). Under Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2), however, every complaint
must contain “a short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” This
standard “does not require ‘detailed factual
allegations, '” but does demand “more than an
unadorned, the defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me
accusation.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). “A pleading that offers
‘labels and conclusions' or ‘a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not
do.'” Id. (quoting Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555).
complaint fails to state a claim when there is no cognizable
legal theory or the factual allegations are insufficient to
support a claim for relief. Shroyer v. New Cingular
Wireless Servs., Inc., 622 F.3d 1035, 1041 (9th Cir.
2010). In evaluating the sufficiency of a complaint's
factual allegations, the court must accept as true all
well-pleaded material facts alleged in the complaint and draw
all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff.
Wilson v. Hewlett-Packard Co., 668 F.3d 1136, 1140
(9th Cir. 2012); Daniels-Hall v. Nat'l Educ.
Ass'n, 629 F.3d 992, 998 (9th Cir. 2010). But to be
entitled to a presumption of truth, the complaint must do
more than simply allege legal conclusions couched as factual
allegations. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678-79. The
plaintiff “may not simply recite the elements of a
cause of action, but must [provide] sufficient allegations of
underlying facts to give fair notice and to enable the
opposing party to defend itself effectively.” Starr
v. Baca, 652 F.3d 1202, 1216 (9th Cir. 2011). The
underlying factual allegations must “plausibly
suggest an entitlement to relief.” Id.
(emphasis added). “A claim has facial plausibility when
the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 678 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).
to the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, federal courts lack
jurisdiction to hear cases that amount to collateral attacks
on state court judgments. The basic premise of that doctrine
is that “a federal district court does not have subject
matter jurisdiction to hear a direct appeal from the final
judgment of a state court.” Noel v. Hall, 341
F.3d 1148, 1154 (9th Cir. 2003). Instead, the United States
Supreme Court is the only federal court with jurisdiction to
hear appeals from state courts. Id.; see 28
U.S.C. § 1257.
scope of the Rooker-Feldman doctrine includes de
facto appeals from a state court decision and “any
issue raised in the suit that is ‘inextricably
intertwined' with an issue resolved by the state court in
its judicial decision.” Noel, 341 F.3d at
1158. This rule also applies to constitutional claims under
Section 1983. See Worldwide Church of God v. McNair,
805 F.2d 888, 893 n.4 (9th Cir. 1986). A claim is
inextricably intertwined with a state court judgment if the
federal claim can succeed only to the extent that the state
court wrongly decided the issues before it. Doe &
Assocs. Law Offices v. Napolitano, 252 F.3d 1026,
1029-30 (9th Cir. 2001). A claim also is “inextricably
intertwined where the relief requested in the federal action
would effectively reverse the state court decision or void
its ruling.” Cooper v. Ramos, 704 F.3d 772,
779 (9th Cir. 2012) (quotation marks omitted).
bars a suit from going forward if: (a) the plaintiff in the
federal suit lost in the state court proceeding; (b) the
state court determination is at the core of the federal
lawsuit; (c) the federal lawsuit seeks review and rejection
of the state court verdict; and (d) the state court judgment
was entered before commencement of the federal action.
McKithen v. Brown, 481 F.3d 89, 97 (2nd Cir. 2007).
however, does not bar a federal suit to set aside a state
court judgment if that judgment was obtained by extrinsic
fraud. Kougasian v. TMSL, Inc., 359 F.3d 1136, 1141
(9th Cir. 2004). Fraud on a court is “not an error by
that court, ” but instead is “a wrongful act
committed by the party or parties who engaged in the
fraud.” Id. “Rooker-Feldman
therefore does not bar subject matter jurisdiction when a
federal plaintiff alleges a cause of action for extrinsic
fraud on a state court and seeks to set aside a state court
judgment obtained by that fraud.” Id. If the
parties raised the issue of fraud before the state court,
however, and the state court made a determination that there
was no fraud, then Rooker-Feldman does apply.
Reusser v. Wachovia Bank, N.A., 525 F.3d 855, 860
(9th Cir. 2008).
issue has already been litigated in court, future litigants
are barred from bringing those same challenges again under
the doctrine of collateral estoppel. See Parklane
Hosiery Co., v. Shore, 439 U.S. 322, 328 (1979). For
issue preclusion (also known as collateral estoppel) to
apply, three factors must be considered:
(1) the issue at stake must be identical to the one alleged
in the prior litigation; (2) the issue must have been
actually litigated [by the party against whom preclusion is
asserted] in the prior litigation; and (3) the determination
of the issue in the prior litigation must have been a
critical and necessary part of the judgment in the earlier
Trevino v. Gates, 99 F.3d 911, 923 (9th Cir. 1996)
(quoting Town of North Booneville v. Callaway, 10
F.3d 1505, 1508 (9th Cir. 1993)).
April 2006, Plaintiff signed a mortgage for her family home
in Damascus, Oregon. In 2010, she refinanced the loan and
subsequently defaulted on the loan. A judicial foreclosure
proceeding ensued and Plaintiff did not contest the
foreclosure. In 2015, the Clackamas County Circuit Court
entered a general judgment in the foreclosure action. See
HSBC Bank USA NA v. Christie Davis, No. CV14120192
(Clackamas County Circuit Court August 2, 2014). A
foreclosure sale followed in 2017 and Plaintiff's ...