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In a foreclosure case that was first filed in state court to

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challenge the sale of property...
In a foreclosure case that was first filed in state court to challenge the sale of property, that was then removed by defendant bank to US district court, and now defendant is trying (after they removed the case) to get the case dismissed using Rooker-Feldman at the summary judgment phase, what happens to the case (are MSJ still in effect) if I get it remanded back to state court either by motion or if the court does it sua sponte
Submitted: 3 months ago.Category: CA Real Estate
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8/3/2017
Lawyer: Legal Expert Justin, Lawyer replied 3 months ago
Legal Expert Justin
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Satisfied Customers: 195
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Hello! My name is ***** ***** I'll be the Expert assisting you today. What were the grounds for having the case removed to Federal Court? Diversity of citizenship?

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Lawyer: Legal Expert Justin, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

Also, when you say dismissed, do you mean they are trying to get the case dismissed in its entirety or are they trying to get it remanded back to state court?

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Thanks for the quick reply. They removed the case on diversity, amount and a federal question (TILA). They gave all the reasons, cites and case law to justify the removal and now we are at the point of summary judgment, which we both filed motions for, and their first argument is that the federal case is barred by Rooker-Feldman. Since my original complaint was in state court and even though I filed before the foreclosure sale went through, it is now completed.(this is in CO under our rule 120 procedure) I have claimed wrongful foreclosure, TILA rescission, state issue concerning the foreclosure procedure, standing,etc. They are saying that the federal court can't overrule a state court "Judgment" most of my claims attempt to invalidate the foreclosure. I thought the easiest thing to do would just ask the court to remand it back to state court.
Lawyer: Legal Expert Justin, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

Unfortunately, the are correct. The Rooker-Feldman doctrine prevents federal courts from overruling state court decisions. So, if there has been a final judgment entered in state court, it will be impossible to seek relief from the federal court. However, I am confused why a final judgment was entered in the case, if it was removed to federal court before a judgment was entered. That should have halted all the state court proceedings.

Did this case start out as a separate action from the foreclosure proceeding? Were there two different case numbers at the state level? If so, then the defendants are probably seeking to dismiss the current case alleging a wrongful disclosure, because the original foreclosure action was never challenged and the state court has presumably declared it was valid by entering a final judgment.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Yeah, it gets kind of confusing due to it being the unique CO non-judicial, with a public trustee, foreclosure process. I'll see if I can give the readers digest version. The bank sent a foreclosure notice, there was a rule 120 hearing, the judge issued an order authorizing the sale, I file suit in state court to stop the foreclosure for various reasons (only 2 days before the sale), the sale took place and the case continued. Instead of answering the complaint (which was now an amended complaint since I had to add wrongful foreclosure after the sale) the bank had the case removed to district court on diversity, amount and federal question (an rightfully so, I thought). We have been through initial disclosures, discovery and are now ready to send responses to each others MSJ. We are a full year into the federal court case and now the bank, as part of their MSJ, are claiming that the federal court really doesn't have jurisdiction to upset the foreclosure order from the state court. My understanding is that Rooker-Feldman bars the federal court because a loser in state court can't then file in federal court to try to overturn a negative judgement in state court. I didn't file in federal court, the bank did and argued successfully for federal court jurisdiction. There has been no mention of Rooker-Feldman up to this point, there were earlier attempts at 12(b) dismissals and the court accepted jurisdiction knowing all the facts. BTW, in their notice of removal, they "prayed" the court be removed to "this court" and all proceedings in the state court case be stayed.
Lawyer: Legal Expert Justin, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

Yes, but what they wanted stayed were just the proceedings in this specific case; not the earlier foreclosure case. Did they try and get the case dismissed via 12(b) based on Rooker-Feldman or were they based on different legal theories?

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
At the beginning of the MSJ they "...move for summary judgment on all claims in (my) second amended complaint.." Then in the Introduction they state in part "He now asks the court to overturn the completed foreclosure sale. The court cannot grant the relief he requests. Rooker-Feldman stands in his way". Then in the Arguments, they give very little fact information but cite case law (mostly fro the 10th cir.) and explain the application of Rooker-Feldman. That's it. Then in the Conclusion, they again say the Rooker-Feldman prohibits my request, and then say "...even if the doctrine doesn't apply, the SAC cannot survive summary judgment" Just another quick question, isn't the federal court suppose to decide if they have jurisdiction before they accept a case? And if Rooker-Feldman is to sticky to deal with would a request to remand back to state court be an option?
Lawyer: Legal Expert Justin, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

You may be able to request that the case be remanded back to state court in your response to the MSJ, but I don't think it will do any good in the long run. Once back in state court, Defendants will file a motion to dismiss based on the fact that the foreclosure issue was already settled.

Yes, the court generally decides if they have jurisdiction and won't hear a case if they do not. I'm assuming the foreclosure judgment was not entered at the time they removed to federal court? Even if it wasn't, the court would still have jurisdiction to hear the case based on diversity and amount in controversy, even if their decision is that Rooker-Feldman applies and the case should be dismissed.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
The actual foreclosure sale is complete but the state case was filed before the sale. The state case was obviously still active when it was removed and the federal case is just a continuation of the case (same claims and parties) in a different court. I'm not sure if you are in a state that has non-judicial foreclosures but in CO I had to sue the bank after they file the NED to get the issues before the court. The foreclosure sale and confirmation deed were done before the bank even removed the case. The redemption period expired and the sale was considered final (even though the title is not clear yet) 8/8/16. The bank removed the case on 8/24/16. I am challenging the entire foreclosure process. The bank can't dismiss the case if it went back to the state court unless they could prove that I failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, which they can't and that's why they haven't tried.
Lawyer: Legal Expert Justin, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

Perhaps you are correct. I don't think I can offer any additional advice. I will opt out so you can seek another opinion.

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