United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
HERMAN HENRY BOURG, JR. ET AL.
CITIBANK NA ET AL.
ORDER AND REASONS
TRICHE MILAZZO, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss or
Alternatively Motion for More Definite Statement. For the
following reasons, the Motion is GRANTED.
pro se, Plaintiffs Herman Henry Bourg, Jr. and Noel
Ledet Bourg have brought claims against Citibank NA, as
Trustee of the NRZ Pass Through Trust VI, and Select
Portfolio Servicing Inc. Plaintiffs ask this Court to declare
void a judgment entered by the 17th Judicial District Court
of Louisiana foreclosing on their property. They allege,
among other things, that the mortgage had been cancelled and
that the attorney for the NRZ Pass-Through Trust VI presented
insufficient evidence to obtain a foreclosure. In addition,
Plaintiffs complain that they never received notice of the
transfer of ownership of their loan or a complete payment
have moved for dismissal of these claims on the grounds that
this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction and that
Plaintiffs have failed to state a claim upon which relief can
be granted. Alternatively, they request a more definite
statement. Plaintiffs have failed to oppose Defendants'
Motion. The Court may not, however, simply grant the instant
Motion as unopposed. The Fifth Circuit approaches the
automatic grant of dispositive motions with considerable
aversion. Accordingly, this Court will consider the
merits of Defendants' Motion.
12(b)(1) motion challenges the subject matter jurisdiction of
a federal district court. “A case is properly dismissed
for lack of subject matter jurisdiction when the court lacks
the statutory or constitutional power to adjudicate the
case.” In ruling on a Rule 12(b)(1) motion to
dismiss, the court may rely on (1) the complaint alone,
presuming the allegations to be true, (2) the complaint
supplemented by undisputed facts, or (3) the complaint
supplemented by undisputed facts and by the court's
resolution of disputed facts. The proponent of federal court
jurisdiction-in this case, the Plaintiffs- bears the burden
of establishing subject matter jurisdiction.
move for dismissal of Plaintiffs' claims for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction. Specifically, Defendants allege
that this Court does not have jurisdiction to overturn a
state court's foreclosure judgment pursuant to the
Rooker-Feldman doctrine. “[T]he
Rooker-Feldman doctrine holds that inferior federal
courts do not have the power to modify or reverse state court
judgments except when authorized by
Congress.” The Supreme Court has held that the
doctrine “is confined to 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.” Accordingly, Plaintiffs'
claims seeking relief from a state court's judgment
foreclosing on their property fits squarely within this
doctrine. On March 11, 2016, the 17th Judicial District Court
for the Parish of Lafourche issued an order for the seizure
and sale of the Plaintiffs' property. Plaintiffs now
directly attack that judgment, arguing that the mortgage was
canceled or that insufficient evidence was presented.
“When issues raised in federal court are
‘inextricably intertwined' with a state judgment
and the court is in essence being called upon to review the
state-court decision, the court lacks subject matter
jurisdiction to conduct such a review.” Accordingly, this
Court does not have subject matter jurisdiction over
this Court does not lack subject matter jurisdiction over all
of Plaintiffs' claims, however, Plaintiffs also lack
standing to bring their claims. Plaintiffs' Complaint
clearly alleges that they were forced to file for bankruptcy
as a result of the incidents at issue in the Complaint. The
Court takes judicial notice that Plaintiffs filed for
voluntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy on December 15, 2016, well
after the events giving rise to the claims at issue
here. As Defendants correctly point out,
causes of action that accrue prior to the filing of a
bankruptcy petition are property of the estate. Once a cause
of action becomes part of the bankruptcy estate, the debtor
loses his rights to bring such an action. The trustee
becomes the only party with standing to prosecute the action,
even after the case has ended. Accordingly, Plaintiffs no
longer have standing to bring the causes of action alleged
the Court has found that it lacks subject matter jurisdiction
and Plaintiffs lack standing, it need not address the
remainder of Defendants' arguments.
foregoing reasons, the Motion is GRANTED, and this case is
DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE for lack ...