Jason Vicks v. Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC
UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Originating case number: 3:16-cv-00263-FDW. Copies to all parties and the district court. . Mailed to: Jason Vicks; Mekeisha Vicks. [16-1909]
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UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
JASON VICKS; MEKEISHA VICKS,
Plaintiffs - Appellants,
OCWEN LOAN SERVICING, LLC; JOHN DOE 1-5,
Defendants - Appellees.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western
District of North Carolina, at Charlotte.
Frank D. Whitney,
Chief District Judge. (3:16-cv-00263-FDW)
January 20, 2017
January 25, 2017
Before WILKINSON, DUNCAN, and THACKER, Circuit Judges.
Affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded by unpublished
per curiam opinion.
Jason Vicks, Mekeisha Vicks, Appellants Pro Se.
Deak, TROUTMAN SANDERS, LLP, Raleigh, North Carolina, for
Appellee Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC.
Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.
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Jason and Mekeisha Vicks (“Appellants”) appeal the district
court’s order dismissing their civil action against Ocwen Loan
Servicing, LLC (“Appellee”), arising from Appellee’s involvement
court related to Appellants’ residential property.
court dismissed four of Appellants’ claims for lack of subject
matter jurisdiction, invoking the Rooker-Feldman * doctrine.
emotional distress (“IIED”) pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6)
for failure to state a claim.
For the reasons that follow, we
We review de novo the district court’s determination that
it lacked subject matter jurisdiction over Appellants’ claims.
Flame S.A. v. Freight Bulk Pte. Ltd., 807 F.3d 572, 580 (4th
The Rooker-Feldman doctrine bars state-court losers
rejection of those judgments.”
Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Saudi Basic
D.C. Ct. App. v. Feldman, 460 U.S. 462 (1983); Rooker v.
Fid. Tr. Co., 263 U.S. 413 (1923).
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examined by a state court, so long as those claims do not seek
review of the state court decision itself.
See Elyazidi v.
SunTrust Bank, 780 F.3d 227, 233 (4th Cir. 2015).
federal complaint raises claims independent of, but in tension
with, a state court judgment, the Rooker-Feldman doctrine “is
simply because “the same or a related question was earlier aired
between the parties in state court,” and any tension created by
the concurrent federal and state proceedings “should be managed
through the doctrines of preclusion, comity, and abstention.”
Thana v. Bd. of License Comm’rs for Charles Cty., Md., 827 F.3d
314, 320 (4th Cir. 2016) (internal quotation marks omitted).
The district court concluded that Appellants’ claims were
intertwined” with the state court’s foreclosure order because
success on their federal claims would require the district court
to determine that the state court order was wrongly decided or
to take action that would render that order ineffectual.
we have previously articulated a similar standard, see Plyler v.
Moore, 129 F.3d 728, 731 (4th Cir. 1997), subsequent authority
from the Supreme Court and this court has clarified the RookerFeldman doctrine’s narrow scope.
As we have explained,
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language does not create an additional legal test for
determining when claims challenging a state-court
decision are barred, but merely states a conclusion:
if the state-court loser seeks redress in the federal
district court for the injury caused by the statecourt decision, his federal claim is, by definition,
decision, and is therefore outside of the jurisdiction
of the federal district court.
Davani v. Va. Dep’t of Transp., 434 F.3d 712, 719 (4th Cir.
2006); see also Thana, 827 F.3d at 319-20 (describing doctrine’s
Thus, as the court also has clarified, the
mere fact that a ruling favorable to the federal plaintiff may
call into question the correctness of a state court judgment has
plaintiff’s claims under Rooker-Feldman.
See Thana, 827 F.3d at
Here, Appellants’ first four claims for relief seek either
a declaration that Appellee has no rights to the loan proceeds
or damages against Appellee for violations of the Real Estate
foreclosure, the claims do not seek appellate review of that
entering that order.
We therefore conclude that the district
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Further, while we are not precluded from
affirming the dismissal of these claims on alternative grounds,
see Republican Party of N.C. v. Martin, 980 F.2d 943, 952 (4th
submissions on appeal, we conclude that prudence counsels in
Appellants’ claims to the district court in the first instance.
Appellants’ first four claims for relief and remand for further
Appellants also challenge the district court’s dismissal of
dismissal for failure to state a claim.
King v. Rubenstein, 825
dismissal, “a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible
on its face.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)
(internal quotation marks omitted).
Our review of the record
confirms the district court’s conclusion that Appellants failed
to state a valid IIED claim.
See Holloway v. Wachovia Bank &
elements of claim); Waddle v. Sparks, 414 S.E.2d 22, 27 (N.C.
1992) (describing requirement of “severe emotional distress”).
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part, insofar as it dismisses Appellants’ IIED claim.
the district court’s judgment in part, insofar as it dismisses
jurisdiction, and we remand for further proceedings consistent
with this opinion.
In so doing, we express no opinion as to the
legal sufficiency of Appellants’ reinstated claims or to the
preclusion to those claims, leaving the adequate development of
these issues to the parties and to the district court.
this court and argument would not aid the decisional process.
AFFIRMED IN PART,
VACATED IN PART,
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