Humes v. LVNV Funding LLC
ORDER granting as modified 4 Motion. Humes's unjust enrichment claim and any related request to recover damages (restitutionary or otherwise) will be dismissed with prejudice. Humes's claim seeking to set aside the default judgment will be remanded to the Circuit Court of Lawrence County, Arkansas. Signed by Judge D. P. Marshall Jr. on 12/31/2014. (jak)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
SHAWN H. HUMES, for himself and all Arkansas
residents similarly situated
LVNV FUNDING, LLC
1. Humes asks for a stay until the Arkansas Supreme Court revisits the
Earls case, NQ 14, while LVNV Funding seeks a ruling on its comprehensive
motion to dismiss. The Court appreciates the supplemental briefing on
Rooker-Feldman. The Court sees no sufficient reason to put the case on hold.
2. First, Humes lacks Article III standing, a jurisdictional essential. He
was not incarcerated when LVNV sued on the debt. So his injuries from the
judgment are not fairly traceable to the defective notice about how many days
an incarcerated person had to answer. Hargis v. Access Capital Funding, LLC,
674 F.3d 783, 790 (8th Cir. 2012). If the alleged injury is from the default
judgment itself, there is a Rooker-Feldman problem with this Court redressing
that circumstance. See below. And if the alleged injury is from the judgment's
collateral consequences, then Humes has already been made whole. The
filings of record in the related proceedings, which this Court may consider,
make this plain. Humes
his adversary proceeding against LVNV and
Hosto, Buchan, Prater & 'Lawrence, PLLC. He got judgment against both
defendants, and was awarded $11,000.00 in damages, as well as more than
$70,000.00 in attorney's fees and costs, against the law firm.
NQ 5; NQ 4-3;
NQ 4-4; & NQ 4-5. The garnishment was released. NQ 4-2. The sum of all this,
the Court concludes, is that Humes has no standing to recover any more
money by way of restitution for alleged unjust enrichment. Rectified injuries
can't be redressed within the meaning of Article III. No case or controversy
remains for adjudication. Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560
Second, whether the Court is right or wrong on standing, the District
Court's judgment in the adversary proceeding precludes Humes from
pressing an unjust enricijment claim against LVNV now. He could have
made and tried that claim with his others. Claim preclusion bars Humes from
relitigating the law firm's fraud or LVNV's breach of contract and from
pursuing any other claim about the default judgment that he could have
brought against either patty. Baptist Health v. Murphy, 2010 Ark. 358, 8, 373
S.W.3d 269, 278 (2010). Wpatever claims may exist for wrongful conduct that
would not disturb the lstate court judgment, and thus would escape
Rooker-Feldman, Humes can't be the one to press them given his prior
litigation. Riehm v. Engelking, 538 F.3d 952, 965 (8th Cir. 2008); see also Johnson
v. Pushpin Holdings, LLC, '748 F.3d 769, 773 (7th Cir. 2014).
Third, the Rooker-Feldman doctrine prevents this Court from considering
the core of the lawsuit- Humes's attack on the District Court of Lawrence
County's default judgment. Humes wants that judgment nullified, albeit
indirectly through an Order from this Court declaring the judgment void and
directing LVNV to move to set it aside for lack of personal jurisdiction.
Precedent forecloses this attack in federal court by a state court loser. Exxon
Mobil Corp. v. Saudi Basic Industries Corp., 544 U.S. 280, 284 (2005); Skit Int'l,
Ltd. v. DAC Technologies of Arkansas, Inc., 487 F.3d 1154, 1157 (8th Cir. 2007).
3. No-standing dismissals are usually without prejudice. Constitution
Party of South Dakotav. Nelson,639F.3d417,420,423 (8th Cir. 2011). But given
the alternative holding dn claim preclusion and the no-remaining-injury
analysis based on Humes; s favorable judgment in the adversary proceeding,
the Court concludes that all the claims Humes has asserted- beyond one
seeking to have the default judgment set aside- should be dismissed on the
merits. His claim to get th.at judgment voided must go back to state court for
Motion, NQ 4, granted as modified. Humes's unjust enrichment claim
and any related request to recover damages (restitutionary or otherwise) will
be dismissed with prejudice. Humes's claim seeking to set aside the default
judgment will be remanded to the Circuit Court of Lawrence County,
D.P. Marshall Jr.
United States District Judge
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