LOPES v. OCWEN LOAN SERVICING LLC et al
MEMORANDUM AND OPINION dismissing case. Signed by Judge Rosemary M. Collyer on 2/5/2015. (KD)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Civil Action No. 14-1604 (RMC)
OCWEN LOAN SERVICING, LLC & )
WILMINGTON TRUST COMPANY,
Plaintiff Pamela Lopes, proceeding pro se, filed a Complaint on September 19,
2014, against Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC and Wilmington Trust Company. While the
Complaint purports to assert a quiet title action, in fact Ms. Lopes seeks to bar pending
foreclosure proceedings regarding her real property located at 1914 C Street, N.E., Washington,
D.C. 20002. See Compl. [Dkt. 1] at 2, 5 (“The Trust is not entitled to enforce Plaintiff’s note”);
id. at 12 (“A null security agreement is unenforceable for foreclosure . . . .”); id. at 13-14
(Plaintiff seeks a judgment “ordering the District of Columbia Office of the City Register to
convey the property [located at 1914 C Street NE] to Plaintiff” and “barring and forever
estopping Defendants, and each of them, from claiming any estate, right, title or interest in said
property.”) Wilmington Trust Company filed a foreclosure action against Plaintiff’s property in
the Superior Court of the District of Columbia on August 14, 2014. See Wilmington Trust
Company v. Lopes, 2014 CA 005207 R(RP) (D.C. Superior Ct.) (filed Aug. 14, 2014). Because
this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, the case will be dismissed.
Even though pro se complaints are construed liberally, see Haines v. Kerner, 404
U.S. 519, 520 (1972) and United States v. Byfield, 391 F.3d 277, 281 (D.C. Cir. 2004), this Court
must have jurisdiction in order to adjudicate the claim. A complaint can be dismissed under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. See, e.g., Jerez
v. Republic of Cuba, 777 F. Supp. 2d 6, 15 (D.D.C. 2011). When determining whether a case
should be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction, a court reviews the complaint liberally, granting the
plaintiff the benefit of all inferences that can be derived from the facts alleged. Barr v. Clinton,
370 F. 3d 1196, 1199 (D.C. Cir. 2004). Nevertheless, “the Court need not accept factual
inferences drawn by plaintiffs if those inferences are not supported by facts alleged in the
complaint, nor must the Court accept plaintiff’s legal conclusions.” Speelman v. United States,
461 F. Supp. 2d 71, 73 (D.D.C. 2006). Further, in deciding whether it has jurisdiction, a court
may consider materials outside the pleadings. Settles v. U.S. Parole Comm’n, 429 F.3d 1098,
1107 (D.C. Cir. 2005). No action of the parties can confer subject matter jurisdiction on a
federal court because subject matter jurisdiction is an Article III and statutory requirement.
Akinseye v. Dist. of Columbia, 339 F.3d 970, 971 (D.C. Cir. 2003). The party claiming subject
matter jurisdiction bears the burden of demonstrating that such jurisdiction exists. Khadr v.
United States, 529 F.3d 1112, 1115 (D.C. Cir. 2008).
This Court declines to interfere or otherwise involve itself in matters before the
Superior Court. See Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37, 45 (1971) (“[T]he normal thing to do when
federal courts are asked to enjoin pending proceedings in state courts is not to issue such
injunctions.”); see also District Properties Associates v. District of Columbia, 743 F.2d 21, 27
(D.C. Cir. 1984) (“[B]ased on principles of equity . . . the doctrine of Younger v. Harris, 401
U.S. 37 (1971), and its progeny restrains federal courts from interfering in ongoing state judicial
proceedings.”). Further, this Court is not a reviewing court and lacks jurisdiction to compel
another court to act. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1332 (general jurisdictional provisions); see also
Fleming v. United States, 847 F. Supp. 170, 172 (D.D.C. 1994) (under the Rooker-Feldman
doctrine, federal district courts lack authority to collaterally review state court judgments) (citing
Rooker v. Fidelity Trust Co., 263 U.S. 413 (1923); District of Columbia Court of Appeals v.
Feldman, 460 U.S. 462 (1983)). In addition, this Court has no authority to issue a writ of
mandamus to compel the Superior Court to perform a judicial act or to compel the D.C. Office of
the City Register to convey property, as Plaintiff requests. The Court’s mandamus authority
extends only to “officer[s] or employee[s] of the United States or any agency thereof . . . .” 28
U.S.C. § 1361.
Accordingly, this case will be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction,
and the pending motion to dismiss will be denied as moot. A memorializing Order accompanies
this Memorandum Opinion.
Date: February 5, 2015
ROSEMARY M. COLLYER
United States District Judge
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