POBLETE v. RESIDENTIAL CREDIT OPPORTUNITIES TRUST
MEMORANDUM OPINION re: 2 Plaintiff's Motion for Temporary Restraining Order. Please see the attached Memorandum Opinion for additional details. The Clerk's Office is hereby directed to ensure that any future filings by Plaintiff comply with the Order attached as an appendix to this Memorandum Opinion. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 11/29/2017. (lcapm1)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
LUIS IVAN POBLETE,
Case No. 17-cv-02555 (APM)
Plaintiff Luis Ivan Poblete, proceeding pro se, has submitted a Complaint and TRO Petition
in Equity for Emergency Injunctive Relief, ECF No. 1 (“Complaint”), and a Motion for Temporary
Restraining Order, ECF No. 2 (“TRO Motion”). For the reasons stated below, the court denies
Plaintiff’s TRO Motion and dismisses this action for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.
Plaintiff brings this action against Defendant Residential Credit Opportunities Trust,
seeking a Temporary Restraining Order against a “lower court’s order.” See Compl., Prayer for
Relief. Based on Plaintiff’s attached Exhibits and the court’s own research, it appears that real
property located at 4130 16th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20011, was foreclosed upon by
Defendant in December 2016, see generally Residential Credit Opportunities Trust v. Poblete, 245
F. Supp. 3d 91, 94–95 (D.D.C. 2017), and Defendant was awarded a non-redeemable judgment of
possession of the property (against Poblete) by the Superior Court of the District of Columbia in
July 2017, Compl., Ex. 1. According to the Complaint, Poblete currently resides on this property.
Compl. ¶ 1. As far as the court can surmise, Plaintiff allegedly found a Subrogee to agree to tender
$2.2 million to Defendant on his behalf to redeem the property, and on November 17, 2017, said
Subrogee mailed a notice and demand to the U.S. Department of Treasury “for acquittance and
discharge of the Mortgage obligation of [$2.2 million] with [Defendant] for the property” at issue.
TRO Mot. at 1–2. Then, on November 22, 2017, the D.C. Superior Court issued a “Writ of
Restitution,” which “dishonor[ed] Subrogee’s Private Bill of Exchange thereby denying equitable
redemption on behalf of Plaintiff.” Compl. ¶ 10. This appears to be the order that Poblete asks
this court to “stay” in his TRO Motion. Poblete presumably seeks a stay because, as he claims,
“[t]he obligation was tendered” by the U.S. Department of Treasury on November 24, 2017. TRO
Mot. at 2.
Both Plaintiff’s Complaint and TRO Motion impermissibly invite this court to review the
decisions of a state court judge and effectively undo the D.C. Superior Court’s final judgment
denying equitable redemption to Plaintiff. Claims for such relief are barred under the RookerFeldman doctrine. Under that doctrine, “‘a party losing in state court is barred from seeking what
in substance would be appellate review of the state judgment in a United States district court, based
on the losing party’s claim that the state judgment itself violates the loser’s federal
rights.’” Liebman v. Deutsche Bank Nat’l Trust Co., 15 F. Supp. 3d 49, 55–56 (D.D.C.
2014) (quoting Johnson v. De Grandy, 512 U.S. 997, 1005–06 (1994)); accord McDermott v.
BB&T Bank Corp., 227 F. Supp. 3d 34, 35–36 (D.D.C. 2017); see also Gray v. Poole, 275 F.3d
1113, 1119 (D.C. Cir. 2002) (“The Rooker-Feldman doctrine prevents lower federal courts from
hearing cases that amount to the functional equivalent of an appeal from a state court. Because 28
U.S.C. § 1257 requires that appeals from state courts go exclusively to the Supreme Court,
the Rooker-Feldman doctrine ensures that the Supreme Court’s appellate jurisdiction
exclusive.” (internal citations omitted)). Applying the Rooker-Feldman doctrine here, this court
finds that it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction to hear Plaintiff’s claims, which form the basis of his
Complaint and TRO Motion, and therefore dismisses the Complaint and TRO sua sponte. See
Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3); cf. Evans v. Suter, No. 09-5242, 2010 WL 1632902, at *1 (D.C. Cir.
2010) (per curiam) (“[A] district court may dismiss a complaint sua sponte prior to service on the
defendants pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3) when, as here, it is evident that the court lacks
The court also finds that there is a separate ground for denying Poblete’s motion: Poblete
has failed to comply with the pre-filing injunction entered by Chief Judge Howell in February
2017. See Order, US Bank Nat'l Assoc. v. Poblete, No. 15-cv-312-BAH (D.D.C. Feb. 14, 2017),
ECF No. 51. Pursuant to that Order,
Poblete and any persons or and any persons or entities acting at his
behest . . . are enjoined from any subsequent filing in any federal
court or District of Columbia Superior Court without first obtaining
leave from this Court, which leave shall be sought by filing a motion
captioned “Application Pursuant to Court Order Seeking Leave to
File” that attaches a copy of the proposed filing and [this] Order and
certifies, under penalty of perjury, that the claims raised are new
claims never before raised or disposed of by any federal court and
are not frivolous or made in bad faith.
Id. at 1.
In filing today’s Motion, Poblete neglected to seek leave of this court, to certify the
substance of the claims raised therein, and to bring this Order and pre-filing injunction to the
court’s attention. In sum, Poblete has failed wholly to comply with the terms of the pre-filing
injunction entered against him. The court therefore denies Poblete’s Motion and dismisses this
action on this additional ground. Furthermore, the Clerk’s Office is hereby directed to ensure that
any future filings by Plaintiff comply with the pre-filing injunction, as described in the Order
attached as an appendix to this Memorandum Opinion.
Thus, for the foregoing reasons, the court denies Plaintiff’s TRO Motion and dismisses this
action. An Order consistent with this Memorandum Opinion is issued separately.
Amit P. Mehta
United States District Judge
Date: November 29, 2017
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